Build A Smaller, Hotter Fire

small campfire
You want the flames hotter, not higher.

With the advent of camping comes the danger of forest fires, and as camping becomes more and more popular the chance of a forest fire happening through carelessness increases.  As a result, fire restrictions are in place now nearly everywhere. These include campfire bans during dry, hot times and regulations stipulating smaller fires when camping.

A Smaller, Hotter Fire is What You Want Anyway.

Fortunately, a smaller, hotter campfire is the kind you want anyway.  They are easier to control and use less fuel. They also do a much better job of cooking your food and heating your backside. A smaller campfire is also far more controllable–even the spits and sparks don’t travel far.  It uses less wood, making your camping trip less work intensive.  And small though it may be, it is easier to cook food with.

So how do you build one?  There are several tips to keep in mind that will help you.

  • Make sure your wood is dry.  Any moisture in the wood will suppress flames, and maybe even put it out.
  • You might want to try the opposite of a teepee-style fire.  Tim Ferris gives a brilliant set of instructions here.
  • Begin with a fire-starter that lasts more than a few seconds.  This allows the wood to catch and burn in spite of any breezes trying to put it out. A strong beginning increases the chances of a hotter flame.
  • If you want a way to start a fire that won’t go out even if it’s raining, check out my favorite toy.

One of the best ways to construct a smaller, hotter fire can be found in this video:


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