Light My Fire

Light My Fire

Starting a fire. Easiest way? Lighter or matches.  Look, not everybody can pick up two rocks to strike or rub sticks together and start a fire. If you can then good for you. I can and will briefly discuss those methods in this blog, but not get into detail about it here. I can, but there are thousands of books and videos describing and showing ycampfire-coloring-pages_372523ou how to do it the primitive way, but what they don’t show you is that it takes lots of practice and it’s not as easy as they make it look. For our purposes today I will discuss the basic steps on how to get a fire started if don’t have an accelerant (gasoline, lighter fluid, ect.).

Let’s just say you have just have matches or a lighter handy and need to get a fire going. first things first. You need combustible material that  is going to catch a flame, Tinder.

Tinder: Dry material (such as wood or grass) that burns easily and can be used to start a fire. A very flammable substance adaptable for use as kindling.                                                   and                                                                                                                                                                                 Kindling: Material that can be readily ignited, used in starting a fire.  

    Tinder is basically something that catches fire very easily, napkins, toilet paper, shredded cardboard, grass, shredded bark, dry moss, you get the picture. Make a ball of your tinder first enough that when you get a flame it  at least burns for at least a minute or so.   Next you add your Kindling, which is bigger pieces of wood or paper to get you a larger, longer burning flame then add more kindling. The typical sequence should be your tinder, then toothpic sized kindling, keep adding, once that catches, keep adding straw sized kindling untill it catches then so on and so forth. Once you get a flame going, you can accelerate the fire by gently blowing on the base of the fire (coals) to give the fire more oxygen. keep adding bigger sticks, you can add more kindling and tinder to help it along untill you have nice strong fire going. At any point in this process, if the fire goes out, you just repeat the process over again over the fire you tried to get going before. By this time you may have built some hot coals that will help you along in the process. Blow on them gently at first, then a bit stronger once you see them catch a flame. This may take a little time, but it will make a strong fire. 

I forgot to mention, the magnifying glass method. In this case, when you have plenty of sun it’s quite easy. Being as how usually people are trying to start fires at night, it’s easy to forget. In this case, you simply concentrate your beam of light through the magnifying glass on your tinder bundle, meaning you position your glass to where your smallest, most concentrated pin of light is striking your tinder bundle, untill it catches fire. simple, easy in good sunlight.

Using flint rocks or steel and flint require you build a flame from a single spark and takes practice to perfect. Using a bow and drill method also requires you start a flame from a single ember and takes allot of practice as well. I will get into these methods in future blogs, but it’s nothing you can’t already find on the internet in plenty. These are definitely great skills to have and I recommend you acquire them if you plan on spending a decent amount of time camping and hiking.

Using accelerants will give you quick flames, but will not always catch and stay lit. Building a fire as described above will give a nice coal base that will be easy to reignite even if the flames go out. There are links you can click on next to this article where you can get fire starting tools for free. I will go into more details on fire starting techniques in other blogs. If you have any questions, insights or thoughts, I believe you can leave your comments on this blog. Have fun folks!



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