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Building the Perfect Campfire

Great Camping Tools

If you think building a quintessential campfire is simply throwing some sticks into a pit and lighting the thing on fire, think again! There's an art to building a s'more-worthy campfire, and the park rangers at YOGI BEAR'S JELLYSTYONE PARK™ in Robert, Louisiana, are here to give you a few tips on how to build the perfect campfire.

Gather the right materials

To make a truly great campfire— one that will last throughout the evening and can distribute heat well —you'll need to gather different types of firewood. Each serves a different purpose to make sure your fire will keep burning all evening long. Make sure any wood you use in the fire is completely dry and snaps easily. If it doesn't, you'll just get a lot of smoke, not flames.


Tinder is made up of a variety of materials that are easily flammable and burn fast. This can include tree bark, leaves, wood shavings, grass, newspaper, or dryer lint.


Laying a foundation of kindling for your fire will help bridge the gap between the quick-burning tinder and the long-lasting fuel logs. Kindling is made up of twigs and sticks about the width of a pencil. Anything bigger than this will risk smothering your fire out before it's barely begun.

Fuel logs

Logs are the powerhouse of the campfire and will keep it hot and burning. The best logs are about the width of your wrist or larger. Keep in mind, though, there's no reason to throw half of a tree limb into the fire! Logs that are too big will smother a fire out.

Build the fire

There are a variety of ways to build your fire, and they all depend on the purpose. Are you wanting to cook a full meal over an open flame? Do you want a long-lasting fire you won't have to touch for the rest of the night? Try out these different lays to see how they work for you!


This lay will create a long-lasting, picturesque fire. Lay tinder in the bottom of the firepit and arrange kindling in a teepee shape around the tinder. Leave an opening in the direction the wind is blowing to allow airflow. Keep arranging wood in a teepee shape, adding larger and large pieces of wood as you go.


This type of lay is great for cooking because it creates a solid platform for an even cooking surface. Lay three pieces of fuel logs into the firepit, then place three more in the opposite direction. Keep layering like this until you have about four to five layers of firewood. Then, build a small teepee lay on top of the last layer. This will help light the fire since it's made up of a lot of large logs.

Light the fire

Ignite the tinder in multiple places around the lay to make sure it lights. Once the tinder catches fire, blow on it to 

help catch the other logs. If you're feeling adventurous (or your lighter isn't working) here are a few tips to light a campfire without matches.

Putting out the campfire

Part of building the perfect campfire is to safely put it out as well. Start the process of putting out your fire about 20 minutes before you want to go to bed or leave the campsite. Keep a water bucket nearby. When you're ready, gently spray water over the fire—don't drench it. Move the embers around with a stick to ensure everything gets wet. Your fire has been successfully extinguished when you don't see any more steam or hear hissing.

Many of the campsites at YOGI BEAR'S JELLYSTONE PARK™ in Robert, Louisiana are equipped with fire pits so you can try out these campfire tips for yourself! We're open so you can enjoy some fresh air while safely practicing social distancing. Book your campsite online today!

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