What Is Open Fire Camping And How To Do It
Open fire camping is a great camping experience for those looking for something unique and exciting. Camping with an open fire allows you to consume less fuel, which can be an important consideration for many campers. An open fire also requires fewer gadgets, such as stoves and lanterns, so it can be ideal for minimalist campers as well. For those looking to reconnect with nature, open fire camping is an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors. In this article we will explore what open fire camping is and how you can do it.
What Is Open Fire Camping?
Open fire camping is a type of camping where you build, use, and manage a traditional campfire to prepare food and for warmth and light. Open fire campfires are distinct from camp stoves and lanterns, which are powered by gas, electricity or battery instead of wood. An open fire is usually built at the campsite and can be used for both cooking meals and providing warmth or light.
The Benefits of Open Fire Camping
Open fire camping offers campers a host of benefits. The following are some of the main advantages of open fire camping:
- No need for additional fuel or gadgets such as lanterns or stoves
- Relaxing in front of the fire can be great stress relief
- Campfires provide a natural source of heat in cooler conditions
- A campfire is great to gather around and for entertaining
- Open fires can help ward off mosquitoes and other insects
- The smell of wood smoke can evoke a feeling of nostalgia
As an experienced camper and father of three kids, I truly understand the value of open fire camping. It helps to create a special ambience that you just don’t get with a camp stove or a lantern. Cooking over the fire also offers an amazing dining experience with smoky flavors that no propane stove can match.
Precautions & Considerations when Open Fire Camping
Before you set up an open fire, you should make sure to follow proper safety protocols. Follow local laws or guidelines, check the fire risk warnings, and if you’re not allowed to light a fire, you might consider finding an alternative. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s OK to light a campfire, here are a few additional precautions to keep in mind:
- Always keep a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water near the fire.
- Keep an eye out for nearby trees or branches that are dry and easily combustible.
- Don’t start a fire on dry grass or other flammable surfaces.
- If the fire escapes your control, don’t attempt to put it out yourself. Call the local fire department for assistance.
In addition, you should be aware of the park’s regulations, such as whether they allow an unsupervised campfire. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for the fire and any damage it might cause.
How To Build An Open Fire
If you’re new to open fire camping, it can be a little intimidating. But don’t worry, with a bit of practice, you’ll be cooking over the open flames in no time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:
- Collect dry wood. Make sure to collect and use only fallen logs and branches, buying wood from a local vendor is also an option.
- Find a safe location. Look for a spot that is relatively flat, open, and far from any nearby trees or combustible objects.
- Prepare the fire pit. Before you start, make sure to clear the area of any debris or flammable material within 10-15 feet.
- Gather the wood. Stack the wood on the fire pit in a tipi pattern and pull back some of the end logs leaving a pocket in the center where you’ll place the tinder.
- Light the fire. Place a bundle of tinder in the center of the fire, light it, and watch carefully until the fire begins to ignite the larger logs.
- Maintain the fire. To keep the fire burning, continuously add new logs to it as needed. Keep branches slightly apart to ensure that air passes through the logs and keeps the fire burning.
- Let the fire burn out. When you’re done, let the fire burn out completely and make sure there are no embers burning. If there are, cover them with dirt and make sure to keep an eye on them until they stop burning.
Open fire camping is an incredibly rewarding experience and can add an extra level of enjoyment to any camping trip. It can also help to foster a greater appreciation of nature and the beauty of the outdoors. With a few simple precautions and a bit of practice, you can enjoy countless nights under the stars with an open fire.