As the weather cools there is nothing better than camping and the highlight of every camping trip is the campfire. Staying warm and toasty around a fire roasting marshmallows, s’mores, popcorn, and so much more. This makes for the most wonderful memories.
While a campfire is an essential part of every camping experience, safety takes the highest priority. What can you do to stay safe around your campfire?
Follow these simple tips before, during, and after a campfire:
Look around. When scouting out a spot for your campfire, make sure there are no low-hanging branches, brush, or bushes nearby. This also applies to designated fire pits at most campgrounds – it’s always a good idea to double-check. Be sure to keep an 8 to 10 foot radius around your campfire clear of anything (e.g. trash, tents, chairs, etc.)
Make it safe. The most ideal spot is a designated fire pit. Most campgrounds have these available on each campsite and they are often well maintained. However, depending on who was previously at your site, you may need to do some cleanup before lighting your first fire.
Remove any debris left behind. Ensure there is a 5 foot perimeter of soil around the site.
If there isn’t a metal ring, use stones to form a circle. This will help keep your fire contained.
Keep any flammable items away (e.g. aerosol containers, fire extinguishers, etc.)
Control the fire. Unexpected wind gusts or larger pieces of wood can increase the size of your fire pretty quickly. Have enough water or soil and a shovel nearby to help reduce flames or put the fire out completely. Being able to control the fire is just as crucial as putting the fire out.
Don’t walk away. Fun with friends and family makes it easy to be distracted. If you have to leave the campsite, make sure at least one other person has been designated to watch and maintain the fire. Keep an eye on any children or pets nearby.
Extinguish before bed. It’s the end of the night and everyone’s tired. Before you get too tired, be sure to put the fire out. Use a good amount of water or shovelfuls of dirt and completely douse the fire. Stir the embers to make sure it’s out. They should be cold.
Camping can be one of the best and most enjoyable adventures ever. Each trip has it’s own unique experiences. Make sure you follow these simple steps each time you camp to stay safe and happy every time!
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