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Camp 101: What You Need for a Safe and Fun Campfire

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Hey, Fiery Personalities!

Bonfires are a summer camp tradition. They’re perfect for staying warm while you tell ghost stories or for toasting marshmallows and making s’mores. Campfires are an important part of the summer camp experience, but having fun should also mean staying safe. Whether you’re a novice camper or a seasoned counselor, it’s important to know what you need to have a safe and fun campfire experience and to plan ahead before you light the logs.

1.) A suitable location.
Fire safety 101 starts with finding a suitable location for your campfire. Look for a spot that’s far enough away from trees, dry grass, and other materials that could easily catch on fire. It should be flat and have plenty of room around it for seating. A store-bought raised fire pit works well, but a ring made out of rocks or bricks will also get the job done. If your campfire location is overgrown with grass or weeds, you may need to do a little clearing before you have your first bonfire.

2.) Plenty of dry wood.
Dry wood catches fire easily and won’t require the use of an accelerant. It is by far the safest fuel source for your campfire and should be your go-to option. Never use gasoline or lighter fluid on a campfire as these can cause sudden and large flames that can be dangerous. You can purchase dry wood or you can split your own from fallen trees. Keep in mind that seasoned wood will burn cleaner and longer than unseasoned wood and will pop much less.

3.) Seating located a safe distance from the fire.
There’s nothing better than sitting around a campfire after the sun goes down in the summer. Of course, that requires seating. When placing chairs or benches, make sure they’re a safe distance from the fire to avoid overheating or burns caused by stray embers. In general, chairs should be no closer than 5 feet to a small campfire. The larger the fire, the farther away the chairs should be.

Having a safe and fun campfire doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Generally, common sense and some good, dry wood is all you need to make sure your campers have the best campfire experience possible. When it comes to campfires, staying safe and having fun should always go hand-in-hand. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John


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