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How To Start A Campfire With Firewood?

Start A Campfire With Firewood

For most people, one of the best aspects of camping is lighting a campfire. Besides keeping you warm in chilly weather, it protects you from wild animals as well. Campfire is like a tradition for outdoor enthusiasts. The correct way is to start by making a small fire and then gradually work your way to build a bigger one. However, your campfire shouldn’t be so big that it becomes harder for you to manage. To build a successful fire there are three types of fuels you can use: tinder, kindling, and firewood.

Types Of Firewood

You are not going to have good results with all firewood, that’s why it’s good to know about the characteristics of different firewood. Although, while camping outdoors, you may not get to pick and choose. You have to work with whatever option is available at that moment.

  • Oak: Oak is the most commonly used firewood. It’s a slow-burning wood but it’s very dense and burns for a long time.
  • Maple: Maple firewood is dense and best for maintaining high flames for longer times.
  • Birch: If you want firewood that burns quickly and also has high heat output, then birch is the one to go for.
  • Ash: It’s the kind of firewood that burns by itself. It produces steady and high flames.
  • Beech: Beech is a dense and heavy wood. It needs to be dry before you use it.

5 Ways To Start A Campfire With Firewood

It takes a lot of work to make the perfect campfire in the woods. Let’s see some of the steps that you can follow to make a solid campfire with firewood.

1. Find Or Make A Fire Pit

The purpose of a fire pit is to contain the fire so that it doesn’t turn into a wildfire. It is highly recommended to build a campfire on an existing fire pit. If your camping site doesn’t have a designated fire pit, then you can build it. You need to be aware of all the rules and regulations of your campsite before lighting a fire.

While building a fire pit, make sure it’s away from any wood, branches, or leaves, they are all flammable materials. The basis of your fire pit should be on sand or bare soil. In case you don’t find any bare soil area, dig until you get it and clean away the forest duff. Put a boundary around that area with rocks and place some sand inside the fire pit. Finally, your fire pit is ready to use.

2. Gather Firewood

Every good campfire starts with some good firewood. Firewood is something that keeps the flame hot and burning. You can look for firewood in your campsite or park area. It’s not wise to bring your firewood all the way to your campsite. The firewoods log doesn’t have to be that big and bulky since it will take longer to burn. Compared to wet firewoods, dry firewoods are easier to ignite, thus try to collect the dry ones.

3. Light The Fire

There are several ways to light a fire in your fire pit. Here, we are going to discuss 3 of the most common ways to lay your fire.

Tepee: Tepee is the most common and easy campfire to build. In the tepee, you don’t need a lot of firewood and it lights easily as well. Start by making a small cone with tinders and kindling and also put some smaller logs around it. To ensure the air gets to the fire and blows it into the kindling, leave a crack in your tepee. Build your tepee to your desired height by adding firewood. Now light a fire under the tinder, it will slowly spread from kindling to firewood. To make it burn for a long time simply put more firewood to the fire.

Log-cabin: If you want to build a bigger fire very fast, you should go with a log cabin. Get some large pieces of firewood logs, and lay them on the fire pit while keeping some space between them. Place some small pieces of logs across the previous sets of firewood, just like a log cabin. To keep the airflow in the middle for kindling, be sure to leave some space. Finish the structure by layering it up with some more logs. Now light it up and after it has burned for some time, gather the coal and add some more firewood.

Upside-down Fire: Upside-down fire is also called a pyramid, it provides a long burning fire. Place some of the large logs on the pit, keeping a very little gap between them. Keep layering over the logs by adding smaller pieces of firewood over them until the structure resembles the pyramid. Put your tinder and kindling on top of the woods and light it up. Once the fire is lit up, you can enjoy your campfire for a long time without adding any more logs to it.

4. Putting Out The Fire

Putting out your campfire is a very crucial and much longer process than you think. Start by sprinkling water into the pit. Many people might make the mistake of pouring all the water at once, but it could flood the pit and someone else might not be able to use it again. While sprinkling water, stir it with a stick to completely wet the ashes. After repeating these for some time, you need to dispose of all the ashes. Pick up the ashes and disperse them around the campsite area.

5. Safety First

You should always be cautious around your surroundings while building a campfire. You should take all the safety measures possible to keep you and your fellow campers safe around the campfire.

  • For starters, you should never leave your campfire unattended.
  • Try to burn your log in small quantities, so it’s easier to manage the fire.
  • Make sure there’s no flammable material near your campfire.
  • Don’t pour any gasoline to enhance your fire.
  • You should not leave the site before completely extinguishing the fire.


To enjoy your camping experience to the fullest, lighting a campfire is a must. Whether you’re an expert or a novice to the camping world, you should learn how to build a campfire and we hope this guide will help you to do so.

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