From chilly to chilled out – how to build a brilliant campfire

August is meant to be sunny and hot. In our minds, anyway.

In reality, when you’re sitting in a dodgy fabric chair in the middle of a field, gazing up at the stars, it becomes obvious that warm-in-the-day can mean not-so-hot at at night.

And who doesn’t love a great campfire anyway? Can’t have melty marshmallows on scavenged sticks without one!*

But wanting a fire, and having a fire are two different things. If you don’t know how to get it going chances are you may end up with a cold bottom and marshmallows of the standard kind.

So here’s how to get a great fire going:

1. Gather all the gear:

  • a firepit or bucket (or wheel rim, in our case); or stones to lay around the edge of a spot to mark out your fire.
  • little sticks, or newpaper rolled into long tubes and then tied in a knot. Make sure it’s dry. Alternatively you could use some form of firelighter. We tried the Zippo campfire starter puck last time we were camping and I was very impressed – it lit with no trouble using our Zippo Flexible Neck Utility Lighter (to make sure I didn’t burn my fingers) and within minutes the kindling and the logs were burning fiercely. Plus, being made of compressed cedar sawdust it didn’t have that chemically smell that a lot of firelighters have, just a lovely natural woodfire aroma.
  • Larger kindling sticks (again, dry)
  • Bigger logs of wood.
  • something to light it with (see second bullet point, above!).

zippo 62. Arrange the firelighter, newspaper knots or little twigs in a pile at the bottom, leaving one or two bits aside.

3. Pile the kindling on top laying some widthways and some lengthways until you have a jenga-esque tower three or four inches high.

4. Lay one or two bigger logs on top of that.

go firelighter go!
go firelighter go!

5. Light one of the retained bits of twig or newspaper, and stuff it in at the bottom so that the other sticks or newspaper catch alight. Or alternatively, light your firelighter.

6. Sit back and watch as the flames fly higher!

zippo 8

*Once the large logs have caught and are glowing white hot, you can grab a marshmallow and a stick and start melting 🙂

breck farm 21

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