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How to Build a Campfire

Building a campfire is an essential skill for an outdoors lifestyle.

Whether you’re in the middle of the woods or making smores with the family, building a proper campfire can be a daunting task. With some wood and a little bit of knowledge, it’s not really that hard and can be a big help for many different tasks. Here’s how to do it in a few easy steps.

Start with a fire pit

To start building a fire, you are going to need some sort of way to contain it. Whether it be a big bucket, stones, or even a fancy structure. This is so that you don’t ignite the surrounding area including your house. Also, an uncontained fire is a problem especially in dry environments such as California wooded areas.

If you can’t get a proper area to hold a fire, make sure to keep a fireproof blanket or a fire extinguisher near in case of an emergency. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting the wood

Choosing your wood is definitely one of the most critical parts of your campfire. You want to get relatively decent sized chunks of wood for your endeavors. Hickory, White Birch, or Oak are some of the best woods to burn. Cedar lacks in flame but excels in heat, making it great for a winter campfire. Try avoiding softer woods like Spruce or Willow because density is proportionate to burn time.

Storing your wood is also an important step because it won’t burn after a rainstorm. You can put in in a storage shed or even set it outside in a stack with a large tarp to keep moisture and other unwanted debris away from your wood.

Setting up the pyre

The most common way to set up wood is in a cone fashion. This is done by inserting a support stick into the ground and leaning the chunks against it over a pile of small combustible material, or kindling, such as wood shavings, leaves, newspaper, etc. As long as they don’t fall over and have a plethora of airflow, you should be all set.

It is imperative to have extra materials around nearby like kindling to keep the fire going as long as you need it. It would be unfortunate to set up a campfire and invite all your friends and family just to have it go out and be unprepared.

Lighting the masterpiece

So you’ve built your pyre and are ready to set it ablaze. You can use a lighter or toss a lit match in the kindling. Whatever you do avoid using things like gasoline or other accelerants that are not designed for this task. You can severely injure yourself or someone else by igniting a flame with gasoline. Surprisingly, cheese puffs are a decent firestarter after you have a flame going.

Remember to never leave the fire unattended, as you never know what may happen when you are absent.

 Extinguishing the fire

You should always put out the fire if it hasn’t gone out. When you are done, there are a few things you can do to end the inferno. If it is still going strong you can pour water on it or use a fire extinguisher to reduce the flames. If that doesn’t work you can use a fireproof blanket to kill off the big flames and put out the embers with water. At the end of the day, there is always the water hose if available.

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10 Helpful Kitchen Tools for the Best Campfire Cooking

Camping is always an exciting adventure.

Wandering around the woods, singing campfire songs, listening to the birds chirping, sleeping in tents, gazing at the stars, enjoying the breeze and best of all campfire food! Cooking food on campfire can be fun but it also requires some planning and the right tools. It is indeed tempting to pack all your cooking tools but you must remember that too much baggage can become a burden. Most importantly, there is a special charm in cooking food outdoors with just a few basic kitchen tools. Here are the 10 helpful kitchen tools that are best for campfire cooking:

Cast Iron Frying Pan/Skillet

This might be heavy but is super durable. Cast iron can survive the intense heat of the campfire and will help you avoid ruining your kitchen tools like nonstick pans with plastic handles.

Metal Skewers or Toasting Fork

Roasting is a great way to make campfire food. You can use metal skewers to roast assorted veggies, kebabs, and of course marshmallows. If you have a grill, you can simply place the skewered items on the grill to cook or hold the skewers in your hand to roast items over the campfire. These are handy since they are compact and easy to clean. Toasting fork is also handy and you can roast marshmallows, sausages, kebabs and also toast over open flame.

Oven Mitts

As you would be cooking on campfire using cast iron cookware, metal skewers and more, you would need oven mitts to handle them as the campfire heats gets evenly transferred to even the lids and handles of the cookware.

Seasonings

You can invest in an all-in-one seasoning container that can hold pepper, salt, chili flakes, cayenne and other herbs and seasoning you prefer. You can even use vitamin and tablet organizers to store your seasoning to cook your food with. These are compact, lightweight and can easily be stored in your backpack.

Reusable Dinnerware

It is always recommended to use reusable dinnerware to ensure a clean campsite. There is nothing worse than arriving at a campsite to find pizza boxes, broken glass, Styrofoam plates and glasses lying around. Avoid wastage of plastic utensils and paper plates by using reusable dinnerware.

