Marshmallows roasting on an open fire ... except you need to get that fire going, first.
Whether you're headed camping or just building a fire in your backyard, follow these steps to build a lasting fire that won't go out before you can spear your marshmallow.
First things first: Check the rules where you are to make sure fires are allowed. If yes, read on. If not, find another spot. And then read on.
1) Gather your supplies
Make sure you have approved firewood (it's illegal to bring firewood into state parks, forest campgrounds or day-use area unless purchased from an approved vendor) and any tools you may need to split wood or shave kindling, like a hatchet or a knife. Don't forget about matches or some type of lighter.
And finally, water. Or something to put out the fire if it starts to get out of control.
2) Prepare tinder and kindling
This is what you'll use to start your fire. Tinder can be small, dry twigs or sticks or even rolled-up pieces of a paper bag. Kindling is wood slightly larger than tinder.
3) Arrange all the pieces in a teepee
Don't just throw everything into the pit. Start by putting the tinder in the center. Then, stack the kindling around the tinder in a teepee-like structure. Continue to add a few more larger pieces of wood in that same teepee construction. You can always add wood more after you've lit the fire.
Note: Remember to leave an opening so that you can light the tinder.
4) Light the fire
Whether you're using matches, a lighter or flint or whatever, make sure you light the tinder first. If you need to, blow on the burning tinder to help it along.
5) Burn responsibly
Once the fire is burning, keep an eye on it. Never leave a campfire unattended.
After you're done, put out the fire. Make sure the ashes are cool to the touch and that the fire — and embers — are out before you leave.
6) Bonus: Roast your marshmallows!
Or if that isn't your thing, here are eight other campfire recipes that are sure to please.
More from the great outdoors
• Boundary Waters newbie? Here's how to eat, plan, paddle and get home• Tips and tricks: How to eat well in the BWCA• Appetites: Recipes from the 10,000 lakes• Bug off: 6 Minnesota state parks where the mosquitoes aren't so horrible
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.