Camping is a great opportunity to connect with nature and have fun in the great outdoors. Of course camping is just not the same without having a good campfire to warm the night air. While the benefits of a campfire are numerous, the consequences of poor safety precautions could be devastating. The good news is that avoiding a potential wildfire is relatively easy. A few simple safety measures will help ensure that one’s camping experience stays positive and forest preserved for future campers, here are some simple campfire safety tips.
Follow all rules
There are regulations and rules in place for a reason and knowing them is important. Some areas may not allow for fire pits, while others may have a burn ban in effect. Knowing these rules will make the experience more enjoyable and limit potential problems with local authorities. There are times where public and private lands border each other and that could lead to conflicting rules and regulations.
Often some camp sites will already have fire rings and pits in place. If not be very mindful of where the fire is being built. Give yourself at least 15 feet of clearing between the fire site and tents, shrub, grass, or other potential fire fuel. Look above as well, a fire will leap into the air and low hanging branches make a potential hazard. If there are no pits in place dig a pit for the fire. This will reduce the amount of ember’s that will blow around. A fire pit is vital for controlling a camp fire.
Using flammable liquids like gasoline to light a campfire is never a good idea. The risk of the fire leaving the pit or containment area is not worth the risk. There will be plenty of material around the area that can be used to start a fire. Sure it may not start as quickly, but the risk for the fire leaving the pit is greatly reduced. Burning rubbish in many areas is forbidden. Instead gather all your rubbish and place it in appropriate receptacles.
Before going into the outdoors it is critical to know the forecast. Avoid burning in high winds as embers from the fire could spread into dry brush and grass. All it takes is one spark to create a firestorm. Understanding weather conditions also gives the campfire a good idea of what the fuel conditions on the ground will be like. The biggest risk with the weather will be hot, dry, and windy conditions as this is a recipe for a rapid moving wildfire.
Attend to the fire
All camp fires should be attended at all times. Although it may seem harmless to leave a fire unattended, in reality conditions can rapidly change. Fires that are attended are far less likely to get out of control. A campfire that is managed and kept only as big as needed is easier to control. There is no need for a massive fire especially if conditions pose a risk for it.
Extinguish the fire
Once the fire is no longer needed make sure the fire is completely out. The best way is to mix water and sand over the fire to snuff out any hot embers that could remain. Stirring fires while dousing with water will create a muddy mix ensuring that the fire is out.
Camping is a very enjoyable experience and fires add to the fun. Just remember that campers have a responsibility to ensure that they are being safe and preserving wild lands for future use. A few safety precautions early on prevents and eliminates most dangers associated with campfires.
Looking for more hints and tips, heres 20 things you must bring on your next camping trip, or if you have never camped before how about tips for first time going camping.