Fire and Ice: Building Campfires on Snow

Don’t let winter dissuade you from having your outdoorsy fun. No one likes to be cooped up inside when the weather changes from the crisp chill of fall to the freezing temperatures of winter. You nature-lovers understand that slight dread that accompanies the first snowfall of the year because you know it means that the trails will be closed to your hiking boots and you need special camping gear to spend the night outdoors. But you don’t have to wait until the warm weather of spring to enjoy the outdoors and one of the purest forms of relaxation since our cavemen (and cavewomen) ancestors first lit a fire.

snow camping

Here are some fool-proof tips for building a campfire snow…

  • Pick a site that is protected from the wind.
  • If the snow isn’t too deep, dig down to build your fire on the ground. If you’re on top of deep snow then stomp out a flat spot and construct a platform out of rocks or logs so that your fire won’t be resting directly on the snow.
  • Ideally, you’ll have a large, flat stone in the center. Place your tinder atop this, and arrange sticks tepee-style around it, then light the tinder.
  • Even wood that is buried under the snow can be used to build your fire. To check and see if a stick is dry enough to burn, snap it in half and listen for the audible crack of breaking wood (different from the icy sound of cracking ice). You’ll want to make sure that the wood that you have to burn is properly dried. Placing still-wet logs near the fire once you have it burning will allow them to dry out enough to use.
  • Make sure to bring a foolproof firestarter. As a backup for your butane lighter, one of the best flammables is drier lint (or cotton balls) slathered in petroleum jelly, packed in a pill bottle. Consider using a magnesium stick because this will light even in wet conditions. For additional ideas for tinder see


All the colors of the original marshmallow toasting fork that rotates.

The original marshmallow toasting fork that rotates is perfect for winter campfire cooking!

Now you’re ready for the fun part- the campfire cookout! Don’t forget to take along your Rolla Roasters, the original marshmallow toasting forks that rotate, to help make your campfire cooking experience fun and easy.

For more winter campfire building tips check out this Trailspace forum for How to build a fire on top of deep snow  and Backpacker’s article on How to Build an Emergency Fire.

Visit for other campfire tips, campfire cooking ideas, and to stock up on Rolla Roasters for your friends and family!

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