How To Make A Fire In The Wilderness

Making a fire in the wilderness can be a great skill especially if its in a life and death situation. A fire can serve different purposes: To keep you warm and dry, cook food, purify water, sterlize bandages, rescue signal, and even keeping you safe from animals.

Choose your location first before you start building your fire. You need a site that is sheltered from the wind with a good supply of wood or other burnable material. Make sure there is no dry vegetation nearby that could catch fire. You want to clear away any debris and start on solid ground, slated or stone rock.

You need a tinder material that is dry and this will ignite very easily. This can be anything from grass, paper, bark, leaves and resin. Resin can be found in spruce and pine trees. Resin when wet will even burn. Make a powdery material out of bark and sticks using your knife. If you find resin, put it on small twigs and sticks. Tinder is the most important part of your fire so do this step well.

Kindling is the material you add to the tinder. Small strips of wood or twigs that are dry will be the best. Dead trees with branches on the underside is another great place to look. Kindling should easily ignite when placed on flame.

Once you have added your kindling and your fire is established you can add larger pieces of wood. Dead trees offer the best choice, but must be dry. You want your fire to burn steadily and slow.

There are several ways to make a fire, each has its own advantages. One example is a pyramid. You start by placing two longer logs in parallel to each other on the ground. Next place logs across the first logs. You keep cris-crossing your logs making one layer at a time. You ignite the top of the pyramid and this will ignite the logs below. The fire will burn downward requiring little or no attention during the night.

Another example is a tepee. You arrange the kindling or sticks in a form of a tepee. You ignite the top and as it burns the logs fall in feeding the fire. Green or wet wood burns well with this type of fire.

To start your fire you can use either Modern or Primitive methods.

Modern Methods:

1) Matches: They must be waterproof. Keep them in a waterproof container with a dependable striker.

2) Convex lens: You need a bright sunny day for this. You can use a lens from a binoculars, camera, telescoping lens or a magnifying lens. Using the suns ray, angle your lens towards the tinder. Hold it there until it begins to smolder. Then blow or fan into the flame.

3) Battery: Attach a wire to each terminal. Create a spark by touching the wires together.

Primitive Methods:

1) Flint and Steel: Flint is a form or quartz. You strike the flint with a piece of steel. When you have a spark in your tinder blow into it. This will cause it to spread into a flame.

2) Fire-Plow: You have two pieces of hardwood. One of the pieces you will cut a groove down the center. Using your other hardwood shaft, plow up and down the groove. You will have some tinder come out first, but after applying more pressure, the friction ignites.

3) Bow and Drill: You will need a socket which is easily grasped. This can be stone or wood with a depression to hold the drill with your hand. You need a drill. This must be straight hardwood stick 3/4″ thick and 10″ long. The top will be round and the bottom blunt to create more friction. Next is the fireboard. Any size will do as long as it will hold your drill. You can use softwood. On the topside cut a depression the size of your drill. On the underside make a v-shape from the edge of the board to the depression. Next you will need a bow. You can use any green wood 1″ thick and a string. Tie the string end to end. Place some tinder on your fireboard depression. Hold down the fireboard with you foot. Place loop over the drill. With socket in hand on top of drill press down using a sawing motion. Apply more pressure once you have a smooth motion. Blow on tinder when you have smoke.

Fire safety is your main concern when starting a fire. Don’t leave camp without first putting it out. Depending on your equipment you have, there are several choices when it come to making a fire. With practice and patience you will be a novice soon.

About The Author:
Tom is passionate about the outdoors and all it has to offer. If you want to know more about the type of Survival Knives out there, please visit: