Have you ever been RV camping and were looking forward to a nice campfire under the stars only to be disappointed by not being able to build a fire at all? To help you make sure this letdown doesn’t happen again, below we have put together a simple list of the best ways to help you build a better fire:

Safety first: 

Never build a fire near trees, bushes, dry grassy areas, or piles of trash that could catch fire from a spark of the campfire, and be sure that the campsite you’re staying at allows for fires. The fire pit should have at least a 10-foot perimeter around it where everything is stripped away down to the dirt, so there is nothing to catch should a spark fly out of the pit. Never leave a fire unattended or build a fire when it is windy!

Campfire building materials:

  • Matches
  • Tinder- small, thin and dry bundle of twigs, sticks, grass used to start the fire.
  • Kindling-larger than tinder though still small pieces of wood splinters which will catch fire from the tinder, also needs to be dry.
  • Main logs, fuelwood-wood a few inches in diameter which you feed into the fire to keep it going; be sure to store logs upwind and away from your fire.
  • Water and shovel-always to be kept nearby.

Tips for building a better campfire:

  • If not one at the campsite already, build a fire pit by digging a small hole and surrounding that hole with a ring of rocks, making the pit anywhere from 6-12’’ deep. The sides should angle out like a bowl, with a flat bottom at the pit.
  • Set the tinder bundle in the center of the pit in a way so as to allow air to pass through the tinder. You might need to feed more tinder after you spark the first flame.
  • Stack the kindling on top of the tinder in a traditional teepee design, making sure to leave a small section for the match to be able to reach the tinder.
  • The teepee structure can be built as large as you would like, depending on the style of fire you want to produce. You can gradually increase the size of the teepee with larger and larger sticks as well, or you can create a square shape around the kindling teepee with your logs as another option.
  • Light the tinder pile with your match in a few different places and as the fire grows you can gradually add larger logs.

Always remember to safely and thoroughly put out your campfire before leaving the area and making absolutely sure that the fire is completely put out and cold to the touch.