In a world of push-button electronics, heated car seats and electric blankets, warmth and heat can be taken for granted. Good old-fashioned fire starting has become a lost art. Take a moment to peruse your average suburban supermarket, tinder and wood are sold in prepackaged bags that can be tossed in a fire place or fire pit and lit. None of this is real. What is perhaps more concerning is that such convenience has begun to dull our skills. Basic fire craft has become archaic, and it shouldn’t be.
When it comes to getting back to the basics, different ways to build fire is about as base-level as it gets. Here are three solid ways to go about building the most important element you can have with you in a survival situation.
Place sticks that are the same size parallel to each other. Then place sticks turned the other way, parallel to each other. Stack these sticks until you have what looks like a box. You can stack them as high as you want, but to get a decent fire going you do not need to go much higher than 6 inches. Place your tinder in the center of your “log cabin,” and light it. Eventually you will need to place a larger piece of wood across the box. This larger piece will catch once the smaller sticks have been taken by the flames.
Perhaps the simplest way of building a fire, the teepee method is achieved through propping sticks up and leaning them up against each other in a slanted fashion. Your kindling, be it wadded up newspaper or leaves, is placed inside the structure of the teepee and then lit. As the fire climbs, add more sticks. When the fire becomes larger, start using larger pieces of wood.
Find a large log or stump and turn it on its side. Place smaller sticks of equal size against the log. Place your kindling between the big log and the smaller sticks. As the fire grows, continue to add sticks, larger in size, to the lean-to. Take care not to use big sticks to soon, or you will smother your fire.