With the weather finally beginning to warm up, it’s time for camping season to get off to a start. It’s virtually guaranteed that millions of Americans and their families will go camping at least once this summer — in 2013, Americans spent a combined 516.6 million days at campgrounds for an average of five trips per person!
And because about 70% of campers will spend at least one or two nights in the great outdoors, it’s a given that there will be plenty of people visiting the nation’s campgrounds looking to roast some s’mores over a roaring campfire.
However, campfires can easily become dangerous if the right precautions aren’t taken, especially in the dry, windy spring months. In Ohio, open burning, or lighting a fire outdoors without a chimney or stack, is the top cause of wildfires.
To make sure you and your family are able to safely enjoy some quality time by the campfire during your next family camping trip, be sure to follow these three crucial campfire safety tips:
Build your campfire in the open
In order to keep your campfire from accidentally lighting a nearby brush, shrub or tree on fire, it’s a good idea to set up a campfire in an area with at least a 10-foot radius of open ground around it. Always make sure the fire is supervised by at least one person as it burns and keep a reliable source of water at hand.
Check the weather
Before you and your family make the trip to your campsite, take a glance at the weather forecast for the duration of your trip. Large campfires can burn for as long as a day or two, and if windy conditions are ahead, you don’t want to have a fire burning.
Know how to extinguish a campfire
Did you know that improperly extinguishing your campfire at the end of the night can create the perfect circumstances for a wildfire? Rather than simply letting the fire die down, you should be thoroughly soaking the fire in water and stirring the ashes to put out any remaining embers.
Have any other questions about staying safe at campgrounds? Ask us anything in the comments section below.