Tag Archives: campfires

Starting Campfires Safely, Without Starting a Wildland Fire


Don’t be responsible for one of these

Every summer we see major wildland fires that are started by campers.  Often these are people from the city with no experience in the backcountry.  They set up a ring of rocks like those that they see in the movies and light a campfire and let it burn out.  In the morning, they leave thinking the fire is extinguished.

The problem is that they don’t understand what duff is.  Duff is the layer of decomposing organic materials lying below the litter layer of freshly fallen twigs, needles, and leaves and immediately above the mineral soil. …

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Campfires and Fire Safety after TEOTWAWKI

There are several simple rules that you need to follow in building a campfire.

Never build a campfire on forest liter or duff, this is plant debris such as pine needles and other decomposing plant remains on the forest floor.  Look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.  Beware of low-hanging branches overhead.

Clear the ground of all flammable materials from an area at least 5 to 10 feet.  Scrape right down until you have bare earth.  Dig a shallow pit and start the fire in the pit.

If possible, build a ring of rocks around your fire. …

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