Author: Jade Gutierrez – Digital and Content Specialist
Creating family memories doesn’t need to be complicated. Imagine your family snuggled around a cracking campfire, laughing at your kid’s silly story with the lingering taste of charred marshmallow fluff on your tongue. If a backyard campfire sounds fun and doable to you, we want to help make it happen!
LISTED BELOW ARE ALL THE BUILDING BLOCKS TO MAKE FAMILY CAMPFIRE MEMORIES A REALITY.
STEP ONE: FIRE PIT
If you don’t already have a fire pit, don’t worry. They’re pretty easy to make yourself. If you have the space, pavers or rocks are really all you need. Make sure to first consult a few resources on how to safely construct a fire pit.
Here are a few how-to articles on creating a fire pit, but you can find endless blogs and videos online with a quick google search.
Buying a secondhand fire pit is another option. Before looking for brand new options, check local listings on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This can save you some money, help a neighbor, and it’s the most sustainable way to shop.
STEP TWO: FOOD
Marshmallows and hot dogs are classic standards for campfire cooking. But once you’ve had your fill of those, try stepping outside the box with something new.
- Whether you call them pudgie pies, mountain pies, hobo pies, jaffle pies, these toasty melted sandwiches are a favorite among campfire foodies.
- Late summer in the Midwest means corn for sale everywhere. You’ve probably had grilled corn but have you roasted corn over the fire? There are a couple of different ways to try out this dish: you can cook it in foil, or still in the husk.
- Did you know that you can make cake on a campfire? Sounds far-fetched, but hear us out. Filling hollowed out orange peels with cake or brownie mix and cooking them in the fire is the perfect challenge for all ambitious campfire chefs out there.
STEP THREE: FUN
Sitting around the fire is the perfect chance to have some meaningful conversation, or to just enjoy the company of others with games, activities, or music.
Here’s a roundup of some fun campfire games your family might enjoy:
If you’re a nature-loving family, use your outdoor time to identify some plants and insects. If you have a smart phone, you can download the app PictureThis or PictureInsect to help you identify plants and bugs. Just snap a picture and the app provides all kinds of information about about the wildlife around you. (P.S. Don’t be fooled by the ad for the premium version, the basic app is 100% free)
If you love fire, you probably love sparklers too. Campfire night could be a chance to light a few sparklers and create an after-dark light show. Just make sure to always supervise and follow safety precautions.
STEP FOUR: SAFETY
Speaking of safety, before any campfire fun can happen, make sure you are aware of all possible fire safety precautions.
Here’s a rundown of a few rules to keep in mind:
- Clear a 10-foot area around the pit down to the dirt, removing anything that could catch on fire
- Stack extra wood upwind and away from fire
- After lighting, throw the match into the fire
- Never leave a campfire unattended; an adult should supervise the campfire at all times
- Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby
- Never put anything but wood into the fire
- Do not pull sticks out of the fire
- Do not sit on the fire ring or rocks around the campfire. They heat up quickly and stay hot for a long time
- When it’s time to put the fire out, dump lots of water on it, stir it with a shovel, then dump more water on it. Make sure it is COLD before leaving the campsite. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave
- Here are a list for rules to keep in mind with children
As a final note, before lighting a fire anywhere, familiarize yourself with the open burning regulations of your city or county. In Indianapolis, campfires and fire pits are allowed. But only burn wood and leave out grass clippings and leaves.