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A Girl’s Guide to Starting a Campfire

Starting a campfire is one of the most primal things a person can do. Too bad it can also be incredibly difficult!

On this past weekend’s camping trip, part of my Local Travel extravaganza, after many failed attempts, I learned how to start a fire. Here’s what worked for me:

Essential supplies:

  • Fire pit
  • Fire starter (matches, lighter, etc. My preference is one of the extra-long fireplace lighters.)
  • Newspaper
  • Kindling (branches, twigs, dry bark)
  • Logs of varying sizes

1.) Make sure that the fire pit is dry inside. If it’s not, put some dry dirt down to cover the wet area. (Otherwise, you’re fighting a losing battle…)

2.) Create a pyramid of 10-15 tightly crunched balls of newspaper in the center of the fire pit

3.) Make a tee-pee of kindling- stick to the smallest branches and twigs

4.) Light the newspaper in several spots along the bottom

5.) As the newspaper burns and lights the kindling, add more smaller twigs and a few slightly larger pieces as well

6.) Continue adding kindling until the fire seems to be self-sustained

Tip: Don’t over stoke it. It needs some time to catch on and if you start prodding at this precarious stage, you may collapse the tee-pee and smother the fledging fire.

7.) Add some larger logs, keeping the tee-pee structure intact

8.) Once you have a few larger logs that are burning well, you are free to prod and adjust the campfire to your heart’s content.

And that’s how this girl started a campfire.

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