Building A Campfire The Right Way

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Original post made by Jon Saxon(Verotik) on May 21, 2003

    I know most people have built a campfire before, especially if you fish at night alot in the spring and fall when the night temperatures get down in the 50's, but after observing some people trying to build fires over the past few years, i realize that some might need some help. First of all, leave the charcoal lighter fluid, gas, kerosene, etc at home. You might think your going to get a good fire started this way, but your actually burning the fumes of the fuel and not actually accomplishing much. I say this because i've seen several people try to start fires with gasoline. What most people might not realize is, gasoline itself is not flammable. The fumes released by gasoline evaporating are whats actually flammable.

    First you need to start off with gathering good fire wood. Start out with small sticks. Your gonna need a handful of them to get a fire started the easiest. By small i mean from the diameter of a pencil to the diameter of a dime.

    Then gather some medium sized sticks. I usually grab 10-15 sticks at least an inch or two thick.

    And finally grab some good logs. Sometimes you cant be real selective with the type of wood you find at the lake or river. If you can, if at all possible, avoid Cedar. Cedar burns well when dry, but it smokes ALOT and it stinks pretty bad. It almost always gives me a headache. The best wood, in my opinion, to use for firewood is oak. Oak is a dense hardwood and will burn for a long while. Hickory will also work well. You also dont want your wood to be too green or too dry, but like i said, you cant always be selective.

    To make a good safe fire, build a fire ring out of rocks. Dont use flint rocks! These things get hot and explode. They will throw burning hot shrapnel on you, and leave you covered in blisters. Try to use river rolled rocks such as sandstone. Depending on the size of your fire, build the ring accordingly. 3ft diameter is usually ample enough for keeping warm and campfire cooking.

    After you have your fire ring built, take your small sticks and build a teepee shape out of them by stacking them at a 45 degree angle against each other until you have a pretty dense pyramid, but leave room for starting the fire.

    A small note, fire starter logs come in pretty handy, especially when you realize you dont have much paper. You can use newspaper, cardboard, or leaves, but fire starter logs are much easier, dont leave much ash, and burn a lot longer than the previous mentioned materials.

    You can pick up the fire starter logs at Wal-mart, or probably any outdoors store pretty cheap. They consist of sawdust or cardboard dust glued and pressed together to make a pretty hard substance. They catch fire easily and will burn plenty long enough to get your other wood burning. If you dont want to drop the few dollars for a starter log every weekend, heres a tip on how to make your own.

    Have your wife/girlfriend/your self save the laundry lint from your dryer. When you have a good bit, buy some parafin wax. Melt the wax in a pot. Get some of those pot-pie sized pie tins, muffin pan, or anything you can find to make a mold out of, take some laundry lint and fill the mold 1/3 to 1/2 full, then fill it with the parafin. These will also burn for quite a while.

    Ok, you have your pyramid built. Light a fire starter and put it underneath the pyramid or lean it up against it. The small sticks will catch fire and as they do, and you have a good flame going, start adding your medium sized wood. This shouldnt take real long. Finally your ready to add your regular fire wood. This should have you a fire going that will last all night as long as you keep feeding it every so often. Be sure in the morning or whenever you leave, put your fire out. Dont leave it to smolder, because this is how brush and forrest fires are started and can cause people to lose thier homes or even lifes. There is no room for laziness when it comes to this. Respect nature and it will take care of you.