The Best Campsites Collection #2 – Jumbo Rocks

Located toward the western border of California’s renowned Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks Campground is just a short hike from some of the area’s coolest rock formations. With just 124 first-come, first-served sites you’ll have to arrive early, as Los Angeles is just over 2 hours away.

jumbo-rocks

How To Safely Start A Camp Fire

You’ve been hiking all day, it’s cold and you’re starving… it’s time to pitch the tent, start a camp fire and grab some grub. Without a camp fire you’ll be in for a long, miserable night. When starting a camp fire in the backcountry you can’t just grab some sticks and light them up. In today’s post we’ll give you tips on how to safely start a camp fire and how to extinguish the flame when you’re moving out. If only fire extinguishers were light enough for our packs.

Set up your camp fire spot:
1. Clear the area of any loose debris and dry grass
2. Dig a small pit for the fire, or use a ring of rocks to designate the fire area
3. Don’t build your fire under a canopy of trees
4. Make sure your tent is at least 15 feet from the fire – a lot of tents are made from nylon and they will burn fast!

Tools you can use to start the fire:
1. Matches
2. Lighter
3. Fire Starter / Fire Steel
4. Old fashion rubbing to sticks together
5. Fuel (if you have it)

What to burn:
1. Fallen tree branches and deadwood
2. Pine straw, bark and large leaves
3. Logs

Building the fire:
1. Start with kindle and smaller branches
2. Build a pyramid / tepee shape
3. Add larger branches and logs as fire grows

Putting the fire out:
1. Cover entire fire with dirt
2. Use water (if you’re located by a river or lake… don’t use drinking water)
3. Stir the dirt to make sure fire is out

I hope these tips will help you next time you find yourself in a fire building situation. Remember, oxygen is the lifeline of any fire – without oxygen you will have no flame. So be sure to properly pick the spot for your fire pit, build the fire so oxygen can get in, and have a plan set on how you will extinguish the flame.

Also, check with the park service where ever you may be. Some places don’t allow camp fires unless you’re in a designated campground and some parks have restrictions on what you can burn.

camp fire
Photo by Podknox on Flickr

Dare to Sleep Under The Stars

To see something truly amazing, we’re often asked to make a sacrifice. It might be the warmth of your home, the comfort of your own bed or the peace of mind knowing bugs and wild animals can’t harm you. But to catch a glimpse of the night sky and the millions of stars in our galaxy you must step outside… into the dark. I challenge all our readers and customers to spend one night in the month of May under the stars. Sacrifice your warm, cozy bed for a night on the hood of your truck of in a sleeping bag by a camp fire.

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.