How to Create a Campfire - Part 1: The Ring

How to Create a Campfire - Part 1: The Ring

The campfire is part of history and tradition for many. It is an inspiring source of power that mesmerizes us into an almost hypnotic state. But it also serves as a centre piece to backwoods camping and cooking.

No matter what form of camping you are favour whether backpacking, tenting or in an RV. this article will help you build the perfect campfire with easy to understand steps along with fire etiquette tips.

Campfire Fire Ring

Fire Ring


Build fires only in designated fire rings, grills or fireplaces. Most developed campgrounds have some version of these. Using a fire ring will lessen your impact and keep your fire contained.

Always check with the campground operator to make sure fires are permitted. In some areas, severe dry periods can cause campfires to be prohibited even in campgrounds.

Evaluate the site before starting a fire. If the site is brushy or has low-hanging branches, keep your fire small or skip it altogether. In dry conditions, fly-away embers could easily ignite a wildfire.


In backcountry areas where fires are permitted, use an existing fire ring if one has been left behind. Build a new one only in emergency situations and, if the situation permits, dismantle it when you are done. If one already exists, clean it out before you depart.

Clear away all flammable material from your fire pit. Ideally, the base of your fire should be sand, gravel or mineral soil (often found in streambeds or on gravel bars). Intense heat can sterilize healthy soil, so choose your site conscientiously.

An alternative to a fire ring is a mound fire. Using your sanitation trowel, build a circular, flat platform of mineral soil (sandy, light-colored, nonfertile dirt) about 6-8 inches high. Use this as the base for your fire. Ideally, build this platform on a flat rock. You can easily disperse the mound when you’re finished.

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