Some of the best memories from childhood are formed around a campfire. Whether it was sitting with friends and roasting marshmallows or telling ghost stories, there is something about an open fire that brings people together.
Fire is one of the primal energies of our world. Without it, we couldn’t experience the many luxuries today, such as heating, ovens, microwaves, etc.
This guide will walk you through how to start a fire from scratch step-by-step. So that next time you’re camping out in the woods, you’ll be able to build yourself a great fire for gathering around!
Whenever you’re ready to return to the fiery root cause of many new technologies, keep reading.
What Is Fire?
Before we get into knowing how to start a fire, we should first understand what fire is. In essence, fire is a chemical reaction. In this case, the chemicals are oxygen and fuel (wood).
One can start a fire in many ways, but the easiest is using a match, lighter, or another flame source to ignite some tinder (dry leaves and twigs), which will then light up logs.
There are many different types of fires you can start with this method: a teepee fire, log cabin fire, pyramid fire (also called an Inuit or Eskimo), etc… As long as there’s enough wood on hand for burning purposes!
The type of campfire that most people prefer is the one where logs are stacked two high with space between them so that air flows freely all around it; these kindles also provide more surface area than other sorts for starting flames thanks to their height.
This sort of construction makes sure your new campfire is as safe as possible, so there’s no need to worry about the fire spreading.
The logs should be stacked into a teepee shape with some kindling and tinder placed in between them for starting purposes; then, you can light the tinder on fire using your match or lighter and watch it spread throughout all of your carefully arranged wood stacks! Pretty soon, you’ll have that nice campfire going to warm up by.
So now we’ve covered how to start building a campfire from scratch – what next?
Well, first off, if this type of project sounds like something you’re interested in doing more often, make sure there’s always enough dry wood lying around just waiting to catch flame nearby at any given time. And secondly, make sure you have a plentiful supply of firewood on hand – just in case.
What you’ll need to start a fire: A source of heat like matches or a lighter; some kindling such as small sticks, twigs, paper scraps, etc.; larger pieces of wood for logs; something dry that will create smoke when it burns.
Your first step will be finding an area with lots of dead leaves on the ground. This will be your base layer in which you can pile up all other materials later. Be sure not to put any large branches on top before getting your tinder bundle ready because they might catch too easily and burn through everything else!
Now that you have piled up layers, you’ll want to light your tinder bundle. This is a small ball of dry leaves, paper scraps, or bark that will catch flame quickly and easily from the heat source you’re using. Without this step, it would be impossible for all those layers above to catch fire with just one match!
Use long sticks (most can fit in your hand) as kindling when lighting larger pieces of wood like logs, so they don’t burn out before anything else catches on fire.
Light them by bringing the end near an already burning piece of material until enough sparks are transferring between both objects – then place vertically into your pile and watch things get warm very quickly!
If you have no matches but still need to start a fire fast, you can use a Ferro rod with some tinder and crumpled newspaper. Place the tinder on one side of the Ferro rod (usually cotton balls or shredded woodwork well) then, quickly move your knife to create sparks in between both objects as they touch.
If you’re using dry leaves for kindling, shred them into smaller pieces first so that each piece will catch fire more easily from heat sources like matches or other materials in your pile. You can get wood for your fires from Buyfirewooddirect.co.uk.
Fire Starting Safety Tips
When it comes to starting a fire, there are some things you need to be careful about. Fire can be quite dangerous, so here our safety tips.
To ensure everyone’s safety when starting a fire, make sure to have a fire safety area. This means you need to have clear access to water, or at least within a reasonable distance from your fire’s location.
You also want to make sure there is no flammable material around the area where people will be sitting next to your fire (no trees or other plant life).
If you’re camping in an area with lots of dead brush and branches on the ground, then it would be best if you had them cleared away so that those materials don’t catch flame when someone accidentally drops their match somewhere nearby.
It’s important not only for yourself but for others who may come into contact with these flames as well!
Furthermore, one can ensure safety by using the right kind of materials for starting a fire. If you’re not sure what’s best, try asking someone at your camping party who has experience with this sort of thing!
Some good suggestions can be found on YouTube and online because there is a wealth of information available to those who do their research and take care about how they approach these things.
How to Put Out a Fire?
Being responsible is part of starting a fire. Besides starting one, you need to know how to put one out. To put a fire out, you should use water, dirt, or sand.