Tripod

Of course you can get by without a tripod but it comes super handy when it comes to cooking food on campfire as it reduces the chances of tripping. Tripods are lightweight, compact and help in balancing the food while you cook without worrying anything will fall over. It is best to get the one with foldable legs.

Camp Stove

There are plenty of fancy and expensive options available in camping stores but all you need is a simple two burner stove that will help in cooking your food and will also fold up so it’s easier to carry. There are also different sizes available, you can pick the one which is more suitable to your requirements and budget.

Fuel and Fire Starters

You can’t cook without a fire and you need something to start the fire. With fuel, it gets easier to start a fire, otherwise wood and dry branches are your friends. Majority of campsites offer firewood, so it is best to check with the camp authorizes before you start packing. If you want to do it the old fashion way and collect wood to start a fire, you would also need lighting liquid and a box of matches for that. If you are bringing along a charcoal grill, you would also need a spade to work with the coal.

Chopping Board and Knives

A knife is a necessity for all camping trips and not just for food. Make sure you take extra knifes that have sharp blades to cut meat, vegetables and for other purposes. Going camping without a knife would be the biggest mistake you would make. Take along a chopping board to make it easier to cut veggies and meat. Ensure that you pack the knives carefully. Furthermore, pack in a Swiss army knife or a pocket knife just in case.

Folding Double Wash Basin

Since you are taking reusable dinnerware, you would of course have to wash the dishes. A folding wash basin would be best for this purpose.

The list of essential kitchen tools for camping can vary as per your camping style, trip duration, and the facilities provided at the camping site. However, these are the basic kitchen tools that you would need to make the best campfire food. Ensure you pack enough to last throughout your trip.

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7 Easy Campfire Cooking Ideas for You to Try

Out in the open, on a camping trip, the last thing you need is to waste time.

With so many spectacular views to enjoy and so much to take in, food might be the last thing on your mind. Sadly though, you still need to eat to keep up your energy.

For first time campers, cooking food on a campfire is a totally different experience. It takes them some time to get used to the uneven flame of the campfire. They are so used to of an evenly burning stove that the dancing flames can seem daunting. But cooking food on a campfire is just another thing that’s best about a camping trip.

For all those people who don’t want to waste time in cooking, easy campfire cooking ideas can be a lifesaver. So, we’ve come up with some tricks to help you get the best out of your camping trip.

Dutch oven Cooking

If you keep sitting by the campfire, keeping an eye on the food and shaking the pan so it doesn’t burn your food, you’re surely going to miss some fun. The sun set is an amazing sight from your camp site but you can’t leave your spot. Well, now you can. All you need for that is a Dutch oven.

The heavy cast iron pot comes with a lid, which enables it to hold heat efficiently. You get ultimate ease with a Dutch oven. You can directly place it on fire or use a cooking tripod to hand it at a certain height. Unlike the cooking experience with a skillet/pan, you’d rather enjoy cooking with a Dutch oven. Why? It’s because you wouldn’t need to keep stirring the oven. Just leave it on fire and let it do all the work.

Foil Pack Cooking

Health conscious and want to bake food on your camping trip? That can be a problem as it’ll be hard to find an oven in a camping tent. The best alternative is foil pack cooking. Just wrap up the meat or vegetables in a foil pack and leave it on a grate. Make sure you keep an eye on the food though. Once done, just unwrap the food and hey presto! You have freshly baked food right there in the foods. How’s that for an easy campfire cooking idea?

Stick Cooking

We’ve all had our fair share of marshmallow on a stick and you can use the same trick to cook food. Things have changed a bit in the past years and now there is a vast range of metal sticks available, which makes the best fit for easy campfire cooking ideas.

Grilling

This is an intuitive cooking method, and offers a lot of ease and options too. With a vast range of grills and grates available in the market, you can have your pick. You don’t have to miss your BBQ in the middle of the woods. Just set up the grill and take advantage of one of the many easy campfire cooking ideas.

Rotisserie Cooking

With this cooking idea, you’ll almost feel like a native wood dweller. There are two ‘Y’ shaped sticks at either end of the campfire, with another stick resting horizontally on them. The main stick holds the food as the campfire gently cooks it. This is a great contraption to make roast meat.

