With these campfire tips, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Whether you head out in a camper van or a luxury RV rental, campfire safety is essential for anyone heading out to the woods. Truly, there’s nothing like relaxing and unwinding by a campfire in the evening. With smores and long conversations, those dancing flames are a beautiful setting.
As one of the cornerstones of camping, there are some tips and tricks that help you stay safe as you enjoy the warmth of a fire. For new campers and RV renters, it’s not always easy to start a campfire. Luckily, these tips help you light your flame in a safe way.
Campfire Tips For Safety: The Basics
In order to manage a fire, it’s important to know how they work. Fires are a chemical reaction between the oxygen in the air and the wood you burn. As such, your fire needs to breathe.
Generally, hot air rises. That means the fire sucks in fresh air at the bottom of the flames. As you build your fire, be sure there’s an entryway for air and somewhere for the smoke to rise.
Additionally, space out your wood. To charge up a fire, blow fresh air in at the base of the flames. The air can come from your lungs or some billows if you have them.
There are several ways to build a campfire. However, one of the most effective methods is the “log cabin.” Start with two parallel logs and lay two more the opposite direction. It should look like a hashtag (#) of sorts.
As you build up, use smaller pieces of wood to create a pyramid-like structure. Place your kindling in the middle. Use enough to get the fire going but not so much that it impedes the flow of air.
Campfire Tip #1: Test Your Wood
Water is a fire’s worst enemy. Your firewood needs to be as dry as possible. With wet wood, it’s extremely difficult to get your fire going.
If you bring wood in your RV rental, keep it covered. When the wood gets wet, give it some time to dry. Having the right wood is key to campfire safety and the perfect campfire experience.
Remember to also check the firewood rules at your park or campsite. Some allow you to collect wood from the forest. Others prohibit visitors from bringing firewood in with them.
The concern there is the accidental introduction of invasive species of pests.
Campfire Tip #2: Your Starter
Usually, people want a campfire fast and reliably. Most outdoor stores have an array of starters to help out. However, sometimes you only have what’s available around you.
There are plenty of ways to start a fire, so feel free to experiment with a few of these reliable campfire tips.
- Use a piece of power towel with about two tablespoons of cooking oil. It should be damp but not soaked and dripping.
- Dryer lint is another solid starter. When you do laundry, you can save up lint in a baggie and bring it with you in your RV rental.
- Dip cotton balls in vaseline and store them in a bag. It’s an easy and reliable way to start a fire.
Use one of these starter methods in place of tinder. Moreover, use a match or lighter wand to start it. These starters catch quickly and burn hot with significant flames.
Campfire Tip #3: Keep the Smoke Out of Your Face (Here’s How)
No one wants smoke billowing into their face. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of options to control smoke. Generally, the hotter a fire, the less smoke you see.
With dryer wood and good circulation, you maintain a hot fire. Moreover, hardwood tends to burn cleaner than lighter woods. Then, less bark and debris helps to keep your fire clean.
If there’s a steady wind, sit upwind of the fire. When the wind moves around a lot, try to sit lower to the ground. As the smoke rises, this means you’re less likely to get a face full of it.
As wind passes around us, it creates a zone of low pressure. This draws smoke in. When this happens, it’s good to move further away from the fire.
Lastly, a decoy helps to draw smoke away. Set a large log or stone near the fire. This creates a similar effect that helps to pull smoke away from you.
Campfire Tip #4: What’s Cookin’?
On its own, what you cook for a campfire meal is a huge and divisive subject. Some people love to cook on an open fire. Others prefer a grill or dutch oven.
Typically, it’s a good idea to pre-cook anything you roast over open flames. This helps because it’s so difficult to control the heat of a campfire. When you pre-cook, you avoid under or overcooking.
Additionally, try to position the food near the hottest part of the fire, not the flames. This means more heat and less burn from flames.
If you absolutely need to cook with an open fire, it’s good to involve water. Water boils off as it heats up, which helps to regulate temperature. Moreover, if the fire dies down, the water keeps cooking for a little while.
Boiling and sauteing are two great techniques. However, it’s a bad idea to use cooking oil over an open flame. This too easily creates uncontrolled flare-ups, which can hurt nearby campers (and you).
Lastly, prep materials ahead of time. Cooking outdoors isn’t too hard, but cutting and prepping ingredients is easier in a kitchen. Luckily, your RV rental comes with a great kitchen space and all the utensils you should need.
Campfire Tip #5: Follow Camp Rules
ALWAYS follow the rules of your campsite. Use the fire pits already in place, respect any bans, and never leave a fire unattended. Before you head to bed, put the fire out thoroughly and clean up after yourself.
If you are out in the country, be mindful of how easily fires can spread. Build out a fire pit or cairn, and be sure nothing nearby can catch a spark.
Head Out on Your Next Adventure with an RV Rental
When you follow these campfire tips, you’ll have a safe, lovely campfire experience. As you prepare for some beautiful memories, consider an RV rental for your next camping trip. When you have everything you need with you, it makes any trip an adventure.