Campfire cooking tips can come in handy for many situations, from fun family trips to outright survival basics. No matter why you want to learn, knowing how to build a safe and efficient fire and how to cook over a campfire correctly is an absolute necessity.
Campfire Cooking for Preppers
There’s nothing like a good campfire meal when you’re “roughing it”. It’s a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, but there may come a time when campfire cooking for preppers takes on a whole new meaning.
With respect to campfire cooking, there are two factors to consider: Portability and Concealment. If you are bugging out, a campfire will draw unnecessary attention to you and the members of your Prepper group. A big roaring fire like the one shown below may not be the best idea.
In addition to learning campfire basics, we will suggest cooking techniques which will do the job plus maintain your concealment.
Let’s get down to business. Here are a few important considerations regarding campfires:
Wood – Campfire cooking requires a clean-burning, hot fire. This is only achieved with dry, seasoned wood. Stripping trees of green wood is a mistake – your fire will be smoky, will burn poorly and create unnecessary pollution. If dry wood is not available, look for tinder alternatives.
Fire location – Pay close attention to the ground before preparing any fire. Try to create a fire pit on bare soil surrounded by rocks. The rocks will contain the fire and radiate heat. In circumstances where building your fire around rocks is not possible, one should ensure that the base of the fire is on bare dirt.
Wind – Any medium to strong wind is hazardous. The danger of sparks getting away can ignite a forest fire. Also, the coals will reduce more quickly and provide much less cooking time. If substantial wind shelter is unavailable, any outdoor fire is out of the question. Look for the leeward side of an embankment or rock outcropping. This will also help shield your fire from view.
Nearly anything you cook on a stovetop can be made over a fire, but there are certain meals best suited to this type of cooking method. Do some research to learn which meats and grains take best to cookouts, then you can plan your meals based on this advice and your own personal tastes.
Prepare the site
– Select a fire site at least 8′ from bushes or any combustibles. Be sure no tree branches overhang the site.
– Make a U-shaped perimeter using large rocks or green logs. If using logs, they’ll need to be wet down from time to time. If breezy, have back of fire pit face the wind.
– Put a large flat rock at the rear of the fire pit to act as a chimney. The “chimney rock” will help direct the smoke up and away.
Lay the kindling
– Fill the fire area with tinder or tinder alternatives.
– Lay kindling over tinder in layers, alternating direction with each layer. Use thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not put kindling down “teepee style”. The whole fire area should be covered with the kindling stack.
– Set a bucket of water near the fire area. Safety first my friends. Light the tinder to start your fire.
Build the fire, grade the coals
– When kindling is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should be all the same size, as much as possible. Use hardwood or hardwood branches if available. Distribute wood evenly over fire bed.
– As soon as the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick to push the coals into a higher level at the back end and lower level at the front. This will give you the equivalent of ‘Hi’, ‘Med’ and ‘Lo’ cook settings. Or, level the coals to your preference.
What are your favorite campfire meals? Have you learned any tricks to keep your fires burning longer and safer out in the wild?