One of the most enjoyable things about camping is the pops and hisses of a glowing campfire. However, a campfire does come with certain responsibilities. Here are 5 tips for ensuring you have a campfire you can enjoy safely.
1. Check the surroundings
Before starting your fire, check the immediate surroundings. Make sure there are no low-hanging branches or any bushes or bush close to the area you want to make your fire. Ensure that the area is clear of tents, chairs and any other debris or obstructions for at least 3 meters around the fire pit.
2. Ensure your fire pit is safe
Even if a campsite has an existing fire pit, it might not just be ready to start your fire. These few safety measures will help ensure you are ready to get your fire roaring safely:
- Clear the area around the fire pit of debris. Make sure there’s no grass or garbage for about 1.5 meters around the fire pit.
- If the fire pit isn’t encircled, build a circle around the fire pit with rocks. This will ensure your fire stays within the borders of your fire pit, even as your fire grows.
- Keep flammable items far away from the fire. This includes pressurised containers and aerosol cans.
3. Keep water nearby
Always keep water, dirt or a shovel nearby. An added piece of wood or a sudden gust of wind can cause your fire to grow larger than anticipated. Having a way to control the fire is just as important as having a way to put it out.
4. Keep watch over your fire
Always make sure that you keep watch over the fire. It doesn’t matter if you’re camping alone, with friends or enjoying the outdoors with your whole family, have someone always watching the fire. Especially keep an eye on kids or pets that might be sitting or walking close to the fire.
5. Extinguish before bed
When it’s time to turn in for the night, extinguish the fire. Although there are numerous ways to put out a fire, water or dirt are the best options. Stir the embers to ensure that another fire won’t start. The best is if the coals are wet and cold.
If you speak to experienced campers, most of them would agree that camping is incomplete without a campfire. Making sure your campfire is safe, will ensure your camping trip remains an enjoyable and memorable experience.