Campfire Stories

Campfire Storytelling Tips

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Oct 2011; updated May 2023.

Camping isn't camping without a campfire. A campfire isn't a campfire without stories.

There's nothing better than finishing a good meal then sitting around the campfire telling stories before bed.

Campfire Story Telling Tips

The best way to tell a good campfire story is not to read it from a book for a start.  Engage each listener with eye contact and tell it as if from personal experience or a story you've heard.

Memorising a story requires a lot more time than many of us have.  However, most stories can be broken down into key aspects of the start, middle, and end.  You may want to jot those key points down and discreetly refer to them.

This technique also makes an easy way to adjust the story for the audience: leave out the complicated and scary bits for a younger audience, and embellish for the older ones.

  • Narrate from personal experience or a story you've heard.
  • Avoid reading.  Reading from a book, the story is obviously 'not real'.
  • Remember the key points of the story and modify the story to suit your audience.
  • Take in aspects of your surroundings. Camping by trees adds to the atmosphere, as most woods or forests have many unexplained noises.
  • Set the story in the same weather conditions.  If it is raining and the wind is blowing, then 'it was a stormy night like this, with the wind blowing and the rain pouring down', or if the sky is clear and the moon is out, 'the moon was shining bright that night and gave everything an eerie glow'.  Get the idea?
  • Vary sound.  Go quiet.  Go LOUD.  Speed-some-bits-up.  Slow  some  bits  down.  Add........pauses....... and then BANG!