Water is the most common way of putting out a fire because it’s one of the first ways people are taught how to do this when they’re kids! To use water as your method for extinguishing flames, pour some on top and watch them go down quickly.
Dirt can be used as an alternative if you don’t have any available water nearby. It may not work too well with paper, though, which could pose problems in situations where you need to put something small or lit out fast…so, long story short: try using soil instead of the earth, so things like wood chips aren’t getting into contact with those hot embers!
Sand works wonders against fires but only if there is a lot of it. If you find yourself in the middle of nowhere but have access to some sand and dirt, try pouring them both on top with your water or soil so that they can create an insulating layer around those hot embers and flames!
If there is nothing else you have, try using a wet blanket or towel to smother the flames. When in doubt about what needs to be done with an emergency fire situation, call 911!
What Not to Use in a Fire
When starting a fire, there are some things you should not use, period. Things not to use to start a fire are:
- Nitrates or anything with a high oxidizing potential
They will only make the fire worse and could lead to an explosion.
So, if you are out camping, don’t bring gasoline with you! Leave that for somebody who knows what they are doing! one should not bring those four items into contact with any flame ever.
They can all create explosions in addition to putting people’s lives at risk. If there is no other way than using these substances as fuel, then call 911 immediately so professionals can come to help put out the situation before it gets even more dangerous.
The best thing about having this information? Knowing when something goes wrong how to handle the emergency without freaking out and causing harm, or even worse, dying.
Other Ways Of How to Start a Fire
Some of the unconventional methods for starting a fire include using the sun or an electric heater. These methods are not recommended in a survival situation, as they can be difficult to execute and require constant supervision.
If you happen to have some ice cubes on hand and want something different than what is shown above, try this: Fill up your container with water so that it reaches about two inches from the top of the opening.
Put three-fourths of your cube chunks into one side of the jug. Place either aluminum foil or metal wire mesh over the other end; hold both ends tightly together until a few drops escape from between them.
When those first few droplets form at one end, tilt slightly towards fire – if done right, these should start catching onto each other, forming larger drops which will then fall onto the fire.
Do this with a few such containers, and you should have something going in no time.
Non-Camping Survival Fire Lighting Methods
These methods are not recommended for camping. They require tools that may be impossible to find (or at least difficult) during an emergency, like being stranded outdoors without supplies; however, if you happen to come across some of these resources while backpacking or hiking, it’s worth knowing how one would use them as well.
The simplest method is really nothing more than rubbing two sticks together until the friction creates enough heat to create an ember that will start your kindling on fire. This takes longer than most people think—usually around 30 minutes of work before there’s even a chance of getting an ember.
Luckily, if you can find a wet rock but not slippery (think something like limestone) and have access to some tinder on the ground, it’s possible to use this method even without sticks.
You place your kindling against the rock at a slant, holding one end with your thumb so it doesn’t fall off.
Then take two hands full of tinder in each hand and rub them together over the top of the wood for about five minutes until there’s enough heat generated by friction through contact between dry plant fibers to make an ember that will ignite your kindling pile!
Sandpaper and Steelwool
Another way is using steel wool or sandpaper as fuel for the fire, where you rub the paper in a circular motion on top of the steel wool for about 20-30 seconds until an ember is generated.
Once you have your tinder and kindling pile going, it’s time to add wood gradually while being careful not to smother those baby flames!
The next step is finding something with a straight line that will contact hot coals without too much heat – think flexible sticks like green branches or dried grasses are perfect (never use anything wetter than these!).
Then find some dry material like leaves, pine needles, or bark from dead trees, which can be used as fuel once they become heated up enough by contact with red coals.
The last step is ensuring there’s ample space for airflow around your fire pit. Once you have a nice, medium-sized flame going, it should be safe to add more fuel and adjust the height of the tinder pile if necessary.
Fire pits can get very hot in no time at all, so make sure to wear heat-resistant gloves or use long sticks when handling any hot coals!
To extinguish an outdoor campfire, place dirt over red coals until only smoking embers remain – these will eventually die out on their own given enough time.
It’s important not to leave fires unattended; this could lead to accidental wildfires, which are extremely dangerous considering how dry our current climate is.
Now that you understand the essence of how to start a fire, you are well on your way to do so in a safe and fun manner. As long as you follow the guidelines in this article, you will get a fiery blaze going on in no time.
If you’re interested in a variety of other survival tips, check out some of our other informative articles on the topic down below.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.