Humanity will never be thankful enough to Prometheus for sneaking into Mount Olympus and stealing fire for us. Fire has become one of the most essential things to have whether at home or in the wild. We need fire almost as much as we need food.
Have you ever experienced the primal satisfaction you get when you start a fire in the wilderness using the most natural methods? That fire is the closest you can get to civilization when backpacking for weeks in the wild.
In this fire making guide, we provide detailed tips and tricks on how you can easily build a fire while tackling the wild trails or even at home. We look at several ingenious ways to get your campfire roaring using readily available items and technologies. This is an all-inclusive guide covering every step from preparation, different fire starting techniques, types of fires you can build, what keeps the fire burning, and how to put out a fire safely.
So without much ado, let’s start with fire making preparation procedures.
- 1 Prepare Your Fire Area
- 2 Gather the Essential Items
- 3 How to Start a Fire When You Don’t Have Matches
- 3.1 Traditional Friction Based Fire Starting Methods
- 3.2 Making Fire Using Sunlight
- 3.3 Starting a Fire with a Battery
- 4 Types of Fires You Can Build in the Wild
- 4.1 The Teepee Fire
- 4.2 The Log Cabin Fire Set Up
- 4.3 The Lean-To Lay Fire Structure
- 4.4 The Star Fire Structure
- 4.5 Pyramid Fire
- 4.6 Parallel Fire
- 4.7 Swedish Fire
- 4.8 Long Log Fire or the Siberian Survival Fire
- 5 What a Fire Needs to Burn
- 6 Putting Out a Fire
- 7 A Few Last Words
Prepare Your Fire Area
A fire needs an open airy environment where it can burn luxuriously and sustain itself. So if your quarters are inside a tarp, make sure the tarp is rigged up to cover a large area. If you don’t have a tarp, you can always look for a rocky outcropping if you are lucky to have one around or simply find an area with overhanging boughs. Find a place where your fire will be protected from the general direction of the rain although a fire that’s hot enough can still burn in the rain.
Creating a windbreak for the ire will also help. You can easily do this with a fallen log, rock piles, or a combination of different materials. The windbreak will ensure that your fire is not put off by gusts of heavy wind.
Think about safety when choosing your fireplace. Keep it a good distance from flammables such as your fuel storage containers or your stock of twigs, tinder, and wood. If inside a tarp, make sure the flames don’t go as high as the ceiling.
Gather the Essential Items
Different fire building methods may require different preparation items but here are some of the standard items you should have ready at hand regardless of what method you are using to start your fire. Gather the following items well in advance:
A Bundle of Tinder
Tinder is a good fire-starter because it burns fast and easy.
It can be any bundle of fine dry material that will receive a spark or ember and get the fire going. You can use a small bundle of dry grass, straw, leaves, tiny wood shavings, and small twigs as tinder. The small bundle is also referred to as “bird’s nest’ due to its resemblance to a small bird nest. Once you create a spark or ember by any of the methods discussed below, the tinder bundle will immediately catch fire and with the aid of oxygen, the fire will spread through the tinder and start a flame.
It is important to prepare your collection of tinder ahead of time. Your survival gear should include common tinder items such as cotton balls and old newspapers especially when you hit the trails in wet weather when leaves and twigs are likely to be wet and damp. Alcohol tabs and other types of chemical fuel tabs will also be helpful in wet conditions.
You also need to collect kindling before you can start a fire. Kindling refers to small pieces of dry wood that can be stacked in a pyramid or similar shape. Once you set your tinder bundle ablaze, the fire will spread to the kindling stack and continue burning.
Kindling is a bit thicker than tinder. It can be the size of a small pencil or your thumb. You can use small twigs, dry dense grass, or small branches as kindling. Small dead tree branches that are dry and crisp enough to snap easily when broken make very good kindling. Take time to gather enough kindling before you start the fire. Use a bushcraft hatchet or camping axe, if you carried one with you, to chop larger logs into smaller pieces that can be used as kindling.
After you get the fire started, you’ll need fuel to keep it burning. Fuel, in this case, refers to anything larger than kindling that can burn for longer. Thick logs are the most common forms of fuel. You’ll, therefore, need to have larger pieces of wood ready at hand to ensure the fire burns good and longer. Large dense dry logs work best. You’ll need an axe to cut and chop dead or fallen logs into smaller easily manageable firewood. This article I wrote goes into detail on the different ways you could cut a tree down. Once you have the tree down make sure to limb and buck the tree for easy processing.
