Even when you camp in travel trailers or motor homes, you may want to enjoy a good campfire. Building a campfire is not too difficult if you know the basics. You can use a couple methods to get a campfire started, including burning trash. Before you start, be sure you know the rules of building campfires for your location. Many sites do not allow campfires if there is no campfire ring, if it is windy or if the area is in a dry spell.
If there is no campfire ring or fireplace, you will need to build one – use rocks that are lying around to build a ring at least 6 inches high. You could also build a three-sided fireplace. The flatter the rocks the easier it is to build; plus you have a place to set your drinks or put your feet up if the rocks are flat and make a shelf at the top of the ring.
Gather the materials needed to start a campfire. If you don’t have trash to use, you will need dried grass, small twigs and kindling to get the fire started. Pile the trash or grass and small twigs in the center of the campfire ring.
Lean the kindling or small branches over the top, making a teepee. Light the grass or trash. Once the fire starts burning, add more kindling.
Once the kindling catches fire, add small branches, no more than 2 inches in diameter. If the wood is dry, you can add wood that is a little larger, but for green wood and wet wood fires, you need to start small and get the fire hot so the larger pieces will dry and burn.
Once you have a good fire going with the smaller stuff, you can start adding larger stuff. Lay it over the fire, ensuring that you don’t squash out the flames. Crisscross the wood so that the fire has plenty of air.
Keeping it Going
If the wood is wet or green – green wood is fresh fallen or chopped wood that hasn’t had time to dry out properly – it is going to be difficult keeping the fire going until heat builds up and the water and/or sap evaporates. You can add a layer of larger wood, then pile twigs and small branches on top of the green wood or wet wood. Even though wet wood is just wet from rain and/or snow, it won’t burn as easily as green wood. You may have to continue making layers of wood and branches so the heat stays consistent enough to dry the larger wood chunks.
Once the fire is going, you should be able to continue adding wood until you are tired of sitting out by the fire.
Be sure to douse the fire with sand or water before you go inside. Never leave a burning fire unattended. Make sure there are no hot coals left when you go inside your travel trailer or motor home as the fire could rekindle itself.