Supposedly a caveman can do it, so why does it seem so complicated to get all of the elements just right for building a fire? When you head out to your favorite trail, backcountry spot or campsite, you need to have some basic skills and a well stocked survival kit. Your kit should include fire starter and you need to have some practice at actually starting a fire. Wintertime outdoor activities can be fun and adventurous if you are prepared! Wintertime is not the time to start out on an adventure if you are not practiced and prepared for anything nature could throw at you.
Here are your easy 5 steps to building a fire like a caveman!
Note: The key to a perfect fire for your campsite starts with dry wood. Be absolutely certain your wood is dry all the way through.
1. Build a fire ring to contain your fire. This is a simple circle of rocks the circumference size being the size you want your fire to be. Clear away any brush in the near area, keep the ground of your fire area, cleared of extra sticks or brush.
2. Use a combination of wood arrangements to achieve the most long lasting and consistent fire. Begin by layering the pieces of wood in a log cabin format, building the “frame” of a log cabin using 4 branches in a square shape. Build the frame up 4 layers high. Leave the center open,
3. Now, begin balling up newspaper for kindling. Fill the center hole of the log cabin format with the balls of newspaper, or other kindling material such as lint, or dry bark. Avoid using pine needles or dry leaves because they burn out too quickly. Leave one of your pieces of newspaper twisted lengthwise and sticking half in and half out of your kindling area with one end touching the kindling pile.
4. Create a tee-pee frame with smaller sticks. Using longer sticks, a little more than a pencil width in circumference size, stack them inside the log cabin frame in the shape of a tee-pee over the kindling material. For a smaller campsite fire you want to avoid using and wood larger than the circumference of a quarter.
5. Light the piece of newspaper sticking out of the middle of your log cabin structure. Allow the flame to travel to the pile of kindling. The kindling should ignite first and begin to burn, then the fire should travel to the tee-pee structure burning the tee-pee frame. Finally, the log cabin frame should ignite and your campsite fire should be roaring for the length of your cooking and campfire hang out time.
Keep in mind you need to give your fire time to get good and hot. Allow the fire to burn for several minutes until the wood turns to red coal- type burn. Now you’re ready to cook and roast marshmallows.