Here’s a guide on firewood from best to worst.
Other forms of fuel include charcoal and coal, which have longer burn time and higher burning temperature. Greenwood won’t burn as well as dry wood because it still has moisture trapped inside. It also creates a lot of smoke which could be a health hazard inside a tarp or other partially confined space.
You may also need to have some form of accelerant to make the fire building process easier. An accelerant can be a flammable chemical or petroleum product such as kerosene, gasoline, or even Vaseline. Simply add the accelerant to your bundle of tinder or to your kindling to start the fire faster.
Any form of char cloth comes handy when you want to build a fire. A char cloth is simply a piece of cotton, linen, or jute linen that can easily catch fire when it comes into contact with a small spark or flame. You can create one using a cotton bandanna that you no longer use and an Altoids tin.
Point to Note:
Make sure you have gathered enough dry fuel wood, tinder, and kindling before you start the fire. You’ll definitely need a lot of it to start the fire and keep it going for hours. Let’s next look at some the many ways you can start a fire.
How to Start a Fire When You Don’t Have Matches
After you’ve gathered your pile of tinder, kindling, and wood, it’s time to create that necessary spark and get your fire going. The most obvious method is to strike a few matches and light the bird’s nest you’ve prepared. What if the matches are unavailable or probably soaked wet and rendered useless? Well, you don’t have to worry as there are many alternative ways to get your fire going without a lighter or matches. These alternative fire starting methods fall into three categories, namely friction-based methods popularly used by our ancestors, using sunlight, and other ingenious methods such as the use of batteries and steel wool.
Traditional Friction Based Fire Starting Methods
Here are some interesting traditional ways of starting a fire that some would call primitive but quite effective all the same.
Flint and Steel Method
This has nothing to do with the cartoon series Flintstone although both have the same origin in the Stone Age. Flint is actually a type of stone from the quartz, obsidian, chert, or jasper family. Let’s leave the exact definition to geologists but what we know is that flint is harder than steel and when you scratch the stone against steel it causes sparks that can be used to start a fire. Flint is fairly common in most places but if you are unsure of what it looks like, you could try different types of rocks around you by them against your steel knife. If they create sparks then you are good to go.
Starting a fire with flint and steel is quite simple. When you move the rocks sharply against your steel bushcraft knife, it will create sparks. The sparks are actually tiny splinters of steel heated by friction as they are being shaved off from the knife. You can arrest the sparks to start a fire by wrapping dry fabric around the stone, your tinder bird’s nest, or rotten wood. Once the tinder starts burning, gently blow on it until it gives you a sustainable flame. You can then set the burning bird’s nest in your kindling set-up and build a bigger fire. More on wilderness knife skills here.
The Fire Plow Method – Starting Fire with Sticks
Humans have used sticks to start fire for ages. This is a basic survival skill everyone should know. A fire plow requires a good amount of manual work but is actually a very simple process of starting a fire with nothing more than two pieces of dry wood. The fire is created by friction caused by the two bits of dry wood. It is important to ensure that you only use wood that is dry enough create and light wooden dust particles that collect inside the plow.
It is a simple process. Start by getting a flat piece of wood that will be your plow board. Any dry log split in the middle will always work. Create a small groove or path to run a stick through. Next get a stick and run it repeatedly through the groove you initially created on the log until you see smoke and burning wooden dust in the groove. When you get embers in the groove, blow on them gently while placing your tinder bundle on it to create a sustainable flame.
The Bow and Drill Method
This is another method of starting a fire using the power of friction between two pieces of wood. It is similar to the plow method but in this case we are using some form of engineering to create an easy to use contraption. Engineering in this case, for the benefit of those who harbor a healthy fear of technology, involves just a string, twine, or any available rope that can be used to build a bow. Your bootlaces will work fine.
Start by making a bow with a length of around 30 inches. Make sure the string is tied tight with little flexibility. It should draw back as a real bow does. The wood should have some flex that allows the cord to be tied around the middle of the drill.
Your drill will be a piece of thumb-thick soft dry wood such as cedar. It should ideally have a length of 8 inches and be blunt on one end and round on the other end. Next get a fire plank similar to the one in the fire plow method discussed above. Chop out a V-shaped notch in the plank with a small hole for the drill at the tip of the V. This hole is where the drill will bore into the wood creating wood dust and embers.
