Up next in Wilderness Survival Skills (40 videos)
Conquer the wilderness with the survival tips in these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- Matches or a lighter
Check the rules
Make sure a campfire is allowed at your campsite.
Find a pit
See if your campsite has premade fire pits. If not, you’ll have to make one.
Locate a clearing
To create your own fire pit, choose an area at least ten feet away from brush or other easily flammable materials.
Make a circle
Surround your fire pit with a circle of stones or rocks to keep your wood contained.
Gather wood. You’ll need three different types: tinder, such as small twigs and dry leaves; kindling, which are larger sticks and twigs still under an inch in diameter; and fuel wood, large pieces of wood that will burn for a while.
Start with tinder
Start by placing a pile of tinder in the center of your fire pit.
Build a kindling tepee
Using three or four pieces of your kindling, build a tepee around the tinder.
Add more kindling
Add more kindling to the downwind side of your tepee, then continue around to the upwind side. Leave an opening on the upwind side that will allow you to ignite the tinder inside the tepee.
Lay the fuel wood
Lay two parallel pieces of fuel wood on opposite sides of the tepee. The ends should extend beyond your tepee. Lay two more pieces of wood on top of your first two, forming a square of fuel wood enclosing the tepee.
Continue laying fuel wood, building up to a box that resembles a log cabin. Two or three layers will suffice.
Light the fire
Light the tinder in several different locations.
Feed it tinder
Add small amounts of tinder until the kindling catches fire.
Once the kindling ignites, switch your attention to the fuel wood. As the kindling burns up, add more until the fuel wood ignites.
Feed the fire
When the fuel wood has caught on fire, continue feeding it with fuel wood as needed.