It’s a beautiful summer weekend, and you know what that means-it’s time to hit the beach.
We love soaking up the sun, splashing in the water, and grounding in the sand. Our favorite part of going to the beach? A moonlit bonfire.
Here are our tips and tricks for the ultimate beachside bonfire.
First assemble your bonfire kit in preparation for the best bonfire ever. Here’s what we always have in our kit.
1. Kindling. You need kindling to start a proper bonfire. Bring old newspapers or magazines. It’s the perfect way to “reuse” your old paper, and it’s the best way to keep your fire blazing. If you’re doing a bonfire in the winter, you can use pinecones and pine needles for a really big flame that will light your wood quickly. *We keep a bag near our trash and toss mail, note pad paper, etc. in there until it is time to BONFIRE! We also make kindling boquets that include aromatic elements: eucalyptus, star anise, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, orange peel. The benefit of kindling? No toxic lighter fluid smell polluting the air or your lungs. Another fave is using small twigs, perhaps collected on a hike or nature walk.
2. Wood. Obviously, you can’t have a bonfire without wood. We always buy a bundle from Whole Foods.
3. Fire. We use a long reach lighter. It is a lot easier to light kindling with than using a long match with the ocean breeze blowing it out!
4. A Long Stick. Think 2x2x24”. This sounds silly, but having a firm stick to prod your wood does wonders to keep your fire burning, not smoking. Exposing fire to oxygen helps it burn stronger and brighter.
5. Creature Comforts. A bonfire is twice as nice when you’re sitting on a soft blanket with delicious treats to munch on and maybe some tunes to sing a long to. Don’t forget to bring any food, drinks, or entertainment. Just remember, glass is not aloud on the beach. Think #plasticfree when planning!
Second: Scope out your perfect fire pit. We find that most people will do their beach day around a fire pit so that they have dibs on it for the evening. You can do that, or you can wait to head to the beach around moonrise when that first set of beach campers has left, and the pits start to open up again.
Third: Start your bonfire. Here’s our foolproof way.
1. Rip and Twist: Start by ripping up your paper into manageable pieces, usually about an 8.5 x 11 size. Then TWIST. It doesn’t have to be precise. We just crinkle them into a twisted vertical tube shape.
2. Criss Cross Apple Sauce:. I usually do a row of 6 across with six over in the opposite direction, and just kind of keep pilling them until I think its enough kindling. This would be where you would place your small branches, pine cones or needles if you’re using those too.
3. Teepee Time: Place your wood (3 pieces) over the layered kindling in a pitched teepee shape. Make sure there isn’t too much space between the kindling and the wood. We want oxygen flowing but not too much!
4. Burn Baby Burn. Light the kindling on fire. We usually light a piece of kindling we’re holding and ignite the crisscrossed kindling with that. It’s usually best to light the kindling in multiple places.
5. Enjoy. If the fire isn’t quite igniting as you hoped, place more of your paper tubes so that they stick out from the wood tent. This should allow your wood to catch quicker.
Note: Not all beaches have fire pits. Find you nearest beach here. The list is ordered north to south.
Please remember to take all of your trash with you or put it in trash cans around the beach. Let’s keep our beaches beautiful! *For more ideas on how to love on your local beach check out Surf Rider Foundation.
Do you have any tips for the ultimate bonfire? Comment below.