You can use a rock to hold the top of the drill firm as it drills into the plank. Remember to place your bundle of tinder under the plank to catch the forming embers and start a flame. You can then wrap the bow’s cord around the drill then begin pushing the bow right and left to create drilling motions until you start seeing smoke coming out of the hole. Put some tinder into the smoking hole and bow gently. You should get a small flame that can be transferred to your kindling to build a more sustainable fire.
Making Fire Using Sunlight
Sunlight, which is available most times of the year, provides another reliable way of starting a fire. Sunlight fire-starting methods are however effective in places that experience strong sunlight. The methods rely on some form of sunlight magnifying item or any item such as the base of a soda can that can concentrate sunlight to start a fire.
Here are a few items that allow you to use the power of strong sunlight to start a fire.
A Magnifying Glass
You’ve probably used this method to light up a piece of paper if you ever played with magnifying glasses as a kid. It is an easy method. Broken pieces of glass on the roadside have even been blamed for starting forest fires thanks to this method.
To start a fire with a magnifying glass, you can use your flashlight lens or a clear piece of glass. Collect your bundle of tinder and concentrate the small spot of sunlight passing through the glass to the tinder or piece of charcoal cloth. When you start seeing smoke on the tinder, blow on it gently until you get a flame going. Add more tinder to the little flame until you have a bigger flame going and you have yourself a fire.
This is another method that can give you a fire in areas with strong sunlight. Start by smoothening and shining the underside of a soda can with clay or any other abrasive material. Direct the bottom of the can towards the sun and place your tinder or charcoal cloth on a point where the sun seems to shine brightest. Blow gently on the smoke and small fame that forms on the tinder to build a more sustainable flame.
This is another easy way to start a fire using the power sunlight. Simply get a clean water bottle and fill it with clear water. Hold it against the sun’s rays to concentrate sunlight on a single spot. Place your tinder bundle or charcoal cloth on this spot. Hold still until you get smoke and flame. Add more tinder materials to the spot until you get a good flame going.
This method works the same way as the water bottle method but in this case we will use a sandwich bag filled with clear water instead of a bottle. Use the same sunlight magnifying steps discussed above until you get a flame going. Add more tinder and kindling to the flame caused by sunlight and you’ll soon have a strong fire burning.
Starting a Fire with a Battery
Normal batteries or those from old phones that came with removable batteries can also be used to start a fire when used in combination with other materials such as steel wool and tin foil. Here are a few examples;
Phone Battery and Steel Wool
Did you know that you can combine a battery’s electrical charge with steel wool to create embers and start a fire? It is very easy. If you have one of those old phones with removable batteries, take the battery and gently rub it against steel wool. You’ll soon start seeing red embers appearing on the steel wool. Place a small bundle of tinder on the wool and blow gently to start a flame. Add more tinder and kindling to the wool to build the flame.
9V Battery and Steel Wool
This method is similar to the phone battery method discussed above but in this case we’ll be using a normal 9V battery to save your mobile phone battery. A great advantage of this method is that it works in wet condition and that you can even wet steel wool to get a good fire going. It’s quite simple too. Simply rub steel wool on both ends of the 9 volt battery until you see embers forming. Put the burning steel wool in your bundle of tinder, blow gently, and you have a fire.
Battery and Tin Foil
If you watch Netflix series, you may have seen several episodes of Orange Is The New Black where women in prison could light cigarettes using a battery and chewing wrappers. The trick works in real life too. The only trick is to make sure that the gum wrapper is made of metallic tin foil. You can also use any other tin foil material. Cut it in a figure 8 shape with both ends larger than the middle part. Attach the tin foil ends to each end of the battery. The foil will complete a circuit between the positive and negative ends of the battery and start burning. Place your tinder bundle on the foil, blow gently, and you have a nice fire going.
Types of Fires You Can Build in the Wild
Let’s now look at some of the types of fire lays and arrangements that you can build while camping outdoors or when hitting the trails as well as each type of fire’s advantages and disadvantages.
The Teepee Fire
This is one of the most commonly used fire lays in many campsites and bonfire parties across the world. It is made in an Indian teepee structure to form a cone of interlocked sticks. The cone shape works well because it lets the fire breath easily and lights up the logs as heat radiates outwards. It also forms a nice cone to keep everyone warm.
How to Build
The teepee fire is quite easy to build too. Start by placing a bundle of tinder on the ground where you plan to light the fire. Then stake around 8 pieces of kindling around the tinder to build a pointed teepee. Place a second stack of kindling around the first one leaving an open space on the wind side for lighting the tinder and allowing in air. Add more sticks around the teepee making sure to leave an opening on the wind side. Place smaller pieces of wood fuel outside the teepee and light the tinder inside your structure. You can then keep on adding fuel wood outside the teepee in a crisscross to keep the fire going as it burns into coals.
