Why Have Fire?
There are three main reasons for making a campfire and usually a fire is used for all three. But, you should understand that there is a different kind of fire for each use.
Warmth from a fire helps your body feel better on a cold camping trip. There are other ways to stay warm and you really shouldn't be relying on a fire for keeping your temperature up, but it is a comforting warmth. The heat from a fire is also very useful for drying out clothing and warming water which can be put in a bottle and placed in a cold sleeping bag to cut the chill. Fire heat has many uses and is the basic reason for having a fire.
You don't need a huge, roaring fire for warmth. Having a smaller fire and coming in close around it works just as well and conserves fuel.
Heat from a fire is often used to cook food. This warmth feeds your body from the inside which is the only real way to keep your body temperature up. You may simply boil water and add dried food or cook food right over the fire.
Campfire cooking should be done over a fire that has hot coals rather than flames. Flames have less heat and more soot which blackens pots. Coals also have a more even heat so food is cooked well.
The campfire is called the Wilderness TV. It is easy to sit and watch the flames play for hours while someone tells stories. The flames of a campfire are soothing and always changing. As a campfire dies down to coals, the night slowly takes over and you know its time to crawl into your sleeping bag until the morning.
There is not a lot more to do in camp once it begins to get dark so the campfire naturally becomes a gathering spot for all. Story tellers are in high demand on camping trips - learn a few stories to share around your next campfire.
Entertainment fires are better with flames to throw light on the story teller. After dinner, adding more fuel to the fire for the campfire program starts the evening's entertainment.