winter campfire

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Don’t let the cold weather stop you from enjoying camping outdoors with these campfire survival tips.

It’s cold. The ground is covered in morning frost and the sun sets early. It’s a great time to go camping.

The summer crowds have left and there’s plenty of space in the camp sites to stretch out. The winter morning light is picturesque and the air is clean and fresh. Even though it does require a little more planning, winter camping is underrated.

Along with extra layers of clothing and choosing the right spot to set up camp, building the perfect campfire and preparing culinary delights are on the list of priorities when camping in winter. We’ve come up with our top winter campfire survival tips to ensure you’re warm and well-fed during your outdoor escapade.

Building the perfect campfire

Building and lighting your campfire should be the first thing to do when you arrive at camp, that is if you’re hiking in an area which allows fires!

Gather your materials

  • First thing’s first, find a spot to build your fire. Most campsites will have a proper fire pit. Otherwise, you’ll need to create one in the ground with rocks. Never light your fire near plants, trees or low-hanging branches and keep it way from your shelter.
  • Have a spade or water just encase your fire gets out of hand.
  • Collect your tinder; the small materials that will help spark the kindling such as bark or dry grass. Shred it up finely.
  • Gather some dry kindling in the form of twigs, sticks and large bark pieces, along with some dry wood logs that will keep the fire going.

Choose your building method 

The most common methods for building a campfire are the Teepee and Log Cabin.

  • Teepee – a great all-rounder. Simply create a ball with your tinder and place it in the middle of your fire pit. Build a teepee with your sticks and twigs and then prop up your larger logs. Now you’re ready to light it. Blow gently into the fire to help encourage the kindling to catch and continue to add logs in the same pattern once the fire is going.
  • Log cabin – ideal fire for cooking. Start by building a small teepee with your tinder and sticks. Then stack your larger kindling and logs parallel on opposite sides of your teepee. Stack two smaller pieces of kindling on the other two opposite sides, to form a square. Remember, to leave space for you to reach the tinder in order to light the fire. Continue to lay your small pieces on top to form your cabin.

Cook up delicious, warming grub

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After a day exploring the wilderness in the cold, you want to make sure there is something mouthwatering and warming to eat. Ditch the dehydrated potato mash and tinned beans for something a little tastier.

Most meals can be prepared ahead of time so you can simply heat them up on your campfire. But if you’re keen to cook on your fire, make sure you mix up all your herbs and spices and prepare your raw ingredients by portioning and chopping before you head off on your adventure.

Here are a few suggestions of delicious grub that can be cooked on the campfire:

  • A hearty stew
  • A flavoursome curry
  • A classic spaghetti bolognese
  • A fiery chilli
  • Good old snags
  • A warming porridge
  • A quick soup
  • A mixed grill

When you’re filled to the brim and it’s time to turn in for the night, remember to put out your fire so no embers can cause a wildfire. Stir the fire’s remains and douse it with water or cover it with dirt.