There are several advantages to this popular type of fire. For instance, the teepee fire is quick to start, easy to maintain, and has a design that allows the fire to breath easily and burn hotter. The only downside to it is the work involved in assembling the sticks to create the cone shape. Otherwise, it is a great way of building a fire in the wild.
The Log Cabin Fire Set Up
This type of fire has a better airflow and burns hotter than the teepee style. It is perfect for providing sufficient heat in large areas. It is called a log cabin fire structure from the way you stack wood to build it. The logs in this type of fire are stacked to form a log cabin shape which allows more air to flow in and make the fire burn hot while saving you a good amount of log fuel.
The vertical space created in this type of setup allows more wood to be added to the fire saving you time wasted throwing wood fuel to the fire every now and then. And as the wood burns from the top, a good amount of coal collects at the bottom creating a more effective natural heater.
How to Build
So how do you build a log cabin fire? It’s quite simple. Start by getting two large pieces of wood and lay them from the ground in a parallel direction to the wind. Place your bundle of tinder on the ground between the two logs then build three layers of crisscrossing pieces of wood on top of the bottom logs.
Keep on adding the perpendicular layers of larger logs and smaller ones to the pile until the entire structure is a few feet tall. Collect a few more firewood pieces when you run out of wood to maintain the fire after you light it. Light the fire from the bottom of the cabin and take a moment to let it start burning before you add more fuel. When the original wood has burnt into coal, add more wood on the side to maintain the structure.
The log cabin fire setup has several advantages. It breathes easily and therefore burns hotter. It also burns for a longer period than the teepee fire and can heat a larger area. The structure is designed in a way that’s easy to light the fire and allows you to stack a larger amount of fuel wood on the fire. The only disadvantage is that it takes more time to set up than other simple fire structures.
The Lean-To Lay Fire Structure
The lean-to fire is ideal for those times when you want to start a fire in a hurry. It is a simple structure but quite effective. You can set up a campfire in this style within a few minutes. You can set up a lean-to fire fast and easy by placing your fire materials on a large fuel log. You’ll need to build the fire parallel to the wind direction to help it breathe easier and burn fast.
You can even use a lean-to fire structure to cook your meat or other delicacies by placing the pan or pot on the top fuel log which has a flat shape. You can also scoot the firewood the rest of the wood leans on to create room for your BBQ and cook a warm meal in the wild. After the original log has burned and formed coals, you can add in another fuel log and lean more logs against it to keep the fire going and enjoy the warmth of hot coals.
How to Build
It is quite easy to build a lean-to fire. Start by pacing a large log on the ground in the direction of the wind. Add your tinder close to the log on the side of your camp and then lean more kindling sticks across the log. Leave the sides open to create enough breathing room for the fire. You can then light the tinder and give it time to spread the fire to the kindling and the log. Add more fuel wood across the main log as you see necessary. As the original fuel log has burns to coal, add a new log for the lean-to structure.
Advantages of the lean-to fire include easy setup process, fast lighting, and easy to maintain. You can also place a pot or pan over the fire and cook your outdoor meal with ease. However, the lean-to fire doesn’t breathe and burn as good as the log cabin fire especially when the lean-to log is not facing the wind direction.
The Star Fire Structure
This is also known as the Indian Fire setup. It is called a star fire because of the orientation of its logs when laid on the ground. The logs form a star shape like the cogs of a wheel with an open center ring for tinder and kindling. You can even place a cooking pot or pan over the center ring and cook a meal. You’ll need to keep pushing in the logs as the ends burn to create an accumulation of hot coals. The star fire is fast and easy to set up and even easier to manage. The fire grows hotter and bigger as you push the burning ends of the logs closer. They’ll continue burning and creating a hotbed of coals at the center giving you more warmth to keep your campsite well heated.
How to Build
Building a star fire is extremely easy. Start by arranging around six to ten logs on the ground with their ends touching in a wheel spoke formation. Push them apart to create an open center ring then place tinder and kindling in the open ring. Light the tinder and allow the kindling to burn until the logs catch flames. As the logs burn, push them to the center as close to each other as you deem necessary. Add more fuel logs and push them to the center as the original ones burn away to build a bed of coals. You can put your pot over the open center ring and cook your meals.
