Total Items: 0
Sub Total: $0.00
Make sure you know the basics of how to light a campfire so your fire stays lit, keeping the crew warm and toasty until it is time to hit the hay.
There’s nothing worse than putting in the time and effort to start a campfire only for it to go out quickly after lighting it, killing the vibe and leaving you and your fellow campers feeling frustrated. Having said that, there’s one thing worse than killing the vibe with a fizzling campfire and that’s finding yourself in a real-life emergency situation with wet matches and no lighter. Knowing how to start a fire in a variety of conditions is important.
Let’s start with the basics:
Build your fire around 10m away from your campsite. Check for overhanging branches that could catch fire, dig a pit about 10-15cm deep and surround the fire pit with rocks (if you can). Preparation is key to a good fire so make sure you’ve collected everything you’ll need before you try to get it started.
1. Tinder (small easily flammable, quick-burning twigs, leaves, coconut husk fibres etc)
2. Kindling (short sticks with a diameter between a pencil to a finger thick)
3. Fuelwood (bigger chunks of slow-burning wood)
Now you’re ready to start building your fire fuel. There are a few ways to do this and it could start a camp debate but a tried and trusted method is the teepee build which goes like this:
1. Build a teepee of kindling around a small fist-sized bunch of tinder.
2. Add more wood to the downwind side. Leave an opening on the upwind side (so you can light the tinder).
3. Keep space between for the wood to breathe – it needs a steady flow of oxygen.
4. Get the big fuelwood and place it around the edge of the teepee, in a parallel 2 x 2 formation.
5. Light it by standing upwind of the fire (see 3 methods of lighting below).
6. Keep adding tinder as necessary till the kindling is alight.
7. Keep adding kindling till the fuelwood is ablaze.
Once you have your fire pit and tepee build-ready – it’s time to light it.
Here we’re going to explain three different ways you can light a campsite fire.
If you have matches or a lighter, use them. Job done.
This is a cool piece of kit for lighting a fire or gas stove in the wet, at altitude or in the snow. The UST StrikeForce Fire Starter w/ Tinder is a high-performance, flint-based fire starter that generates three times the heat of an ordinary match and will last up to 4,000 strikes. It’s really simple to use –just strike it so that sparks shoot towards your tinder and away you go. If you are having trouble with lighting the tinder you can gently scrape some of the metal shavings into a little pile within the tinder. Then you hit the shavings with sparks and they all ignite giving you a strong collection of firing sparks that should get your tinder going.
In an emergency, a fire is a great way to keep warm and attract attention. This is something you may need to do in an emergency situation but it’s worthwhile practising next time you go camping, just in case.
Grab two very dry sticks of the same type, preferably from the same branch or tree. Fashion one into a shorter thick ruler shape with a sharp stone. Make sure the other stick is much larger and wedged firmly to the ground under your body weight and between rocks (if possible). This piece of wood has to stay straight and still. Rub the shorter ruler shaped stick back and forth on the larger stick. Start slowly, till you see it start to blacken. Then you add more pressure, and rub the sticks harder and faster, back and forth, until you get steady smoke and see some blackened ember style smoking wood. You then want to add this to your driest, easiest to ignite tinder (old dry coconut husk fibres work great). Gently find the right balance between wind and tinder, eventually, if you don’t smother it or blow it out, you should have a flame!
There you go – fire! Remember to light your fire safely and have a UST The StrikeForce Fire Starter for back up just in case your lighter and matches get wet!
Not sure what gear you need for your next adventure? Chat to our friendly team of Outdoor Gear Specialists in-store or online today and don’t forget to share your adventures with us on Instagram by tagging @wildearthaustralia and #mywildearth in your next post.