How to Build a Campfire Easily and Safely? (12 Steps)

Do you want to learn how to build a campfire the right way? Then pay attention: So today I am going to take you by the hand and show you how to build campfire the right way step-by-step.

If you are thinking of having a party on the beach or going camping, it is essential that you learn to make a fire. Remember that before starting a fire you must make sure that the area can be set on fire and that it does not endanger any person, such as the flora and fauna of the place. If necessary, ask for permission.

Learn the techniques on how to build a campfire well and you can make fire easily.

Campfire: Choose and Prepare the Place

First of all, it is important to check the local fire legislation. Many cities have safety rules that prohibit them in urban centers and other regions considered to be at risk.

Once the practice is released, the ideal point to establish the fire is over a very flat and dry area. Calculate a minimum of three meters away from trees, roots, tents, dry leaves and branches.

Still, clean about 80 inches in diameter.

Preferably dig a few centimeters of soil to help control the fire that will be lit. If you find underground roots, find another place to make the fire. They can help spread the flames beyond your control.

Place stones around the dug part, forming a circle. This will isolate the fire. These stones must be very dry. Any moisture, including internal humidity, can crack the rock and shoot splinters, hitting people.

How to start your campfire perfectly:

Getting an appropriate location is a vital fire building ethics. Therefore, the following are the minimum guidelines and standards which you need to know before getting to know how to build a campfire.

What does a fire need?

All that is needed by fire to get going is fuel, heat, and oxygen.

Heat – This usually is what starts a fire, and there is a broad range of heat sources ranging from concentrated sun rays, sparks, an external flame source, for instance, a lighter and match to straight-up extreme heat.

Fuel – To properly start a fire, any flammable substance will work correctly. Furthermore, the moisture level of the fuel you opt for determines the intensity at which the fire burns as well as the fire quality. So, for your camping needs, firewood will be ideal.

Oxygen – Fire usually is a chemical process that is enabled to occur by the presence of oxygen. So, to keep your fire going, you will need airflow.

Do not leave any trace

Once you extinguish your fire, you should not leave any evidence, and this usually is a trait of the best fire. Whereas in some capacities this might be more challenging than others, it is the objective of all the campfires as well as crucial to point out for learning how you should build a campfire. see our recent article > How to leave without a trace

Make use of present fire pits

You should make use of the provided campfire ring. However, if you are participating in dispersed camping, you need to search for fire pits and campsites which already exist. It is a responsible and safe technique to make use of plus depending on who you are talking to, and it is something quite cool of you to do.

Get permission to burn

Before you even start the fire in the first place, you must ensure you have the permission to do so from the relevant authority. Moreover, it is critical you adhere to every fire instruction you are given to prevent endangering anything or anyone. It is because fire safety is a fundamental aspect which is observed when learning how to build a campfire.

2. Collect firewood for a campfire

To successfully burn a fire you will require three kinds of fuel that are, kindling, tinder, and firewood.

Tinder – These commonly include dry leaves, small twigs, forest duff, and needles.
Kindling – It comprises small sticks which are usually less than one inch.
Firewood – It is a bigger piece of wood, and that will typically keep the fire burning throughout the night.


When you are in these locations, you must only make use of local firewood and stores that are located nearby stock this firewood. Also, in some cases, campground hosts provide you kindling or bundles of firewood all for sale.

If you are planning to travel more than 50 miles away, you should not bring with you any wood. Sometimes, campgrounds may even ban you from carrying your personal wood irrespective of the distance you intend to travel in a bid to prevent the introduction of some troublesome insects into the forest’s ecosystem.

Therefore, you should always contact the local ranger or campground office in advance to be provided with all the crucial advice and information before you set out camping. Read our guide > how to find the perfect camp place


In these areas, as you search for firewood, you should only collect wood that been downed far from your campsite. So, you must never break off the branches of both dead and standing trees as well as cutting live trees.

Furthermore, you should not burn or gather pieces that are thicker than the wrist of an adult. It is because these thick chunks of wood are seldom let to burn off completely and are commonly left behind as blackened and ugly scraps.

Lastly, when you are gathering wood, you need to observe the Leave No Trace principle.

How to build 5 different types of campfire

Knowing what type of fire you need to build is the next question that pops up once you have the necessary tools, wood, and tinder to start the fire plus are fully prepared.