The star fire has several advantages. It is easy to set up and light and burns for a long time. It breathes easily and burns hot which makes it for cooking. The only disadvantage with star fires is that you have to keep on pushing logs to the center of the fire which may become difficult when the fire becomes hotter and the logs shorter.
A pyramid fire takes a completely different approach from the other types of fires discussed above. Instead of placing the tinder and kindling at the bottom, you place them on top of the fuel logs in a pyramid fire. Once lit this type of fire burns longer and accumulates a bigger pile of hot coals. It is basically a pile of fuel logs stacked together in a pyramid then set alight. The major downside to a pyramid fire is the efforts it takes to ensure the kindling ignites the fuel logs below it. Nevertheless, a pyramid fire burns for a long time and is easy to maintain as you only need to stack more fuel wood on top as the fire burns.
How to Build
To build a pyramid fire, start by stacking a row of large fuel wood at the bottom of the fire pit then build another perpendicular layer of smaller logs on top of the first layer. Keep on building the pyramid with smaller and smaller wood in perpendicular layers. Place your kindle and a bundle of tinder at the top of the pyramid and light the fire. When the kindling burns, it will spread flames to the wood below and keep the fire burning. Stack more wood across the structure when the first logs begin to burn to keep the fire going.
The pyramid fire has several advantages. The first being that it is an open fire that breathes easily and burns hot. It burns for a long time and allows you to stack more fuel logs with ease. It is also easy to set up. You just need to stack layers of fuel wood together to create a pyramid. The fire is easy to maintain. The major disadvantage of this fire structure is the time it takes to get the fire hot and that you cannot easily use the fire to cook a meal.
This is a good fire structure for cooking over because it channels the heat upwards. It is basically made of two logs placed side by side. You can place your cooking pot on the logs when the fire burns down to coals and cook your meal or roast meat with much ease.
How to Build
To build a parallel fire, lay two logs parallel to each other to create a fire pit. Place the logs close together with enough space apart to hold your cooking pot or pan but far enough to give the fire enough breathing room. Put your bundle of tinder and kindling between the logs. Light the tinder and wait until the kindling burns to coals then place larger fuel wood on the coals to keep the fire burning. You can add more wood in the space between the parallel logs to maintain the fire. If you want to use the fire for cooking, simply place your pot over the parallel logs and enjoy your wild cooking experience.
This type of fire has the advantage of simple setup and maintenance. It is great for cooking meals. The fire breathes easy and burns hotter. However, you cannot build a parallel fire to a bonfire size and it requires a lager fire pit.
This is another fire structure that’s great for cooking or warming a small group of people for several hours. It is a torch that burns on a log that can support a pan or pot at the top. The log has open cuts inside that allow the fire to breathe easily and burn hotter. The Swedish fire torch will burn longer if set on a larger log. It doesn’t require any maintenance after you have made a few chainsaw cuts on the log and lit the fire. If you have a large camp, you can build multiple Swedish fire torches and place them side by side. They will burn for hours and provide enough heat for a large crew.
How to Build
To build a Swedish fire, get a large log and make three cuts stretching from the top to three-quarter way down the log. Use a chainsaw to cut out six wedges on the log. Place a lot of tinder at the top of the log cuts and kindling above them. Light the tinder and keep on adding kindling until the log starts burning. When the log ignites, just sit back and enjoy the warm fire for hours. A large log will burn longer and hotter. If you want to cook over this type of fire simply place your cooking pot on top of the log where there’s a nice cooking surface.
A Swedish fire breathes easily and burns hot for a long time. It is perfect for cooking and doesn’t require any maintenance tasks to keep the fire burning. Once the log ignites, the fire just keeps on burning. It burns efficiently and doesn’t require a lot of extra wood fuel. The disadvantage with this type of fire is that you need a chainsaw to cut the grooves on the log and it cannot make a huge fire to warm a bigger group of people. However, you can always build more Swedish fires when you are camping in a large group.
Long Log Fire or the Siberian Survival Fire
The Siberian Survival Fire, also known as the Long Log Fire, provides a great way for heating large areas. It is also perfect for cooking over. This fire structure basically involves a long stack of wood fuel that can burn overnight. It is made of two logs placed on the ground with another over the top. Tinder and kindling are placed between the two logs on the ground. After you light the fire, you can push the burning top log on the downside side and create room for cooking over the two bottom logs. Just place your pot across the two bottom logs and enjoy easy cooking.
