Tips on Building a Fire
One of the most important skills in a survival situation is knowing how to build a fire. The difference in having a fire and not having one can oftentimes be the difference between life and death. A proper fire can warm you, keep you dry or help you to dry out, cook your food, deter animals and help keep spirits up. At Survival Cache the basics of building a fire are reviewed. Knowing how to build a fire is an essential bit of knowledge that everyone needs to know.
First, you need to have all your materials. Gather your wood, collect your tinder and have your firestarter ready. Dry wood works the best but sometimes, that might not be possible. That's why it is so important to have your other materials. Tinder is any material that is small and easy to light. It could be something that you find where you are like dry twigs and grasses. If you are a good prepper, you will have some tinder materials with you. It could be something as simple as dryer lint or cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. In a pinch, even corn chips from your meal will work as tinder. As for a firestarter, it would be wise to have more than one method at hand. Waterproof matches, a lighter, flint and steel and many other things are effective firestarters . To be safe, don't rely on just having one because you never know when it won't work. Always have a backup plan.
The basic idea of building a proper fire is to allow enough air to circulate through the wood so the fire can get fed by the oxygen. The classic way of assembling the wood is to build a teepee shape with the wood with the kindling and the tinder in the teepee. As the wood burns, you can add more to keep the fire burning. I found a new method on building an upside down fire that I want to try sometime. Instead of building a teepee, stack the wood in a pyramid shape with the largest logs on the bottom and the kindling and firestarter on the top. Once the fire starts, it burns down into the wood and there isn't as much need to add more wood to the fire. I would be interested to know if this method is better than the traditional one.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to practice building a fire. As with many things, things become easier with practice. If an emergency situation arises and you need to build a fire and you are experienced, it will much less stressful than if you were unfamiliar on starting a fire. What about you? What tried and true methods do you use to build a good fire. Share your ideas with us!
For an instructional video on how to build an upside down fire, click here.
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