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The Basics - What to Know

Transcription of the video: Learn to Start a Campfire

Hello! Bonjour! One of the best ways to spend an evening in the campground is by the campfire.
This video will guide you on how to safely light and enjoy a campfire.

Before you can start your campfire, you’ll need: some paper to get the fire started, kindling – or small pieces of wood that ignite easily, medium sized pieces of wood, larger pieces of wood, and finally make sure you have water nearby to extinguish the fire.

Remember; only light a fire in designated fire pits or the metal fireboxes provided. To start, crumple some pieces of paper into loose balls. Newspaper works best. Next pile small pieces of wood around the paper balls to form a “tepee”. Light the paper in different places around the base and wait for the wood to ignite. Once the wood ignites, blow on the fire to feed it oxygen and help it grow. Add more wood as the fire catches. Start with smaller pieces and gradually add larger pieces until your fire is going. Don’t add too much wood too fast. Fire needs oxygen to burn and adding too much too fast might smother it and put it out.

Once the fire is going sit back and enjoy! Remember to tend to your fire by adding more wood from time to time but be sure to keep your fire small and under control. Never leave your fire unattended. Before you go to bed for the night, or any time you leave your campsite, douse the fire with water and make sure it is out.

Only use designated firewood. In most national parks, it is illegal to collect and burn wood from the forest. Deadwood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals, and it adds organic matter to the soil. Each campground may have additional regulations regarding campfires. It is your responsibility to know and follow them. If you are unsure, just ask our friendly park staff.

For more information on campfires and other camping skills, please visit the “learn to camp” section of our Website, found under “planning your visit”. 

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