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BBQ & Fire Safety

Fire is essential to life. It can be a source of comfort and warmth, a means to have safe water and a way to cook, and it makes your food taste fantastic! It can also be incredibly dangerous and in seconds ruin a great holiday so it must be treated with respect! Prevention is always the best solution.

See below for our 5 simple tips on BBQ and fire safety to remember when camping or at the beach;


  1. Choose the position of your fire or BBQ carefully. Consider the wind direction and how it may direct any errant sparks and smoke, tent fabric melts very easily and you don't want carbon monoxide fumes filling your sleeping space! Give the fire more room than you think it needs, if it gets too hot or out of control you can safely take a step back until it dies down. If wild camping try to utilise the natural landscape, build your fire close to a stream or the sea (remember to check the tidal times!) so you don't have to carry water too far and can safely stop it getting out of control. A good rainstorm or the next tide will clear away any final remnants of your fire so you leave no trace which is nice too. Do however, be aware that stones from rivers should not be placed in fires as they can explode! Treat candles and lanterns with the same careful respect. Don't position them too close to tents or windbreaks, especially the kinds on sticks that can be knocked over easily or sink in the sand. Better still, choose LED candles and remove the fire risk altogether! Buy safe LED candles on Amazon!
  2. However tempting the heat is on a cold night, NEVER bring a smoldering BBQ inside your tent or camper. Even if it looks like it's gone out, BBQ's can continue to release a dangerous cocktail of fumes for hours into your sleeping area. Buy a carbon monoxide detector just in case. It is especially important for houses, motor homes and camper vans with gas installations that may develop faults, but still a useful warning system if the fire smoke or generator fumes ends up in the sleeping area for tents and shelters. 
  3. When you are finished with it smother your fire safely and completely. Let it burn down to embers and either smother it with scoopfuls of dirt or sand, or gently pour on any left over water. Take the time to wait to make sure that it has definitely gone out and the dirt is cool to the touch. Fires can sometimes smoulder for exceptional amounts of time before re-igniting to start forest fires, be especially aware of this in peat areas which is combustible. Leave no trace so the next person and wildlife can enjoy the place as much as you did! 


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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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