Firestarting is an important survival skill, especially if you go camping frequently or if you have plans to bug out when SHTF. (h/t to SurvivalCache.com)
Knowing how to build a fire means you can stay warm, cook, boil water, or have a source of light wherever you are when disaster strikes.
Like other prepping and survival skills, you need to practice firestarting to get the basics down. When it's time to start a fire in the woods, knowing what to do means you spend less time trying to figure out how to cook your food without a stove or a lighter.
First, you need to learn about the fire triangle, which details a fire’s requirements: oxygen, an ignition source and fuel. Oxygen is readily available, but having too much or too little of it can affect how quickly you build a fire.
Your ignition source is anything that provides heat to combust materials. This can come from a lighter and matches, friction, or a chemical reaction.
Fuel starts your firebase and keeps it going. Fuel is broken down into three categories:
Tinder is any dry material with a lot of surface area that burns easily. You can use materials like bird’s nests, cotton balls, dry grass, the tops of dried weeds, tree bark, twigs and wood dust. You can also use man-made tinder, like dryer lint.
Kindling is placed on top of the burning tinder. Since tinder doesn't burn for a long time, you need small pieces of kindling that will catch fire quickly. Kindling shouldn't be thicker than your fingers, so look for dried twigs.
Fuel can be any type of wood larger than your kindling, like branches and logs.
Once you have everything you need, prepare to start a fire. Get plenty of tinder and keep the kindling nearby.
After you ignite the tinder, add the kindling slowly so you don't snuff out the fire. When you have a hot base of embers, carefully place the fuel around and above the fire.
5 Types of campfires
Below are five types of campfires that you can use if you need to cook or stay warm while outdoors.
Dakota hole fire
Build a Dakota hole fire if you want to conceal the light of your fire or protect it from the wind. To build this campfire, you'll need a digging tool.
Dig a hole that's about one foot wide by one foot deep.
Inside the hole, dig a tunnel that's at least one foot long, with the end of the tunnel connecting to the surface.
Place the tinder and kindling in the large hole and start a fire. The tunnel will provide airflow to the base of the fire. Since the fire is burning under the surface of the ground it will be contained and hidden from unwanted pursuers.
The fire pit of a keyhole fire looks like an old-fashioned keyhole.
One side of the pit needs to be in the shape of a circle. On one side of the circle, form a connected area in the shape of a rectangle. This design makes it easier to regulate the temperature of the fire, like if you were about to cook something.