How to Build
To build a Long Log Fire, get two long logs and place them in the fire pit parallel to the direction of the wind. Place two bundles of tinder and kindling across the log. The two bundles act as spacers and allow air to flow through and burn the larger logs. Lay another log on top of the tinder and kindling bundle to form a triangular stack. Light the tinder and give it time to ignite the logs. After the logs have burnt to form hot coals in around 5 hours, add another log on top and keep on adding firewood as needed. You can create a space over the two bottom logs to place your pot or pan and cook your meal.
One of the key advantages of this fire setup is that it allows you to use larger logs to build a fire. The fire burns hot for a long time and doesn’t require any maintenance once lit. It is also easy to cook over and can be scaled to heat larger areas by adding more wood on the side.
What a Fire Needs to Burn
Now that you know different methods of starting a fire and types of fire you can build, it is important to look at the science that makes fire burn so you can build and maintain your campfires easily. There are three things that a fire needs to burn and sustain its flames. These are an oxidizer, fuel, and heat of course. Without one of these elements, your fire won’t burn. A little knowledge about these three elements will help to build and sustain your campfires, bonfires, and any fire you light at home or in the wild.
An oxidizer allows chemical combustion that a fire needs to burn. The oxygen in the air around us acts as an oxidizer allowing chemical combustion to happen and sustain the fire. It is therefore important to build a fire structure that allows enough air to flow in and feed the fire with sufficient amounts of oxygen to keep on burning. The fire will go off if it is starved of oxygen.
To maintain the fire and make it burn hotter, you can use an oxidizer, which is any item that contains potassium nitrate (KNO3). Most stump removers contain KNO3. If you are trying to light a fire in extremely wet conditions, you can always add some potassium nitrate to your tinder to get the fire started easily. It guarantees a nice well-flourishing flame.
Oxidizers work well because the potassium nitrate contains three oxygen molecules that can break their bonds when the molecules are exposed to heat. The extra oxygen helps to start and maintain the flame fast and easy. The oxygen molecules can help you build your fire faster than firewood does. They work the same way as a blowing bellow does but in this case you just a chemical and let it do its magic. However, be careful when using chemicals to light a fire. We recommend that you only use them as a last resort just in case you find yourself trying to light a fire in extremely wet and nasty weather conditions.
Heat is another necessary component in lighting a fire, whether you are using matches, lighter, car battery, or any other fire starting method. If your ignition method can provide enough heat to light your tinder, then you can have a fire. This is because heat is required to break down bonds holding molecules together and releasing energy in a process that creates fire. Your fire will burn until the source of heat is removed from the ongoing chemical reaction.
You obviously know that fire needs some form of fuel to burn and sustain itself. You need good fuel though, such as coal, slit dry logs, and anything else that can burn for a long time. Keep in mind different types of fuel burn differently. For instance, starting fire using tinder, pine straw, and small twigs is easier than using large pieces of wood. It’s all about the material’s surface area to volume ratio.
Other effective tinder materials include dry mosses, twigs, cotton, dry grass, dry leaves, and much more. You can always use any dry organic stuff as tinder. Kindling is also important in starting a fire. It provides more sustainable fuel to keep the fire going. Kindling acts as the middle ground between tinder and larger wood fuel. It helps to nourish the flame and make it large enough to produce more het and ignite the logs. Kindling can be twigs and wood shavings no larger than 2 inches thick.
Energy-dense materials such as coal and heavy pieces of wood make the most sustainable sources of fuel. When you add lager fuel materials to the kindling, it will grow the fire and radiate more heat and warmth. The hot flames are also perfect for cooking meals.
Putting Out a Fire
We’ve seen a lot of major forest fires in the recent past. That’s why this guide would not be complete without mentioning the importance of putting out your fires once you are done with them. Take responsibility and extinguish any fire you build in the wild or even at home. Humans can be accounted for majority of the forest fires we see today.
You can completely extinguish the remaining embers of your fire by sprinkling enough water on the fireplace while stirring the ashes and all the remaining coals. This will help to avoid forest fires after you leave the scene.
If you are sleeping at the campsite and wish to stay warm for the night, put out the fire and cover the coals with around three inches of soil. The coal will still be hot when you wake up in the morning and still provide you with the warmth you need. Always leave a campsite the same way you found it. Don’t leave fire embers, hot coal, and ashes behind as you never know what can happen next. Pour water over the entire fireplace and ensure that the fire has been fully extinguished.
A Few Last Words
That’s about it for this long all-inclusive guide to making a fire. We sincerely hope the guide has covered most, if not all, of the questions you had about building campfires and bonfires in the wilderness. Feel free to add your any additional idea, question, or comment about fires below.