Therefore, discussed below are some of the frequently used campfire setups. Additionally, each of the configurations has its pros and cons to assist you in making an informed decision as to which structure will best address your needs.

1) How to learn Tipi fire setup

If you are looking to become proficient at building fires, it is advisable to master the art of the tips. This fire structure was highly praised by Wes Siler due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Additionally, their structure is comparable to that of teepee tents.

  • They are efficient since they offer you a tremendous amount of light and heat.
  • Building the tipi is a simple plus can be grown by you continuously putting thicker and thicker pieces of wood over the base structure.
  • It is the most effective and most fire building method you should use to start any fire.
  • Usually, the tipi structure is susceptible to collapse particularly in windy conditions.
  • If you are a novice, it will take you longer to add fresh wood without subsequently causing the fire to suffocate.
How to build the Tipi:
  • Place your tinder either on the ground or on a piece of bark.
  • Acquire some bigger kindling and insert one end in the ground. Consequently, make use of four to five pieces to create a teepee over the kindling.
  • Carry on adding tiny bits of kindling to the structure, nonetheless, ensure you leave the tinder within open access to light.
  • While the fire is burning, add extra kindling and place bigger logs on the coals whenever it starts to collapse.

2) How to learn-to fire setup

A lean-to fire offers you with the solution to one of the main drawbacks of the tipi, and that is vulnerable to poor weather conditions while still being simple to build.

  • You stand an excellent chance to have the fire still going even in rainy or windy conditions.
  • It has a stable structure and simple to construct.
  • In comparison to other fires, this fire does not burn as intensely as you may wish plus it can take longer to construct.
  • You will need to have a good understanding of the wind directions since this fire building style does not have an excellent flow of air.
How to build the lean-to fire:
  • In your campfire ring, put a big log, and consequently beneath it place some tinder.
  • Above the tinder, thin pieces of kindling as well as on the wood.
  • When the fire is burning, you need to continue adding pieces of tinder that are leaning on the log for fuel.

3) How to build a campfire with Log Cabin fire

The log cabin fire, also known as the crisis crossfire, It is essentially a criss-cross build of small to medium-sized wood that either can burn down to create a quick-cooking fire from boiling/frying on the flams or basic cooking on the coals.

  • It looks lovely and convenient to use in multiple conditions.
  • It is best for mixing numerous kinds of firewood and offers you a superb airflow.
  • Ordinarily, log cabins burn steadily thus do not necessitate plenty of maintenance. Subsequently freeing you up to enjoy the warmth or carry on doing your chores.
  • It takes a considerable duration to construct this fire.
  • If too many circular logs are used, the log cabin fire can become unstable, and this might roll off the flame.
  • Also, it is resource-heavy, so you will use plenty of wood to burn this fire to the ground.
How to build the Log Cabin:
  • At the center of the fire pit, put your tinder.
  • Place your biggest kindling approximately two feet apart and parallel to each other while facing east to west. Also, place the other two pieces of the kindling of equivalent sizes on the ends of these pieces running from north to south.
  • Keep on building the log cabin till you reach a minimum height of 6”.
  • Afterward, light the tinder as you watch it go up, and when it starts collapsing, you can add a bigger kindling and successively firewood to the structure.

4) How to learn Platform fire setup

These fires are comparable in structure to the log cabin fires with the primary difference being that the kindling tipi is put above the fire instead of underneath it. Thus, as the tipi is burning, the heat and flames find their way down to create a bed of hot coals below which you can use for cooking.

  • It is perfect for cooking. Additionally, once this fire is wholly blazing, it can burn for an extended duration.
  • Getting the fire going in this structure can be pretty tricky. Furthermore, the kindling that is visible could fall victim to either heavy rain or winds.
  • It takes a considerable amount of time before it starts showing any sign it is burning, typically about thirty minutes.
How to Build a Platform fire:
  • Put the biggest firewood on the ground with a small space between each log. Interchange the layers when placing them, that is, some going north to south whereas others are going east to west.
  • Put your kindling in the structure’s middle-tier plus the tinder at the top.
  • Subsequently, light the fuel and let the hot embers to fall to the bigger logs beneath. Nonetheless, this might take a while hence necessitating extra kindling and fuel or a few additional tries.
  • Once it starts roaring, the fire might last as long as seven hours.

