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10 Tips For A Safe Campfire
1. Wind -- Did we say Wind? Talking to a local campsite in the state of NH, they fear this the most.
If it is over 10MPH, be careful.
2. Water - Meaning if you need to put this campfire out, where is your nearest water source?
A pale of water from the lake or river is key to have within a couple of feet of the fire.
3. Fuel - Never use gas, lantern fuel, K1, Kerosene etc. You are just asking for trouble. The risk is
that the fire flares up so fast after lighting it, you will get burned, it is like a flash and that fast.
4. Kids - The kids that get into trouble around a campfire, are the ones that are seeing it for
the first time. You need to show your kids the power of fire very early in life and often. Please!
This is huge here folks, keep kids away from the fire, unless you are there!!!
5. Alcohol - Ahhh the best part of the campfire, glass of wine, beer, scotch, feet up, time to relax,
just don't relax too much, you need to tend that fire.
6. Cooking Food - Again one of the best parts of a campfire. Try not to cook over a big flame, it
is a lot harder to control the heat you need for the food. Think of being able to move the grill
or grate you are using to cook on. You will need to raise and lower or swing away from the fire
so things don't burn.
7. Seating - You just have to find "your" favorite chair, rock, log bench etc. Has to be sturdy
so it will not tip into the fire etc. Also when you put your feet up, check to make sure
the soles of your shoes are not melting. You will not feel them melting - (lost a great pair of
New Balance running shoes this way.)
8. Tending the Fire - You will need to poke, move, re-arrange your fire. Again one of the best
parts. Using a stick that is sturdy usually works, then there are all kinds of options here. Just
make one end noticeably different then the other. This way you will not grab the wrong end.
9. Wood - Dry wood is a must. Even if it is 2 x 4 or old plywood etc, it should be dry. Seasoned
wood, meaning split wood 18" long stored in a dry area for 12-16 months. In the New England
area it is tough sometimes to really know exactly how long wood has been "seasoned". If the
majority of the wood has grayed over on the ends, it is most likely pretty dry. If you are buying
wood from somebody or even someone that has been selling wood for years, the best advice is to
find a person that has used this dealer. Nothing worse than to have a fire that is hissing and smoking
at you due to wet wood - that person will be sure to tell you how dry the wood was when he sold it
to you. Trust me!!
10. Lighting/Animals- Don't have the bond fire throwing off all the light you need? Flashlights,
LED Flashlights or lanterns. These come in real handy as the fire goes down, the flame goes away
and that is when unwanted guests - bears, coyote's, etc. may make their way to your area.
Flashing it directly in their direction can save your life. Also good to have for general use when
you put your fire out before you go to bed - this will help you to get back to the cabin or tent.