Building a campfire

How to Light a Campfire

Is there anything better than sitting and relaxing around a campfire? Whether it is your backyard, a local park in the city, or somewhere in the backcountry, a campfire brings people together and can provide that little escape we all need.

How to Start a Fire

When it comes to building and starting the campfire, I am sure we all have that one friend (typically male) who thinks they are the guardians of the fire world, and it is they who must be the master fire keeper. Not sure if it is the inner caveman coming out, or what, however anyone can get a good fire going with just a few tips.

Campfire Safety

Before you go starting fires just anywhere, let’s chat about campfire safety, shall we?

  • Check to see if fires are permitted or if there is a fire ban in the area. Download the Alberta Wildfire app to get all the current fire info.
  • 15 Feet – the distance campfires should be from structures, trees, greenery, and tents (things can get hot enough in there, if you know what I mean!!).
  • Always keep a pail of water nearby in case the fire gets out of control.
  • Keep fires small and manageable.
  • Don’t throw anything on the fire for a boost! No need for an accelerant like gas, kerosene, or an aerosol spray to start a fire...we’re not in Saskatchewan ladies!!
  • Great campfire spots are usually created for you and not found. If you see an existing/designated fire ring, use it. Don’t be moving rocks closer to the water or dragging logs into the middle of camp just for a new fire spot.
  • Use a stick or fire poker to move burning wood around, not your hands (that burning sensation you feel could be from the fire or you might just need a shot of Penicillin!).
  • Always make sure your campfire is completely out before leaving the fire pit. Use the soak it, stir it, soak it again method, just to be safe!


Those of us that have spent time around a campfire know there are many benefits to be shared that come from having a fire going.

  • Keeps bugs away (unfortunately, it likely won’t repel your ex).
  • Provides a source of light and heat.
  • You can cook many amazing meals or stick with the basics of hot dogs and s’mores.
  • It’s scientifically proven that beer, wine, and other cocktails taste better while sitting around a fire!
  • Great time for families and friends to share stories, sing songs, or just watch the flames dance.  

Remember, no matter where you sit, the smoke will always be in your direction.