Iron Cooking

A foldable iron tool makes for an amazing cooking tool and comes 6th on our easy campfire cooking ideas. It is shaped like a tong and is an effective tool for some quick cooking. Available in different shapes and sizes, just place the food in the tool, close it shut and hold it over the campfire. For all the grilled cheese sandwich lovers out there, here is the ultimate campfire sandwich maker.

Charcoal Grilling

You can satisfy your veggie appetite with another one of our many easy campfire cooking ideas. If you like to add the fiery and smoky touch to your veggies, here is your chance. Just place them directly on some charcoal pieces and within no time, you’ll have some well-done, smoky veggies ready to be devoured. Just make sure you keep an eye on the food since the extensive heat can easily burn them to a crisp. Keep changing their side every once in a while and you’ll do just fine.

Now you have the whole list of easy campfire cooking ideas so make sure you use them the next time you go camping. Don’t let burnt food ruin your trip. Use these ideas to hone your campfire cooking skills and amaze others. Have fun!

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Bring These Camping Appliances With You Every Trip

Going into a camping store, you are bound to get bamboozled by the wide range of cool supplies and equipment available.

It is easy to get carried away and end up purchasing a lot of things that you would never need during a trip. They will simply become a burden to carry around, not to mention, it would have cost you a huge chunk of money. When buying and packing camping gear, it is essential to take the items that will be essential for your trip. Here is a list of essential camping appliances that you must carry with you on every trip:

Waterproof Tent

With unpredictable weather conditions, it is essential to pack up a good quality, water proof tent. You wouldn’t want to sleep wet would you? Also, make sure you have the right size and quantity of tents for your trip. If a tent can fit five people, ensure that it’s limited to four people so that there is more space for everyone.

Camp Lighting

You can’t only rely on camp fires as your only source of light in the dark. There are numerous types of camp lighting available. If you are a first time camper, make sure you have more lights because it may come as a shock to you just how dark it can get in the wilderness. Think carefully about your needs and requirements and make sure you pack a few lights for inside the tent and also for outside the tent.

Shovel

You would need a shovel to clear a campsite, bang pegs for tents, fix embers or fire logs, and dig holes. You might even need to dig up your own toilet facility, so a shovel would be crucial for that too. Make sure you get a high quality shovel which has a sturdy handle.

Sleeping Bag

This is a must have for all camping trips. You would need good sleep so that you are energized and ready to a full day ahead in the wilderness. It can get super frustrating to sleep with not enough warmth. A sleeping bag is comfortable and cozy for sleeping in any kind of weather.

First Aid Kit

Before you even think about packing any appliance or supplies, you must pack a first aid kit. This is essential for your safety as well as for the safety of others. You must make sure that each person going with you has a separate first aid kit with them at all times in case of emergency. It is also important to learn a little about administrating first aid so that you are better prepared for emergencies.

Camping Stove

You would of course need a stove to cook or heat up your food. There are plenty of options for camping stoves available in any camping store, including compact ones that are easier to carry around and even ones that can charge your cell phones! You can select the ones which fits your requirements and budget. Just ensure you get a reliable appliance.

Knife

You simply can’t go into the wilderness without a knife. Knives are one of the most useful tools during the entire trip. They are used to hunt for food, prepare food, cut ropes, and much more. A good quality knife can help you throughout your trip.

Flashlight

This is another essential appliance to have in your pack with you at all times. You can’t exactly wander around carrying your camping lights, especially if you are simply walking around a few meters away from campsite. It is handy and easy to carry and also best in case of emergencies.

Water Purifier

Water is a necessity throughout your trip. A water purifier ensures that you have safe and uncontaminated water. Make sure you also take along a good quality water container to store the water.

Portable Cooler/Fridge

You will need to keep your food cold to save it from getting bad. A portable fridge or cooler can come in handy for this purpose and it will also keep your drinks cool. Make sure that you freeze ice in large plastic containers like juice and milk cartons to put in the cooler.

Cellphone and Power Bank

Cell phones on wilderness adventures are not for entertainment purpose but mostly for emergency situations. You need to conserve the power of your cell phones so that you are able to communicate with your group or emergency services when needed. Bringing along a power bank will ensure a longer battery life.

No matter how many days you plan to stay in the wilderness, it is essential to you are better prepared for all kinds of situations. The right camping appliances will make your trip more fun and exciting, all the while ensuring your safety.

