I’ve always been partial to a spot of pyromania, so when it comes to camping, I think a roaring fire is essential.
First, create a hearth out of a circle of large stones
Then collect a good pile of dry sticks of all sizes and some dry grass or leaves
Take a handful of the dry grass or leaves and light them. If the ground is damp, start with a firelighter then add the grass as soon as it is burning.
Once the grass is lit, quickly add some small sticks in a little wigwam over the grass. Continue to add small sticks little, by little, being careful not to smother the flames.
As the fire builds, add larger and larger sticks, still forming a wigwam structure. If the flame isn’t catching the new sticks, poke a few smaller ones in the gaps and blow on the flames near the bottom of the fire.
Once you have a good blaze, add large logs one by one to keep the fire going.
Now find two fork shaped sticks and poke them into the ground either side of the fire inside the hearth. Find a long, straight stick to rest in the forks to hang your kettle or cooking pot from.
You are now ready to use your fire for making tea, baking potatoes wrapped in silver foil, frying sausages in a pan held over the white hot embers, and drying the inevitable damp socks. Although try not to burn them to a crisp like I did.
Of course the classic use of a camp fire is to toast marshmallows. First find a very long stick, so small children don’t have to stand too close to the flames. Then use your trusty Swiss Army Knife to whittle one end to a point. Put your marshmallow on the end and hold it close to, but not touching, the hottest part of the fire. Some people like their marshmallows lightly toasted, but I like them burnt on the outside and runny inside. Yum!