Campfire Safety Tips

CampfireA campfire is a practical part of camping. It helps light our campsite up at night, boils water and cooks our food. Not only that, it's fun to gather around and tell chilling ghost stories late at night. Unfortunately, it is one of the most dangerous elements of any campsite. Our guide to campfire safety will help you keep the fire in the fire ring and prevent spreading.

  • Learn how to safely start a fire. Never use flammable liquids to ignite or keep your fire burning. This means, avoid gasoline, diesel fuel, lighter fluid and other dangerous fuels.
  • You can ignite your campfire with a lighter, matches, or a magnifying glass.
  • Only start a campfire in a fire pit or fire ring that is made of solid construction.
  • Start with small twigs and gradually add larger sticks. Be careful not to plop larger pieces of wood into the fire, sending burning ashes and sparks into the air.
  • Avoid starting a fire underneath low-hanging branches or shrubbery. Fires can often flame higher then you anticipate.
  • Don't make your campfire too large. Use only the minimal amount of wood to keep it going. This reduces the chance of spreading the fire and makes it easier to put out later on.
  • Don't stack spare firewood too close. If you've recently gathered some, store it upwind so that sparks don't fly into your pile.
  • Don't allow children and pets near the campfire and never leave them unsupervised.
  • Teach kids how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. Have a fire extinguisher hands for emergencies.
  • Keep your fire away from anything flammable, such as dry grass, tents, paper plates and napkins, and camping gear.
  • Be aware that hot embers can re-ignite the fire if strong winds are blowing. Shuffle the fire and make sure it's our before retiring.
  • Always have on hand things to put out your fire such as water, a shovel, and a fire extinguisher and make sure your fire is completely out before leaving it unattended.
“A great many people, and more all the time, live their entire lives without ever once sleeping out under the stars.” - Alan S. Kesselheim