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10 Must-Have Tools for Survival While Camping

If you love spending time in the countryside camping or go for hikes regularly, you are probably aware of the need to be prepared for all kinds of situations.

You would know that there are certain tools that should always be in your backpack when going for day out in the woods.

On the other hand, if you’ve never organized a camping trip or have never been out on your own, it might seem a little overwhelming on figuring out what you might need.

We have put together a list of 10 essentials for outdoor safety items you should always carry when going for a trip where you won’t have access to shops.

Knife

The first and crucial item to carry when going for a trip would be a knife. When you find yourself in a tough situation, a knife gives you great advantages as it can be used for cutting, chopping, prying open cans or packages and hard shelled fruits as well as defending yourself.

Fixed blade knife is our ideal choice. It is far more resilient and durable than the common folding knife, primarily because they lack mechanical movements. Additionally, they are sharper and a great tool to have for cutting shrubbery and other larger objects. That does not mean you abandon folding knives. They serve as great backups for less demanding tasks.

Backpack

Backpacks help you carry more equipment than you can fit in your pockets and you will certainly need it if you are planning to take a long hike or stay outdoors overnight.

The size of the backpack you would need depends on the length of time you are planning to stay out. While it might seem like a good idea to get a bigger backpack and stuff it full, be aware that you are the one who will have to carry the bag. If it is too heavy, you will end up getting worn out very quickly.

For a 1-2 day trip the perfect size for most people is 50l, although generally girls are better off with 40-45 liters, and guys are better off with 50-55 liters. If you are planning to stay out longer, choose a backpack that can fit all the items you need.

Food and Snack Bars

Don’t take any chances. Always make sure to pack some food. Hiking is a physical activity that consumes a lot of energy. Even with a lightweight pack you can expect to burn about 500 calories an hour.

The national Parks and Forest Service recommend taking enough food when going camping. High-energy bars, candies, granola slices and fruit are good options to consider when you go for a hike. You could also take dried fruit or pack a canned fruit which won’t get crushed.

On the other hand, if you are planning to go on a camping trip for the family, your needs might be different.

Take the food according to your trip needs.

Water bottle with a filter

Water is an essential on a trip as you can’t survive for long without it. In order to prevent dehydration, make sure that you drink water frequently every few hours. It is advised to take multiple bottles if you are going on a long hike.

Depending on your trip, you may have access to stations with clean water. Always be on the lookout to refill your water bottle from a clean, drinkable source. DO NOT refill with unsafe water as it can cause stomach pain, bloating, nausea and even cause diarrhea or constipation.

Fire Starter

Fire starters are very important for a camping trip or hike through the wilderness. A fire can help you fight cold, cook food or boil water should the need arise for it.

A box of quality matches or a smoke lighter comes in handy and should do the job in most cases. There are also metallic tools available for veteran campers that give the authentic feel and satisfaction of starting your own fire instead of relying on matches.

Navigation Tools

One of the most important things you can take is a map of the area you are hiking, with landmarks noted clearly. These can help you stay on course if you lose your way.

You should also take a compass and altimeter. They make it easier to understand your map. Carefully go through the map to familiarize yourself with the area before starting your adventure.

Cordage

A cord of rope can serve many purposes such as building a shelter, climbing, creating a fishing pole, setting up hunting traps and making bandages.

Make sure the piece of cord you take is sturdy. A parachute cord is quite strong and light to carry as well.

Shelter

This can be as simple as a tarp or large garbage bag. If you find yourself in a survival situation, finding a safe place to sleep for the night is a great thing. A good shelter will keep you dry and warmer.

You can use a rope to build a simple line and cover it with a tarp tying it down to pitch a tent.

First Aid Kit

Rocks, holes, tree roots, branches and spines are a recipe for cuts, blisters and sprained ankles. Even a small cut out in the wilderness can give become a major problem with an infection.

Always make sure to carry a lightweight first aid kit for emergency treatment. A good first aid kit should include adhesive and cloth bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, disinfecting ointment, pain medication, a pen and paper. If you are planning to go in a group, make sure there are multiple kits in case you get separated.

Signaling Equipment

The last item we recommend carrying with you when going on a trip is signaling equipment. If you get lost and can’t find a trail back, than this can be a lifesaver in helping you make contact with civilization.

A flare gun can easily be fit in a backup and helps you send a signal if you get separated from your group.

As the Boy Scout motto goes, always be prepared. So, let’s get started!