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Tips to help you build a fire

Use these four simple steps to build you build a fire at your next campout.

Step 1: The Right Spot


Clear the area of debris, avoid overhanging branches and make sure your fire is a safe distance from tents and other flammable materials. One option is to build your fire on an earthen pad like this one, but make sure to do it in a way that leaves no trace when you’re done.

Step 2: The Right Material


The three types of natural fuel are tinder (material that burns easily such as dry grass or shavings whittled from a stick), kindling (slightly larger material such as twigs that will burn with a little encouragement) and firewood (dry branches that will be the main fuel of the fire). No shortcuts allowed — never use flammable liquids.

Step 3: The Right Shape


Two ways to build your fire are the tepee, in which you arrange the kindling in the shape of a tepee over the tinder, and the lean-to, in which you push a small stick in the ground at a 45-degree angle with the upper end pointing into the wind. Place the tinder beneath the stick and lean the kindling against it. Light the tinder and add kindling as needed. Add the larger branched last. Never leave a fire unattended.

Step 4: Put It Out, Way Out


Pour water on the fire, stir the ashes with a stick, pour some more. It’s not out until you can run your bare hands through the coals.

23 Comments on Tips to help you build a fire

  1. you did a great job telling us the steps.

  2. Cool

  3. thitherurtian79 // October 5, 2015 at 9:04 am // Reply

    my class is gonna use this at overlook farms

  4. it just helped me in a school project I like this website

  5. Thanks for the tips I will try the lean to next time I make a fire

  6. Thank you this is good advice. Another kind of fire is the log cabin.

    • kamp king // May 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm // Reply

      on my last kamping trip we had to build our own fire i built mine really easy but this other kid just light leaves on fire and it was a smokey mess. the worst part was i was down wind from him

  7. Me and my dad started a fire he rubed a stick with bark and dead grass

    • My troop had a contest to see which patrol could light a piece of paper on fire by rubing sticks together

  8. Are you kidding, ” It’s not out until you can run your bare hands through the coals”? So if they’re not out, I am supposed to burn my hands? Better advice would be to place your hands OVER the coals until you don’t feel any more heat.

  9. Two other great fire starters are dried birch bark and, my favorite, newspaper rolled into 1″ barrel rolls- tied with string and dipped in parafin wax. The wax paper will start even if wet. This is something I learnt from the “How to” Cub Scout book. I also wax dip my matches; makes them waterproof and they burn longer too.

  10. My troop always bring along some paper to get our fires started. I always have: Magnesium bar, Strike anywere matches, flint and steel, and a lighter.

  11. my scouts all use utah juniper bark, charcoal, and flint and steel. with a little practice they can build a great fire in less than a minute, just takes a little practice.

  12. this is stupid

  13. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Do they say that somewhere in the Webelos handbook???

  15. im doing this for rpoject

  16. i like fire

  17. killer123 // May 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm // Reply

    i want to try this really badly

  18. What I know from is to build a log cabin and then slowly add a tepee when the fire is burning higher. And also use a key stone fire pit this works great when you are cooking!

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