5. How to learn the Star campfire setup

It possibly is the most stylish fire set hence why it usually is the Wild’s go-to image for a campfire set up. The tipi kindling stricture is engulfed by logs that are pointing outwards, and this setup is excellent for both small and large fire pit.

To ensure a higher endurance and for shelter, you need to place start in the ground in a circular indent.

  • The star makes use of very little wood to work effectively.
  • It necessitates very little maintenance; thus why it frequently burns all night unattended.
  • The star takes a considerable amount of time to get going.
  • It is not a roaring fire, with “minimalist” the best description of the start campfire.
How to build the Star:
  • At the center of your fire pit, put some fuel. Consequently, layout massive pieces of firewood radiating from this center point as usually seen on the face of a compass.
  • Add extra kindling over the fuel and then light it.
  • Keep feeding the fire till the radiating logs begin to burn.
  • Lastly, you can either push the woods towards the center of the fire to burn more fuel or leave them alone to continue burning slowly.

Learn More: how to make camping with your dog.

Light the campfire

Before lighting your fire, prepare a control plan in case the fire gets out of control: leave two large buckets of water ready nearby.

Using a lighter or match, kindle the fuel, and making use of a starter that is designed to burn quickly can assist the tinder in catching the flare. Ensure that you carry with you a fire starter and waterproof matches, with fire-making things seen as among the vital essentials.

After you light the fuel, gently blow at the base of the fire to deliver oxygen which is useful in increasing the strength of the flame, subsequently burning the wood.

While the fire is burning, you should move the embers towards the center to ensure they burn totally. Preferably, you need to reduce the residues to white ash.

Safety and overall guidelines of how to build a campfire

Safety and overall guidelines are important of how to build a campfire. When you are building a campfire, it is vital you consider your environment because after all, you are enjoying nature. Therefore doing anything which would lead to its destruction would somewhat be counterproductive.

Moreover, you need first to know if fires are permitted in the area where you intend to set up your campfire. If you are unsure about this, you should contact the appropriate local administrator to know whether or not setting up campfires is permitted.

Consequently, if the region where you are located allows fires, you need to build one under the local guidelines. Usually, campgrounds have chosen fireplaces, grills, or rings where you can put up fires.

Additionally, when you are in the wild, make use of the site where a previous fire had been set up since this will ensure the rest of the locale remains unscathed and intact.

Before you start a fire, you need first to evaluate the weather as well as the surroundings. So, when you are in a region that is dry and woody, it is prudent to ensure you keep your fire small if indeed it is necessary if not, skip it altogether. It is because errant ash might consequently result in a wildfire.

Likewise, embers are easily carried by winds, so if the region you intend to camp is windy and dry, it might be wise to do without fire to circumvent any possibility a wildfire.

Anyhow, get out there and enjoy the elemental glow fire offers you while strictly following all these safety guidelines to guarantee your safety and that of everyone you are out with camping.

Put out the campfire

To extinguish the campfires, you need to pour water on them, stir the ashes, and then apply some more water. Repeat this process as frequently as possible to guarantee that not even a single ember keeps on burning as this might lead to a wildfire when it gets blown away by the wind even when you are long gone.

Therefore, before you depart; the ashes need to be cool to the touch, and you should meticulously confirm that both the fire and residues are out before leaving. After that, you can now confidently depart the campfire unattended. Here you will find out full details about how to put out campfire right way

Clean the campfire site

For all the trash materials which can be wholly consumed by fire and subsequently turned to ash, you need to burn them before leaving the campsite. You must not try to burn foil, cans, or plastic, however, if you do so, wait for the fire to die down and then place the materials in a trash receptacle or pack it out.

You should pack out any trash present in your pit whenever you are in the backcountry. Extract any pieces of charcoal that are left inside your ring and then carry them far away from your campsite. Additionally, crush the chunks and follow this up by scattering the dust as well as remnants throughout a broad space. Finally, disassemble any structure that you might have constructed.


Therefore, having gone through the article, you now are well informed on how to build a campfire. Consequently, you can now focus on fully immersing yourself into enjoying the camping experience with the campfire useful in cooking and providing you with the much-needed warmth.

Tell us what you think about these guides “how to build a campfire” by dropping your comment in the comments section below!

Leave a Comment