How to build campfire step by step

For the majority, the first thing that comes to mind when you speak of camping is a campfire. No camping trip is complete without a campfire. And then you have various campfire activities that add fun to the experience. Learning how to build campfire is really easy, as I will be teaching you in this post. Hopefully after this guide, you can become an expert in building a fire after a few practice sessions. And yes remember, after reading this tutorial, it is mandatory for you to practice making a fire either in your backyard or an open ground. OK now, let’s get down to the tutorial:

What you need:


Matches or a lighter




Step 1:

First of all you want to make sure that a campfire is allowed at your site. At most of the campsites in the wilderness, there are no restrictions.

Step 2:

Check out if your campsite has a pre-made fire-pit. If not, then you will have to make one. This is why you need some rocks and shovel.

Step 3:

To make your own fire-pit, choose an area atleast ten feet away from bushes and other inflammable material. Take care that the fire-pit is not under the branches of a tree.

Step 4:

how to build a campfire

Surround your fire-pit by the circle of stones that you have collected. This will contain the wood and hence the fire. If you have a shovel, dig a shallow pit inside the circle of rocks.

Step 5:

Gather some wood. You will need three types of wood:

Tinder – This includes dry twigs and leaves

Kindling – This includes larger twigs and leaves with the diameter of the twigs being atleast half inch in diameter.

Fuel Wood – These are big blocks of wood and will be the major source of the fire.

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Make sure that the wood is free from moss, dirt and is dry.

Step 6:


Place the pile of tinder at the center of the fire pit.

Step 7:

Add a few pieces of the kindling around the tinder forming a tipi. A tipi is a conical structure like a pyramid. Then add more kindling to the downwind side of the tipi. Once that is covered, add more kindling to the upwind side keeping an opening on the upwind side which will allow you to ignite the tinder with the matches or lighter.

Since fire needs oxygen to burn, keep some space between the tinder and the tipi.

Step 8:

Next add two blocks of fuel wood parallel to each other enclosing the tipi. The ends of the fuel wood should extend beyond the tipi. Add two more fuel wood blocks making a square of fuel wood. Keep adding fuel wood such that it represents a square log cabin.

how to build a campfire

Step 9:

The next task is to ignite the tinder. Make sure that the fuel wood placed surrounding the kindling leave enough space to light the tinder. Stand upwind so that the match or the lighter won’t blow. Next, light the tinder at multiple places.

Step 10:

Add small amounts of tinder until the kindling catches fire.

Step 11:

Once the kindling catches fire, add more kindling until the fuel wood catches fire. Once the fuel wood has caught fire, keep on adding more fuel wood so that it will make a long lasting campfire.

how to build a campfire

So, here it is the ultimate guide about how to build campfire. Hope it helped. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment 🙂



4 thoughts on “How to build campfire step by step

  1. Nalin, this is such a fun and interesting way to learn about camp fires. I got to say I feel much smarter after reading this post. The different kinds of wood and the process they follow as we create a campsite fire or backyard one. Thanks for making it so easy to follow. Does mold infested wood cause health issues by any chance?

    • Thanks a lot Margaret. Yes, if the wood is infested with mold, it may not be a good idea to burn it. the first problem will arise in making it burn, because the wood will be damp and may not burn properly.

  2. Any thoughts on what to do if you go camping in the monsoons? The wood will all be wet then.

    • For the rains Acquilin I would suggest you go for an artificial campfire kit, wherein you already have dry wood in advance and can light the fire in the artificial fire pit.

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