Building a campfire- an exercise in family bonding. 

We probably have a fire in our garden most weekends. We love it, especially in the autumn, that smoky, earthy  wood scent. The dancing flames, perfectly hypnotic, helping your to unwind and de stress after a hectic week. Amongst other things, Mr W. is a woodworker, so we have lots of wood off cuts to dispose of at the end of the week so it makes sense to get out the fire pit and fire lighters and have a ready made bonfire in no time at all.


When I compiled out family Bucket List for the season, and added the usual ‘Toast Marshmallows.’ It occurred to me that as lovely as our weekend fires are, they have become quite common place for us, part of our normal life. As my list is all about experiencing new things together as a family and authentic, real life experiences; I decided that we weren’t going to toast marshamallows over the fire pit in the garden, we were going to find somewhere away from home. Somewhere beautiful, surrounded by nature. We were going to find our own firewood. We were going to build our own campfire with natural materials from the surrounding area. We are going to sit on rocks not chairs and we’re going to roast our marshmallows on sticks not skewers.

So, off we set. We found somewhere fairly local which I knew allowed campfires as it had the perfect combination of woodland to collect firewood, a quarry for rocks to build the campfire and natural clearings in the forest, so that we knew a fire would be safe and wouldn’t cause harm to the local environment.

We collected dead, dry sticks to burn. We collected decent sized rocks from the quarry which we arranged in a circle as the fire’s boundary. We did some safety checks. Collected long, thin sticks to toast the mallows  and cut away the bark to reveal the clean inner layer, which we burnt to ensure they were sanitary. And then we set up our fire.

Do you know what? After all that hard work, together as a family, they were the best toasted marshmallows I’ve ever tasted! All that was left was to get cosy around the fire. Banana even entertained us with some campfire singing!

Fabulous, family fun and awesome bonding time.

Cooking on a Campfire is Number 47 in the National Trust’s #50Things Challenge. ✅

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