How To Build A Crackling Campfire

One of the absolute best parts about a camping trip is kicking back after a long day of swimming, hiking and exploring and finally relaxing by a big bright-orange, crackling fire. It is the best time to hang with friends, family or even solo and enjoy a cold beverage and make a s’more or two. So to achieve this, we are going back to basics with this step-by-step guide that will ensure every fire you make is one to impress.

1. Position your fire

First things first, choose a clear flat space on the ground that is preferably dry and make sure the space has a 3m (10ft) radius from anything flammable. Ideally this space is just exposed earth and is not grassy. If your campsite has designated fire pits, even better!

2. Create a fire bed

If you’re on a campsite you can skip this step. If not, gather some big stones and place them in a circle. The goal of this is to contain your fire and to ensure it doesn't spread. This step is important so make sure not to skip it.

How to build a crackling campfire

Photographer: Ian Keefe


3. Gather the firewood

You are going to want to gather 3 types of wood: tinder, kindling wood, and firewood. Firstly, ensure all the wood collected is as dry as possible (this will reduce the risk of having a smoky fire).

Tinder is essentially small twigs and dry leaves - the more the better, this where a good fire gets its fuel from.

Then collect the kindle, which is small sticks that are around an inch long. Then finally the firewood, which is pretty self-explanatory. Collect some nice dry logs of wood - oak, maple, ash and birch make for the best fire.

4. Build the fire

Loosely place all of your tinder in the center of your fire bed, then place the kindle on top in a tepee shape that allows air to enter. Then finally place and frame the firewood around the tinder and kindle securely.

How to build a campfire in the woods

Photographer: Ilia Shishikhin


5. Light it up

Time to bring your masterpiece to life. Grab a lighter, some matches or your WG Fire Set, and carefully light and hold the flame to a piece of tinder.

For best results you will want to do this on multiple spots throughout the tinder. Once it catches, very gently blow to keep the flame alive.

Let the fire come to life and continue to add campfire logs as needed.

6. Sit back and enjoy

You did it! Crack open a cold one and admire your hard work.

How to build a fire

Photographer: Toa Heftiba


7. Extinguish the fire safely

When the party's over, it is time to put out the fire safely. Always check with the local park restrictions and follow their steps if provided. Generally, let the fire die out and then start pouring water onto the fire.

Make sure to stand back so you aren't at risk of getting burned with any splash back water. Continue to do this until there are no lit ambers and the fire is cold to the touch.

Start by placing your hand inches away and if it is too hot, continue with water. Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the site.

8. Leave no trace behind

Always be sure to leave your campsite clean. It's our responsibility to help keep nature as pristine as possible. Plus, the next campers will surely appreciate it!

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