It was the vibrant summer that I, with my beloved gal, finally managed to get away from office spreadsheets to Sequoia’s spread fields. It was a quiet, gloomy night at Kings Canyon waterfall, with constellations shimmering over the horizon with obscured sounds of nocturnal animals chasing one another in the woods.
After a pleasant evening visiting around the campfire, we retreated to our tent. I doused the campfire with water till there was no glow in the embers, but it was still just warm. It was only in the morning that my wife found out what was just warm last night was blazing in the morning, which she then doused utterly.
To this day, I cannot unthink how every 3 out of 4 forest fires in California are caused by humans, so-called outdoorsmen like me. That could have been a catastrophic mistake! How could I be so careless despite being adept at outdoor scenarios? I pondered the situation again to avoid anything similar in the future, and here’s what I will advise you about extinguishing a campfire.
- Steps Involved in Extinguishing a Campfire
The old school method to extinguish the fire is to drown the campfire in water. Just take a water-filled bucket to pour over, followed by mixing the embers and ashes just the way you’d mix carrots, cabbages after pouring cream over your favorite salad at home.
Mix or stir the materials thoroughly as if a guest, likely a campground host, is expected to visit you soon. However, this works but is not the quickest method to extinguish the campfire.
Another effective method that is comparatively more effective and less time-consuming is to mix the ashes and embers with soil with the help of a shovel. When in the backcountry, It is recommended to have a lightweight shovel with you all the time, just like the one I use.
Ensure to uncover any unburnt pieces of woods and logs and check if there are still leftover embers. Remember not to bury the fire as it could still ignite underground; instead, stir just enough that the dirt or the sand to choke the embers. It will extinguish the fire thoroughly as compared to drowning it or burying it.
Double-check the fire to see if there are still any chances of reignition. By placing your hand inches away from the fire, you can check if there’s still any warmth left. If so, repeat the process until it has been cooled.
Long story short, to completely extinguish a campfire I follow this simple rule of thumb.
DROWN IT! STIR IT! FEEL IT!