Freshly roasted marshmallows, a place to warm your hands and feet on a cool evening or just a meeting spot to share a drink with friends and family at the end of the day. Campfires have been a part of Australia’s camping tradition since long before tents were even invented! So, to make sure your next campfire doesn’t end in tears here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Check the Regulations
With Australia’s ever changing climate, ensure fires are permitted in your location before you strike a match. In drought prone areas and certain camp grounds, fires may be allowed at certain times of the year and not others, so make sure you ask the question before you end up with a hefty fine.
Always make sure an adult is present when there are kids around the fire. As we all know, fire is very unforgiving and only takes one stumble to cause serious injury. It’s also worth having a small first aid kit with burn cream and the likes on hand. It’s better to have it there and not need it than to be caught short.
Lights out, fires out
It’s as simple as it sounds, if you’re calling it a day and putting the head down for some well-earned shut eye, your campfire should be doing the same. That means ensuring your fire is well and truly out before the last person heads off to count sheep. There are many ways to put a fire out but by far the most effective and quickest is to give it a generous dowsing of water. A good way to check if it has done the job is to hover your hand over the saturated coals and gauge the heat still radiating out. If it’s too hot for your hand give it another drink! Having an unlit fire means there’s no chance of the fire spreading whilst unsupervised and also no one will tread on the burning coals with sleepy eyes when answering natures call during the night.
It might seem like a great idea at the time, but rubbish goes in the bin, not the fire. Not only does rubbish create a thick toxic smoke, it also creates a major injury hazard for campers coming to enjoy that spot later down the track. Items like cans and bottles don’t actually disintegrate in a fire. All they do is shatter and blacken, then wait to get stood on by some poor soul just trying to enjoy some time away. So, take some responsibility for your rubbish and make sure it finds the bin.
Follow these easy tips for your next campfire and the only thing you’ll be guilty of is eating those extra marshmallows! Get out there and have some fun!