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How to Make a Fire While Camping

Learn how to make a fire outdoors from Heather Menicucci, author of Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping, in this Howcast video.


There's a lot of different methods for building a fire. The one that works for me the most, and that I like, and is my favorite is the teepee method. That just refers to the formation of the sticks.

This is the fire ring that's at the campsite that we're at. So, this is a campground, and usually campgrounds are going to have fire rings like this. It's the fire pit. It's the place you should absolutely build the fire. You don't want to build a fire somewhere else because you don't want the campsite to be littered with fire pits. You want to build your fire where other people have been building it.

If you're camping in a place that's a national forest or a state park they might not have these, but they probably will have a rock ring. That's where you should build the fire. It's usually pretty clear where you're camping where you should build the fire because it's the charred ground and it's the place where all the fires before you were made.

So the principles of the teepee method are to take the kindling, which is the pepperoni thick branches, and form a teepee formation all around a bunch of leaves and really thin twigs and paper, and that's called the tinder. That stuff is just really easy to burn up. You create the teepee with the kindling, and then you take some of the smaller twigs and you actually insert them all over the teepee parallel to the ground. They help to get the fire going and get these to burn up. Once these are burning up that's when you can start to put on your bigger logs.

Once you put the bigger logs on it will take a little while for them to really catch and you'll see them start to burn. But once they do that's when the fire will just go and go all night. You'll just need to keep adding wood to it as it goes just making sure that there's always enough there for the flame to catch on.

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