Campfires - A Fun Way to Enjoy Camping at Night

Camping at night is all about enjoying the campfire. With Japan's camping boom, more and more camping beginners are getting into camping, but some of them don't know how to build a fire. In this article, we'll go over how to build a campfire in detail.

Video Introduction

This video, titled "How to Build a Campfire: Starting a Fire and Cleanup (Beginner Guide)" (【キャンプ初心者でも大丈夫】火起こしから後片付けまで”焚き火のやり方”詳しく教えます!), was uploaded by "IYASHI NEKO."

The video explains how to build a campfire in a simple and easy-to-understand way so that even beginners can enjoy the outdoors when camping. This video is a must-see for anyone new to the outdoors or camping.

Master How to Build a Campfire

Image of a firepit
Photo:A firepit

The video is divided into three parts (preparation, practice, and precautions) to introduce bonfires. The Preparation section introduces the equipment needed for camping and outdoor activities. The Practical section focuses on how to build a fire, and the precautions section introduces cleanup and other important points to keep in mind when building a campfire.

Preparation for Camping and Outdoor Fires

Image of firewood
Photo:Firewood

The equipment for building a fire is as follows.
・A fire pit
・Firewood
・Firelighter
・Tongs
・Heat-resistant gloves
・A multi-purpose lighter (A candle lighter is used in the video)
・Fireproof sheet

When using kindling, coniferous trees with high oil content, such as cedar and pine, and broadleaf trees such as oak and sawtooth oak with long burn times are often used, and each has its own pros and cons.

■Coniferous trees (cedar and pine)
Pros: Good for kindling because of its flammability
Cons: Burns out quickly

■Broadleaf trees (oak, sawtooth oak)
Pros: Long burn time, so you can enjoy your campfire for longer
Cons: Poor flammability

When you get used to building a fire, we recommend using them together, but coniferous wood may be easier to start with for beginners. Also, firewood can be purchased at many hardware stores in Japan, but thicker wood can't be used as kindling. Because of this, be sure to chop the wood with a hatchet so that you can use it as kindling when building a fire.
[Video] 0:44 - Fire building equipment

Practicing How to Build Camping and Outdoor Fires

In the practical section of the video, you can see how a fire is actually lit. First, set up the fire pit. When building a fire, it's important to stoke the fire. Place natural igniters, such as pine cones, at the bottom of the fire pit. Place kindling or twigs on top of the igniter. This is an important point to remember! Oxygen is necessary for combustion, so to allow oxygen to reach the flame, be sure not to smother the fire, and make sure there are ample paths for air to reach the fire.
[Video] 2:42 - Starting a fire

Things to Be Careful of When Building Camping and Outdoor Fires

Image of a campfire
Photo:A campfire

The precautions section introduces common knowledge about camping and outdoor activities that beginners may not be aware of.

First, to prevent tents and tarps from burning due to fire sparks, be careful to set up the fire a comfortable distance from tents or tarps. Also, if your campsite is on grass, pine needles, etc., be sure to lay down a fireproof sheet under your fire pit.
Rules vary from campground to campground, so be sure to check the rules of the campground you're staying at before building a fire. If the campground has an ash dump, be sure to dispose of the ashes after enjoying your fire, or if not, then follow the rules established by the campground.

Make sure your campfire is completely extinguished when you're finished with it. Campfires can take hours to fully extinguish. Be sure to account for this when considering your departure time and allow plenty of time for your fire to extinguish.

Don't over-stoke your fire. Putting in too much wood at once is dangerous as your fire can quickly get out of control. Also, by building large fires you'll run out of wood quickly. Enjoy a nice slow-burning fire.
[Video] 4:52 - Precautions

Summary of How to Build a Campfire

If you spend all your time building a fire and cleaning it up afterwards, you'll miss out on a lot of enjoyable camping time. Be sure to master the basics of building a campfire. There are many other ways to build a campfire besides the method described here. Find what style works best for you so you can enjoy a nice, relaxing camping trip with a warm nighttime fire.

Written By
May. 18, 2022
Japan
岩本 晃弘 (aki)
I'm a writer living in rural Japan who loves travel and food
A Beginner's Guide to Building a Campfire! Useful Camping Equipment and Tips for Beginner Campers!
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