There’s just something special about a beach fire…feeling the warmth of the flames, hearing the sound of the surf crashing and seeing stars twinkle can make for an unforgettable time. To help you plan for an enjoyable and safe experience, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips so you can save time on the prep and focus on the fun.
Is it allowed?
Before you gather your supplies and head to the beach, you’ll want to make sure there isn’t a fire ban in effect. Although beaches don’t seem like an area of wildfire concern, having a campfire close to piles of driftwood or dry vegetation can be dangerous, especially if there is any wind. This information is often displayed on signage near beach access points, so you may want to do a bit of reconnaissance prior to packing up.
Once you’ve confirmed that campfires are allowed, it's time to gather a few supplies. First, you’ll need a bundle or two of wood. Bundles can be purchased at any of Newport’s local grocery stores. Next, grab some beach chairs and/or blankets for ultimate comfort and coziness. Once that sun goes down and the sand cools, you’ll be thankful to have a bit of a barrier from it. Finally, be sure to pack some snacks and drinks to enjoy. Classic faves are hot dogs and smores (switch out the Hershey’s for Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel Squares, you won’t be disappointed). However, we won’t judge if you’d rather grab some takeout and enjoy your prepared meal by the firelight. A few other items you don’t want to forget are kindling, a lighter, wooden skewers (if you’re cooking), a flashlight and a trash bag.
Fire pit prep
When looking for your ideal spot, you’ll want to stay off the top of dunes and away from beach grass or driftwood piles. To prepare your fire pit, dig a couple of inches of sand out of the middle of a three-foot area. This slight difference in elevation will not only protect your flames from the wind but will also rest your fire on damp sand, reducing the likelihood of the fire spreading.
Light the fire
You can use kindling or a newspaper to get it started. We don’t recommend burning driftwood as it can release toxic chemicals. Many people may have their own personal techniques for constructing a campfire, but if you’re a novice needing assistance, check out this step-by-step video.
Safe extinguishing and cleaning up
Now that the time has come to pack it in, you’ll want to be sure to safely extinguish your fire. To do so, douse it with both water and sand thoroughly. Be sure to use water; coals buried in sand can smolder for up to 24 hours. Hidden coals could be stepped on and cause serious burns. Finally, check around your area and pick up any trash and take it with you; leave the beach looking like it did when you arrived.
A campfire is a long-standing beach tradition that is a fun and connecting experience for families and friends. If you’re coming to Newport, be sure to include this activity on your itinerary!