Camping brings man closer to nature and nature closer to a boom box. Introduce Mother Nature to Papa Roach with this Groupon.
- $499 for two weeks of summer day camp ($1,395 value)
Building a Campfire: A Recipe Designed to Burn
To get the most out of your campsite’s fire pit, take a gander at Groupon’s fire-building guide.
Rousing songs, spooky stories, marshmallows sporting a perfect tan—all these highlights of camping depend on a roaring fire. That fire in turn depends on three things: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Attention to each element can make your effort to woo the flames more successful.
Fuel: Or, more simply, wood. Tinder is the smallest form of fuel, meant to catch fire quickly. If you can’t find enough tiny twigs, try collecting pine needles or cones or pulling the bark off larger logs. Next comes kindling—small sticks less than one inch around. Finally, there’s the big stuff, called simply fuel wood. Although bundles of pre-cut logs may work fine, pieces about as wide as your arm will serve most purposes and be easier to ignite. And if you only have large, pre-cut logs, you can use a camp axe to create wood shavings for tinder and hack off larger splinters for kindling.
Oxygen: Now it’s time to put your raw materials together. A successful fire can be arranged in several ways, but all require leaving enough open space for air to drift through. For a slow-burning, long-lasting fire you can build a log-cabin-style structure with the kindling around a central pile of tinder. For cooking, variants on a tepee shape, with the kindling propped up into a peak over the tinder, work best. Start small—you’ll only want to add larger pieces of kindling, fuel wood, and your seventh-grade diary once the flames have grown. And orient the space where you’ll lay your match toward the wind, so that breezes will help it rise. (Your body will act as a windbreak while you’re lighting it.)
Heat Source: A lighter held to the tinder pile will work, but you may get more mileage from ordinary wooden matches since they can be left to burn once the fire’s lit. Blowing lightly on the flame as you go adds more oxygen, helping the fire grow enough that you can begin to gently prop fuel wood over the structure you’ve made with the kindling, always being sure to leave space between each piece. And there you have it: a fire any forest dragon would be proud to call its own.