Campfire Safety with Klymit
Best fire practices while camping
Campfires are one of the first things you think of when camping. The warmth it gives on cold nights under the stars. The flickering orange light that illuminates the campsite. The smoky smell that lingers on clothes while unpacking from your latest trip.
Campfires are truly the heart of any camping experience, however, it’s important to maintain a strict safety code to prevent wildfires and possible injury.
Let’s learn some campfire safety for your next trip outdoors:
Research the Regulations
Before heading out with your matches and firewood, it’s important to learn the regulations for building fires. Different locations have different rules at different times, so make sure to be knowledgeable about any fire restrictions or bans when researching campsites.
Use a Pit
Established campsites will have fire pits or rings, which is the only acceptable place to build your fire. In remote or primitive campsites where campfires are permitted but no ring is present, dig a pit in an open area away from hazards. Line the pit with a ring of rocks to help contain the campfire, and make sure to have a 10 foot clearance around the fire pit.
Start Small and Safe
When building the campfire, start with smaller items and work up towards larger logs. Begin with dry leaves and grass. Next, add small twigs and sticks, and as the fire grows, add thicker sticks and logs to build up the fire. Note that roaring fires are harder to control, so keep your fire small and manageable.
The Perfect Match
The best and safest way to start a fire is with matches. Lighters, lighting fluids, and other flammable liquids can be dangerous, so pack matches instead. After starting this fire, dunk the match in water to completely douse the flame before discarding in the trash.
Pickup Local Firewood
Picking up local firewood helps stop the spread of non-native insects. Grab firewood at the closest gas station or campground in order to help protect the environment from diseases and other detrimental microscopic hazards.
Keep Water Within Reach
To safely monitor a campfire, it is important to always have water handy. In addition to water, a shovel can also be used to cast dirt onto the fire if necessary. Take safety precautions one step further and dampen the area around the fire pit to prevent rogue sparks from growing.
Mind the Wind
High winds can be a hazard when maintaining a campfire. Keep any flammable objects, including new firewood, at least 15 feet away from the fire in case of a sudden burst of wind. If the wind gets out of control, have the proper judgment to extinguish the fire before it turns into a wildfire.
Consider Kid and Pet Safety
Burns and other fire-related injuries are preventable if the proper precautions are taken. Watch children and pets around the fire, and take the time to teach kids about the dangers of campfires. Never run or play around the fire, and don’t forget to advise children about the stop, drop, and roll method in the case of an emergency
Extinguish Every Time
The most important rule for campfire safety is to thoroughly extinguish the fire. Douse the pit with water, stir the coals, and then dump more water to effectively put out the fire. When you leave, the remnants should be cold and there should be no sign of burning embers or smoke.
Now that you’re ready to prep the perfect fire, grab your Klymit gear, head outside, and stay warm!