If the weather outside is pleasant, bonfires are great to enjoy the times outdoors with family and friends. But starting a beach bonfire involves some pre-education to get done things more fun and safer. If you aren’t familiar, here we bring you all information about beach bonfires.
To start with a more fun-loaded experience, go through 11 Beach Bonfire Do’s and Don’ts as follows.
- Do check the weather before going outside
- Do confirm whether bonfires are permitted in the specific area
- Do respect Leave No Trace
- Do find the perfect spot for a bonfire
- Do bring adequate firewood
- Do keep the right distance from children and furry friends
- Don’t let the fire get over the manageable size
- Don’t forget to pack the essentials
- Don’t leave bonfire unattended
- Don’t throw trash or anything to the beach bonfire
- Don’t leave the place until it is fully extinguished
Beach bonfire sounds joyful and cool and will leave you with plentiful memories. But if aren’t educated about bonfire safety, you might not feel prepared. Therefore, let’s move on to exploring the beach bonfire do’s and don’ts in detail.
Do check the weather before going outside
Weather is the biggest enemy of all bonfire plans, agree?
Paying high attention to the weather forecast of where you are going to have a bonfire is one of the priorities. Different from some other camping activities, here beach bonfires are indeed depending on climatic support. Only if there is pleasant weather, you can take a chance for a bonfire.
Especially in a beach bonfire, bad weather can lead to high safety threats. If there are high winds or rain, it is difficult to start a bonfire and the chance for safety hazards is high. There are certain incidents from past reporting wildfire and we should not take any more in the times ahead.
Therefore, take a closer look at the weather of where you are heading to make sure it is fine to be prepared for a beach bonfire. Of course, weather is unpredictable; but you can still consider the recent days and nights to realize the atmospheric conditions and make a closer decision. Contact the local area manager of where you are planning to visit and get to know well.
Smart Tip: To help with blocking wind when starting a beach bonfire, dig a deep pit and place your firewood
Do confirm whether bonfires are permitted in the specific area
Different local areas respect different laws. In case you have to pay a big fine after all party night that will put a big hitch. So make sure you are going to have a beach bonfire where it is legally allowed. And unfortunately, not everywhere in the USA is allowed to have fires. The most important thing here is to check the local regulations before you plan ahead.
There are picnic areas like Baker Beach, East Beach, Kirby Cove, Battery Wallace and etc. that allowed having charcoal fire in fixed grills. And in some areas, you can only have a beach bonfire within the provided fire rings. Mostly they are first-come-first-serve and make sure you contact the area managers for the right advice.
To check the permission for a bonfire where you are going to have a beach fire, contact the local land manager to get a quick answer. And do verify whether you need to apply for a permit for a bonfire and it proceeds.
Do respect Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace (LNT) principles are originated to protect remote lands. But they are applied and relevant at your local beach just as much as they do in your backcountry visit at Rocky Mountain National Park.
As you might have already aware, LNT principles are created to reduce site changes from humans by evading activities like cutting live trees and branches, hitting spikes into trees, clearing an area of rocks or twigs permanently, digging trenches, or removing natural items completely. And among LNT principles, you find some important considerations under minimizing campfire impacts. As we know fire can cause a long-lasting impact on the surroundings and it is essential to follow LNT principles when starting a bonfire.
The core LNT concern for beach bonfires is the possible impact fire can put on the local environment and the delicate landscapes. The solution for this in the way minimizing the impact is packing a metal fire pit to properly house fire. But if you have no fire pit, you can dig an adequately sized hole in the sand by taking your camping shovel. And when everything is done and time to pack up, make sure you fill-up the hole back with sand and properly cover-up.
Do find the perfect spot for a bonfire
Place matters a lot to make a nice beach bonfire experience. Making the job easy, you find selected places to host bonfires in many public beach areas. But if you have something different in mind, you can find a suitable location for your family or friends to have fun enough. But finding your own place involves extra attention to certain facts for everyone and environmental safety.
The wind is the real enemy of your beach bonfire plans which could develop fire out of your control putting people and the area at a risk. Even the chance for this is quite rare; it is serious enough to draw your consideration.
In general, a quality and well-matched place for a fire pit should be at least 100 yards/ 90 m away from any blocks, vehicles, streets, sea turtle nests, or any foliage. The area you are planning to start a fire in should be damp and pleasant and should not be too dry. And avoid fire near the dead grass, branches, bark, or any dry leaves as fire could easily expand and develop into a dangerous wildfire.
Simply, the place should be secluded to get suitable for your beach bonfire. At the same time, check for local area regulations on the specific area and find the right bonfire location.
Do bring adequate firewood to the location
Getting started with a beach bonfire is fun and it becomes more fun by adding collecting driftwood from the beach as a task. But this is not suitable and the EPA does not recommend any way except in case of emergency. Make sure you take suitable firewood with you whenever you are planning a beach bonfire.
The reason for this is burning driftwood that’s been waterlogged with ocean water can discharge toxic chemicals into the environment. So it is best you provide yourself with needed firewood. There are various spots you will find on your way to the bonfire location for making things easier at the same time safe. Be sure that you buy firewood within a 20 mile (32 km) limit from your bonfire location.
There is a restriction to transport firewood from outer a general region in attention to the spread of tree syndromes and non-native species. Therefore, minimize the environmental impact by choosing the right place to buy firewood within the area.
