Have you ever wanted to build a bonfire to enjoy with family and friends? If so, I have the information you need to get started! This week, I've dug up some tips for how to safely build a bright and beautiful bonfire.
Find a Safe Place for Your Bonfire
The first step in the process of building a bonfire is to find a clear, flat area of ground. Make sure there are no buildings, trees, or bushes nearby. You don't want to take any chances of your fire spreading to surrounding structures or vegetation.
Preparing the Area
The next step is to dig a shallow pit for your bonfire. Think about how big you want your bonfire to be as you gauge the diameter of the pit. The average pit is about three feet in diameter. The pit should be wider than the height of your bonfire materials. Finish the prep by using rocks to create a border around your shallow pit.
Collect Your Materials
Dry leaves, wood shavings, and dried bark are all examples of tinder. Tinder burns quickly to get your bonfire started. After gathering a collection of tinder, it's time to find some kindling in the form of thin sticks and branches. Look for sticks and branches that are about the width of a pencil. A solid supply of kindling will keep your bonfire burning brightly. Lastly, look for some fuel wood. These are sticks and branches about the width of your wrist or bigger. At this point in your preparations, I suggest getting a bucket or two of water or even a fire extinguisher. You'll want to have those on hand before you light the fire.
The Setup Process
Begin by putting your pile of tinder in the middle of your shallow pit. Next, using your kindling, build a tepee over the pile of tinder. The key here is to leave an opening on the side of your tepee so wind can enter the structure, giving more fuel to your flames. After using most of your kindling, build an outer layer for your tepee using your fuel wood. Be sure to avoid covering the open space on the side.
Lighting a Bonfire
Of course, there are many ingenious ways to start a fire, but the long matches used to start a fire in a fireplace are very effective. Light one of these matches and stick it through the tepee into your pile of tinder. This is the best way to get it started. To keep the fire going, add more kindling.
Putting Out the Fire
When the flames start to die down for the last time, it's time to put the fire out. Get a bucket of water and sprinkle it slowly onto the fire. After the water puts out the flames, use a long stick to stir the ashes so you know they are all getting wet. When there are no more flames and the hissing sound is gone, hold your hand near the pit. If the area is cool, then the fire is completely out. Cover the pit with sand or rocks to make doubly sure that there are no stray embers. Sometimes, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to put out a bonfire.
Tips for Making Your Bonfire a Flaming Success
- Lint from a clothes dryer works great as a source of tinder for your bonfire.
- Check the direction of the wind before starting your bonfire so you can use the breeze to your advantage.
- Dry twigs and branches are what you need for your fire. A branch or twig that snaps easily is thoroughly dry.
Be safe, and good luck with your bonfire. Thanks for reading. - Alan