There's something undeniably magical about a good campfire. Sitting around with friends or family, watching the flames and enjoying the warmth as night draws in has brought people comfort and enjoyment since humans first discovered how to make fire.
Although sitting outdoors is understandably more popular during the summer, there's no real reason you can't have a campfire party at pretty much any time of the year. As long as you wear warm clothes and sit close enough to the fire to keep cosy, everyone will have a good time. Here are some tips to help you host your first fire party.
Choose the right wood
If you're building a fire in your garden, you might be tempted to just use whatever food you can scavenge, plus other bits of rubbish that will burn. That would be a mistake for two reasons, however.
First of all, there's a good chance your fire won't burn for as long as you'd hope, or you'll have to constantly add more fuel to keep it going. Secondly, since having a fire is just not the same unless you're cooking on it, you need to make sure the fire won't create any fumes that contaminate food.
It's best to buy well-seasoned, bulk firewood that will light easily and burn well, so you know you can rely on it when your guests arrive. Generally speaking, hardwoods are a better choice because they burn a bit slower, so it's easier to keep the fire going. Go for a hot-burning, low-ash, low-smoke wood if you can find one, as this will keep everyone more comfortable.
Build it well
Instead of just piling up wood and hoping for the best, build your fire by creating a sort of log cabin with your firewood, laying the logs across one another. This maximises airflow and helps the fire burn well.
It's best to either dig a small pit for your fire or build it inside a purpose-made container. This stops it spreading where it shouldn't and keeps it safe and contained.
Make sure you have plenty of snacks for cooking on the fire. Things like bacon and sausages can be cooked on sticks, and don't forget the marshmallows!
Get some plastic coolers to keep beer and other drinks at a nice temperature, but make sure you place it somewhere far from the fire so it doesn't melt or catch fire.
Apart from just chatting and having fun, there are various things you can encourage people to do while they enjoy the fire. Ask guests to bring musical instruments, share a story or tell jokes. Games like charades can also be fun around a campfire.
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