How to Properly Douse a Campfire?

The best socially distanced vacation may be a camping trip in the great outdoors. If you love to gather with folks around a campfire where allowed, it’s still important to make sure the fire is completely out before you crawl in your tent.

Time Your Fire Feed

One of the biggest factors of dousing a fire is timing the last log. Set a cutoff time to make sure that you stop adding wood at least an hour before you need to douse the fire. For the safety of your clan, yourself and our environment, never stock up a fire on a windy night.

Water the Fire

Once the evening is winding down, you can start dousing the fire with water. If there’s a breeze, make sure you are upwind before starting the water addition as there will be smoke and sizzling, which you don’t want to inhale or wear. Walk the perimeter of the fire and soak it from the outside in.

Do a Full Soak

Keep pouring until the noise and smoke stop. If you have coolers full of watery ice, this is your time to kill two birds with one stone and get those coolers emptied so they can dry out. Recent events are a good reminder of just how dangerous a wildfire can become in a very short time. Before you start a campfire, make sure you have water standing by.

Add Soil

Soil and sand can both work to smother the campfire once you’ve completely watered down the fire. Don’t start with the dry product; sand can actually serve to insulate the hot coals. The risk of a flare-up once you go to bed is too high. However, once the fire has been fully soaked, you can cover it with dirt or sand. Make sure you take your shovel and stir up your coals to fully smother everything.

Do A Test Touch


Once your fire is both wet and muddy, hold your hands over the base to make sure there is no heat radiating off the fire site. If you can sense any heat or smell any smoke, grab the shovel and do some more turning. Your test touch will be much easier if you work with small pieces of wood. Avoid using a push log to build a long term fire. If you find dead branches to burn, make sure you break them down for a more manageable fire pit. When you first light your fire, there should be no branches or dead leaves hanging outside the fire ring.

Walk the Site

Once the fire has been doused and stirred, go to the trouble to walk the site when it’s full dark. It will be easy to see any flares in the space around your fire once it’s completely out. Look for red embers, do a sniff check, and make sure you look up to make sure there are no embers up in the tree canopy. It only takes one ember to create a terrible hazard for people, wildlife and property. Should you notice any scent of smoke or signs of embers outside the fire pit, take the time to fully soak that area to avoid a disaster. Anyone who lives downwind of wildfires is aware of the negative effects. Even the smoke can travel hundreds of miles, making it a wise idea to have the best HEPA air purifier for wildfire smoke.

Campfires are mesmerizing. On a chilly night of camping, getting warmed up beside a campfire is a lovely way to get ready to snuggle into your sleeping bag. Gathering with friends around a source of light and warmth makes a fire even more special. Responsible fire management starts with having water standing by before you ignite the wood.

Check out other blog posts for more information like the above.

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