The ability to start a fire is very important when you’re camping outdoors. You need fire to cook, stay warm, and even keep animals at bay. Trying to start a fire from scratch outdoors is a Herculean task and if you do not know how to do it, you’ll probably never succeed.
In this article, we’re going to assume that you’re a prepper and you have some basic fire-starting equipment with you. This will make your life a lot easier and it’ll be much faster to start a fire even if conditions are not right.
A point to note is that even if you have waterproof matches or lighters, starting and maintaining a fire in the wet wilderness is not an easy task, so you must understand the basics in order to be successful at it.
To start a fire you need an igniter, tinder, kindling, fuel, and oxygen. These are the essential basics. We’ll look at them in detail now.
A butane lighter, waterproof matches, flint stick, magnifying glass, flare, etc. are known as igniters. The job of an igniter is to start the fire or create sparks that will. Lighters are great but if the weather is cold, they may not function.
Place them inside your clothes, close to your body so that they’ll be warm and easy to use. Waterproof matches are good, but they may not always work. Flint sticks are fantastic. You’ll need to scrape some bits off with a knife onto your tinder to help get the fire going.
All you need to do is create the spark. Even a magnifying glass that concentrates the sun’s rays is an igniter… but most people want to make fires at night, so that’s a limitation.
Tinder is what catches on fire before you actually build the flames. Bits of paper or toilet paper, dry leaves, cloth, dry moss, wood shavings, lint, dry tree bark, etc. are great as tinder. You can’t start a fire on a large branch. It just doesn’t work that way.
You need the smaller, dry material to catch on fire first. The main rule is that the tinder has to be dry and catch fire easily.
These could be small twigs, thin pieces of wood, etc. The goal is to use slightly bigger items that will burn. You’re gradually building a bigger fire; you have to do it in stages. That’s the best and fastest way to build a fire.
Once you have a small fire going, add larger branches and more fuel. Basically you can use the same items as you would for kindling, they just have to be larger so that there’s more fuel for the flames to feed off.
This is the last piece of the puzzle. The good news is that we’re surrounded by oxygen, you just need to fan the flames gently to feed the fire with more oxygen. When adding the fuel, do not dump it all at once. There should be spaces within the objects so that the oxygen can enter and feed the flames. Packing too much fuel close together will smother the flames because oxygen can’t enter.
Now that you know how to build a fire, you should be able to start one when you need one. Remember to always carry igniters with you in your bag, and when creating a fire, do it in stages. Don’t try to rush it. As long as you proceed gradually and use dry material, you’ll succeed.