Never Started a Campfire Before? Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Campfire


Never Started a Campfire Before? Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Campfire

With the lovely, brisk fall weather upon us, it is truly the perfect time to gather up a group of friends and family, head out to the backyard, grill some hotdogs and hamburgers, and play some good old fashioned cornhole. However, as pleasant as fall can be, there’s no denying that it can get to be pretty cold as well, especially when it gets closer to nighttime.

We have the perfect solution. Build a campfire! The crackling warmth of a fire pit is the perfect complement to the chilliness of autumn weather. Plus, you can even roast some marshmallows and build some s’mores while you’re at it!

Of course, we know that not everyone got their campfire badge when they were in boy/girl scouts as a kid, so that’s why we’re going to teach you how to build a campfire, and, trust us, your friends and family will be ultra impressed at your epic campfire-building skills.

Step One – Determine Where You Will Build It

In all seriousness, fire can be dangerous. An uncontrolled flame can quickly get out of hand and burn your cornhole board if you’re not careful. Then, you’ll have to buy a new one, which is great for us, but not so great for you. So, let’s keep this bad boy under control. In order to do this most effectively, you will have to establish a fire ring or fire pit

The easiest way to do this is to buy a metal fire pit, or you can construct a permanent in-ground fire pit or fire ring for continuous use. If you are going to go the building route, then the base needs to be either dirt or sand, and there should be no flammable materials nearby that can catch fire and spread to other areas. Safety is of the utmost importance.

Once you have determined a spot, make sure to construct some sort of ring around where the fire will be. If you are in some kind of sand pit, then this can just be a ring of stones. If there is grass nearby, then you should build an actual wall of bricks around the spot. Always keep a bucketful of water nearby in case of emergencies

Step Two – Gather Firewood and Fuel

gathering-firewoodIn order to build a fire, you’re going to need fuel. If you’re building your campfire at an actual campsite, or if you live near the woods, no problem! Just send out a search party to find dry wood, sticks, and any other fuel you can find. However, if you live in suburbia and there isn’t a tree for miles around, you may need to actually buy some firewood.

There are three types of fuel wood that are needed to start a fire.

Tinder typically consists of dry grass, dry leaves, and needles.

Kindling is smaller pieces of wood and thin sticks that are less than an inch in diameter.

Firewood is larger pieces of wood and logs that will keep your fire burning for a long time.

Make sure you gather an ample amount of each type of wood, so that you have a good basis to create your campfire.

Step Three – Construct Your Masterpiece

There are many ways to construct a campfire, but we’re just going to focus on a few easy ones.


This is probably the most iconic method of building a campfire and is probably what you would immediately think of. You want to start by assembling a small cone of kindling (thin sticks, remember?) that is surrounded by handfuls of loosely-piled tinder to form a base. Once the fire grows larger and becomes hotter, you can start adding pieces of firewood a few at a time. Just make sure not to snuff out the flame!

Log Cabin

The log cabin set-up is another one of the most common methods of building a campfire. You want to start with two larger pieces of firewood laid parallel to each other with some room between them. Then, you want to lay two more pieces of firewood across the bottom two (these third and fourth pieces should be perpendicular to the first two). This should form an empty square of space in the middle.

You will want to fill this square with an ample amount of tinder. Make sure there is enough room, so that the fire can still get the oxygen that it requires. You don’t want to snuff it out. Continue adding some kindling and tinder around the base of the fire, as well as on top too.


With the pyramid method, you’ll want to create a pyramid of firewood (how about that?). Start by laying three larger pieces of firewood side by side to create the bottom layer. Then, add a layer of smaller pieces on top that are perpendicular to the bottom layer. Continue alternating in this way to create a pyramid shape. Add a layer of tinder and kindling on top.

Step Four – Light the Fire

Now comes the moment of truth. With this step you will show your friends and family whether you are a fantastic campfire builder… or just the laughing stock of the group.

To begin with, you will want to light the tinder with either a firestarter, a match, or just a lighter. If the campfire has been built effectively, the fire that is being fueled by the tinder should eventually spread to the kindling and then the firewood. 

In order to help this along, you can blow on the tinder at the base of the fire to increase the intensity of the flame and help ignite the wood. You should also move any embers to the center of the fire to make sure they are burnt completely. This will help the process along as well. Just make sure you use a poker or a long stick. Don’t use your hands. That would be bad.

Step Five – Play Cornhole!

This step is fairly self-explanatory. Just make sure that someone is keeping an eye on the fire! If you need a refresher on the rules of cornhole, then read this article!

Step Six – Extinguish Your Fire

Alas, the party is over. People are tired. People are grumpy. There are plenty of graham crackers left… but no marshmallows and chocolate to be paired with them. It is time to extinguish your fire. Say your goodbyes.

Using the bucketful of water that’s been sitting nearby or the hose in your backyard, douse the flame until there are no more glowing embers, and it is no longer hot. For safety’s sake, make sure that you don’t leave anything flammable near the fire pit, especially your cornhole board.

Purchase Your Custom Cornhole Board Today!

Last but not least, visit Cornhole Worldwide and create a custom cornhole board. We know you want to. Whether it’s Halloween-themed, campfire-themed, superhero-themed, or your favorite football team-themed, you won’t regret it.

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