BASIC FIRE BUILDING METHODS
The fire building methods outlined here begin with simple methods and build to the more complex methods. We recommend that you begin your experience following the same path to learning.
THE THREE MINUTE FIRE
- Choose a safe location away from other fuel sources and away from wind that will blow it out or out of control. Use a shallow pit or a ring of stones or a large expanse free of debris.
- Collect pensile-size stick about 8” long and stick it in the ground at a 45 degree angle with the upward end facing any breeze.
- Gather tinder, first of the down from the tops of flowering plants like cattail or goldenrod or fine grass and roll it into a golf ball-sized wad. Leaves do not work well as tinder.
- Build a bird nest-like bundle of pine needles and place the finer tinder in the nest.
- If the ground is wet, place some bark under the bundle and place the bundle at the base of the angular stick.
- Place the remaining pensile-sized sticks across the tinder bundle, leaning them against the angular stick in the ground.
- Place a second layer of slightly larger twigs over the pensile-sized twigs. This should result in a structure that is roughly triangular in all directions and about six inches high.
- The structure should have an opening at the side of the single inclined stick.
- Light the tinder through the opening.
- This method assumes the use of a match to light the tinder. Your fire should last at least three minutes or more.