How to Make a Campfire Ring

How to Make a Campfire Ring
One of the first things any camper wants to do upon arriving to the campsite is build a campfire. Whether for cooking, warmth or just sitting around, the campfire is an indelible part of the camping experience. If there isn't a designated fire pit or ring at your site, you'll need to build your own before building a fire. The fire ring is a quick, easy means of fire containment.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rocks
  • Shovel (optional)
Step 1
Find a clear area. Your area should be 15 feet or more away from flammable hazards such as brush, hanging branches, tents and trees. It should also be shielded from any wind. If it's too windy, you should avoid building a campfire. Locate an area that is suitably clear of any such hazards.
Step 2
Clear out any leaves, pine needles, twigs and other fire hazards within a 10-foot radius of the site of your intended campfire. Make sure that there is no duff, which is a layer of decomposed material that looks a lot like soil. Be sure the site only has dirt left.
Step 3
Dig a fire pit. A fire pit is preferable to a fire ring on top of the ground because it provides a deeper, more secure area for your fire. When possible, dig a pit of about 2 feet in diameter and 1 foot in depth.
Step 4
Find rocks. In order to build your fire ring, you'll want a number of large rocks. Ideally the ring should be a foot or 2 in height. Look for a series of large, dry rocks. If you intend to set a grill on the rocks for cooking, look for rocks that are very close in size so that the grill will be level.
Step 5
Place a layer of rocks in a circle 2 to 3 feet in diameter (or around the edge of the fire pit). Place them as closely together as possible.
Step 6
Fill in any gaps between the large first layer of rocks with smaller rocks or shoveled dirt to help to fortify your fire ring.

Tips & Warnings

Be sure to check on the fire policy/safety status of the wilderness area and follow accordingly.
Use preexisting fire pits when they are available to limit impact.
Never leave the campfire unattended.
Store firewood and other flammable equipment away and upwind from the fire.
Keep two gallons of water or more or a shovel near the fire to put it out when needed.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.