Do keep the right distance from children and furry friends
Fire can be dangerous at any time with unexpected wind and for some other reason. Especially when it comes to a beach bonfire, the wind is stronger and you should be more attentive. There, safety should be your first concern from starting the fire to finishing up. Especially if you have children in your group, make sure you keep the right distance for safety. You can make them involved in some fun activities around bonfires but at the right distance. Never take them involved in starting the fire, cooking over the fire, or anything.
Safety should be a priority not only for children but also for you and your furry friends too. Make sure you keep a safe distance from the fire all the time. And have water by the side to use at any time needed. And when choosing wood, stick with safe options and do not use moist wood that can create sparks. These sparks can be dangerous for the people around especially for kids and pets.
Don’t let fire get over the manageable size
Thinking about a massive bonfire for massive fun?
Fire can be too dangerous if you lose its control. Even if a massive bonfire can bring more light and fun to the beach, it is not the best. Make your bonfire fairly small and keep it well monitored. Only if it is in the right size, you can take the right control of it.
Making a beach bonfire should not take any sort of risk at everyone around and in the environment. Therefore, do not go for overly large bonfire plans as they can put you at clear safety risks. The chance you could get out of its control is more if fire builds up too strong. As you are responsible to prevent the spread and cause of damage, keep your bonfire smaller and controlled. You can take suitable tools to adjust burning wood and keep the fire controlled.
Note: Most of the beaches have fire size rules. So respecting local area laws, keep bonfire relatively small and leave no chance for damage
Don’t forget to pack the essentials
Beach bonfire sounds so fun and entertaining but takes a lot of work in getting prepared. As above discussed, you have to be precise on the beach location to have a bonfire, contact the local area manager, apply for a permit, get arranged a place to buy firewood, and so on. But never forget to pack up the essentials to have the most out of your beach bonfire experience.
You can spend hours and hours around the beach bonfire if you pack your essentials well. Most importantly, you need snacks and supplies to spend some quality time. Pack as much as adequate to your whole group. Never forget to bring s’mores and similar in your camping cooler to cook your own over the bonfire. It is full of fun as always and children can too get involved with the right safety measures.
When you spend plenty of time around bonfires, you should not avoid planning for your comfort. In fact, be sure you pack enough camping chairs, and camping blankets to stay cozy when hanging out. For larger groups, we recommend bringing a camping table to arrange things easier. It is worth having extra blankets than worrying about absence. Especially if you have kids, do not make any mistake in packing food and supplies to the required amount. And do not forget to pack enough bug spray to spend some quality and relaxing time outside.
Don’t leave bonfire unattended
In any experience with fire, it is a rule not to leave it unattended. In the same way, never leave your bonfire unattended as fire can be dangerous when you are at a distance.
Beach times are having so much to enjoy and there can be so many reasons for you to forget bonfires easily. But do not! Even though there are millions of things to make you distracted from the bonfire, leaving it unattended is never justified. This is a critical safety issue that can build up to be excessively dangerous to you and also surrounding.
The solution here is to keep looking at it and monitor it. But if you are of a larger group, you can appoint 2 or 3 caretakers to look after bonfire as their duty in the evening. With that, you can prevent your flames get out of control building up to danger. And even if you have too many other things to do you can be ensured that bonfire is safe in some other hands and never get dangerous.
Don’t throw trash or anything to the beach bonfire
As above stated, you are highly advised to bring your own firewood to the area where you are going to your beach bonfire. And remember, firewood should be the only thing you burn during your bonfire event.
You may simply think putting any wrappers of candy or snack covers or anything in a bonfire is simple and not harmful as they easily burn in front of the eyes. But they are actually not. Even they burn soon once they are dropped, they do not burn completely. This becomes a vast threat to environmental safety. If any wild animal eats particles remained, that will be a massive hazard towards the wellbeing of the wildlife.
As you are responsible for the safety of the environment, use only dry wood and do not start a fire with kerosene, lighter fluid, or gasoline. Use appropriate fire starters for camping and reduce possible risks.
Also, remember not to use moist wood like cedar and pine that create sparks. And if you have wood painted, they can be dangerous with flammable chemicals in paints. Strictly remember not to put anything into your bonfire and keep all your soda and beer cans away as aluminum can create toxic fumes. Therefore, pack all your trash back with you after the event. Simply, only the firewood will be gone and the rest of the things will come back with you after the bonfire event if you are respecting LNT principles.
Don’t leave the place until it is fully extinguished
Just as you are responsible throughout your bonfire event, you have things to do before you leave the place. Make sure you extinguish your beach bonfire completely at the end of the event and leave zero chance to start a wildfire. Never leave the place until it is fully put out.
To finish it up easily, pour water sufficiently and mix up the embers by using a stick and letting embers get cool. To ensure is it fine to leave the place, put your hand above the embers (but do not touch as they can burn your hand) and check whether you still feel the heat. If yes, it is not yet the time to leave. Wait some more and put more water. Do not smother the fire with sand in order to put out the fire. As to the National Park Service, sand insulates the hot embers and could lead another one on the beach stepping in the fire-pit covered. This can lead to bad injuries.
If you have built your fire pit by digging sand on the beach, you can then fill sand back in the hole to finish things properly after embers are totally cool. Make sure you do this before you leave and simply end up the things free of any risk.
If you are properly aware of the Beach Bonfire Do’s and Don’ts, you can make things up to a safe and fun level. Most importantly, consider Leave No Trace principles and local area rules before you start with a bonfire. Just as much as your safety, consider the minimal impact on your surroundings.