Starting a fire can be difficult. That’s why there are so many tools designed to help you get your fire started and keep it going.
It’ll be easier for you to start a fire if you know which type of campfire you should build to suit the conditions you’re in.
If you’re struggling to start your fire because of wind, water, or even if you don’t know how to build campfires very well (or at all) yet…this post is for you.
There are several types of campfires you can make, but you really only need to know these five.
The lean-to fire is an easy campfire to build. Plus, it’s great for when you’re trying to start a fire on a windy day.
In this campfire, the large fuel log acts as a windshield for the tinder and kindling you’re trying to ignite.
Place a fuel log on the ground where you want your fire to be, and put your tinder alongside of it on the opposite side of where the wind is blowing from.
Now prop up small twigs of kindling against the fuel log. This kindling should have one end resting on the fuel log and one end resting on the ground with the tinder underneath it.
Now place larger sticks of kindling on top of the smaller ones. You’re all set. Now just light the tinder.
The heat from the tinder will ignite the small kindling over the top of it and gradually grow your fire. The fuel log will protect your tinder from the wind while it’s growing.
Log Cabin Campfire
The log cabin campfire takes a bit more effort to set up, but it’s easier to ignite because it allows for increased airflow.
Place your tinder on the ground where you want your campfire to be, and then start stacking sticks around it to create four walls.
When the sticks get to the same height as the tinder, lay small twigs across the opening above the tinder to use as kindling.
Stack more kindling on top and continue building the walls of the log cabin with sticks.
You might have trouble lighting the tinder while it’s under the log cabin structure. In that case, dig a medium sized hole under one side of the log cabin so you can reach your hands in.
The star campfire is a good choice when you don’t have a way to cut the fuel logs down to size. Rather than waste fuel logs by throwing too much on the fire, use the star campfire to gradually feed it.
Arrange your fuel logs so that they all point together at the center like the spokes of a wheel. Make sure to leave a small opening in the center so there’s enough room to put your tinder and kindling.
The fuel logs will shield your tinder from the wind a little bit, but not as much as the lean-to campfire.
When you need to feed the fire, simply go around the campfire and push the logs inward with your foot.
The teepee campfire is the most basic campfire that everyone is familiar with. It’s a good campfire to build under normal conditions and can be thrown together in a hurry.
Lean several sticks against each other so they form a cone shape and hold each other up. Push the ends of the sticks into the ground if you need extra stability.
Continue forming the cone shape with kindling. Leave a small opening on one side so you can insert your tinder.
Now simply ignite your tinder and insert it into the teepee structure. The heat from the tinder will rise upwards and ignite the rest of the kindling and eventually ignite the larger sticks.
Swedish Log Stove
The Swedish log stove is a unique type of campfire because it can be tied together and transported whole, and it’s also the only campfire that works while sitting in water.
First, gather several fuel logs of the same length, kindling, tinder, and a long flexible branch or strong plant stem.
Gather your kindling together and then surround it with the fuel logs. Tie everything together with the long flexible branch or durable plant stem.
Now ignite your tinder and put it into the middle of the Swedish log stove so it catches the kindling on fire.
This is great for when the ground is wet because the fire starts at the top and stays elevated off the ground by the fuel logs. And because it’s all tied together, you can move the whole thing at once.
If your fuel logs are around the same length, you can even use the Swedish log stove to set pots and pans on, which is perfect for cooking a delicious meal outdoors.
If you know of any further tricks to building these campfires, or if there are other types of campfires that you think deserve to be mentioned, please share your comments below!