Fire Safety Tips on the Campsite

A campfire forms the heart of a camping trip. It’s an opportunity for friends or families to huddle around for warmth, exchange stories and eager kids to share smores under the starry night sky. But you should always remember Smoky Bear’s advise while out camping to make sure that there are no accidents. A few simple steps can help you have a safe and pleasant camping trip. Whether it’s a campfire or outdoor barbequing, it’s our responsibility as campers to make sure we adhere to fire safety rules to protect ourselves as well as the environment. Here are some essential fire safety tips that you should follow at the campsite.

Fire safety


Before setting up your campfire, find the ideal location on the campsite. The campfire should be at least 15 yards away from the camping tents. Make sure there are no dry leaves, twigs or low hanging branches and shrubs around the fire pit since these pose a fire hazard. To be safe and eco friendly on the trip, choose either a bare rock or unvegetated ground for setting the campfire.

Making a Fire Pit

If your campsite doesn’t already have a fire pit, clear a perimeter of around 5 feet and surround it with gravel or soil. Remove all grass, leaves and flammable objects from the area and dig a pit that is around one foot deep. Line the perimeter with rocks to prevent the fire from lashing out and also to keep the heat.

Lighting the Campfire

Don’t use any treated wood that has polish or varnish. Stack your firewood upwind to prevent the stack from going ablaze. Keep your fire small in size and try using camp fire starters or a spindle and a fireboard instead of matches or lighters. This is not only safer, but also an interesting camping skill to teach the kids. Never use flammable fuels like gasoline or lighter fluid to light the fire.

Extinguishing the Campfire

Keep a bucket of water, sand and a shovel handy to extinguish the fire. While extinguishing the fire, douse it with water, stir the remains to check for embers and add water again. Add some sand and gravel for good measure and stamp the embers out. Remember to never leave a campfire unattended – not even for a little while.

Handling Emergencies

In case someone does catch fire, they should not flail or move around as this just airs the fire and makes it worse. The stop, drop and roll technique is effective. Immediately pour some water on the victim and check for any injuries. You should always carry a first aid kit with gauze, bandages and ointment for burns. If the injuries are severe, immediately contact the forest and medical department for aid.

                      Apart from the campfire, these fire safety rules also apply for any cooking or barbecuing in the campsite. Set up your cooking station at a safe distance from the tents. Be wary of dry leaves and woody debris and place some rocks underneath the barbeque to discourage stray embers. Never leave any open fire or burning coals unattended. Follow these tips to stay safe while camping and have a happy outdoors experience.

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