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Summer Science: How To Build A Campfire

Campfire
iStockphoto.com

Summer living is supposed to be easy — school is out, the days are long, the traffic eases. But it's not all inner tubes and lemonade: Summer can throw us some curveballs, too. How can I avoid sunburn? What can I do to stave off that brain freeze? Why do my s'mores always burn?

Joe Palca scoured the forest for firewood. But will it burn?
Maggie Starbard / NPR
/
NPR
Joe Palca scoured the forest for firewood. But will it burn?

Fear not; NPR is here to help. As part of our new Summer Science series, we'll turn to science to tackle these vexing questions, starting with how to build the perfect campfire.

Science correspondent Joe Palca ventured into the woods with fire protection engineer Daniel Madrzykowski to find out why it can be so hard to start a fire, and learn the three essential ingredients for success.

Have a listen to their adventure by clicking the audio link above. And before you head out to cook the hot dogs, print out our handy fire-building guide. First step: Crumple the guide and light it.

Printable Guide: How To Build A Campfire

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Palca
Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.