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No. 47 Cook on a campfire

A family toasting marshmallows over an open campfire at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire
A family toasting marshmallows over an open campfire | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Whether you’re toasting some marshmallows or rustling up something tasty for dinner, cooking on a campfire can be great fun. It’s no. 47 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Tasty tips for open cooking

Food cooked over a campfire always seems to taste better than normal. You can cook anything from toasted marshmallows to fried bacon and eggs.

Spiced sensation

Why not try a little sliced apple with cinnamon on a stick? You can make it extra sweet with a little honey after you take it out of the fire.

Baked veggies

When the fire dies down you can still cook on the hot embers. Wrap a jacket potato or other root vegetables in foil and cook up a tasty treat in the embers of the fire.

Campfire roast

You can also wrap thick slices of meat in cabbage leaves and roast them in the embers. The cabbage leaves won’t burn and the meat stays moist.

Fun around the fire

Once you've got your snack in hand, why not have a campfire sing song? Or just enjoy the smoky smell as you laze in the sunshine or gaze at the stars?

Whatever your treat, make sure you take care with hot food and that there's an adult always there to help you.

Visitors to the Lake District enjoying a cooking woodland activity at Footprint, Windermere, Cumbria
Visitors to the Lake District enjoying a cooking woodland activity | © National Trust Images/John Millar

‘Cooking on a campfire is an essential survival skill everyone should learn and is a cool thing to end a wild adventure in the woods with.’

- Matthew, age 11

Safety first

Campfires are fun, but they need to be handled with care. You should always do this activity with an adult.

Once your campfire is lit:

  • Stash some water nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on the bonfire until it's completely gone out.
  • Carefully watch pets and children around campfires.
  • Don't throw anything dangerous onto the fire, such as fireworks or pressurised containers.
  • Take care not to touch the area where a campfire has been, even after you're finished – it can stay hot for a very long time.
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

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