Special Feature

Photo of fire pit burning

When starting a fire, there are three things to consider: oxygen, heat and fuel. Without all of these factors working together, it's impossible to make fire. However, you need to use the proper amount of each for a fire to start.

Fuel for a fire is generally the wood that you are burning. You want to use dry wood so that it lights easier, but you also want three different sizes of wood. The sizes are tinder, kindling and logs. Logs are large, bulky wood branches around the size of your arm. Kindling will be thin, longer sticks smaller than a finger, and tinder is an extremely flammable material like small shavings of wood or paper.

Next you’ll need oxygen. Creating the right amount of oxygen will be determined by your fire pit and the placement of your fuel, or wood. On windy days having a deeper pit is helpful to cut off some air flow but in general a three-to-five-inch deep pit is ideal. Whether you dig it out or place rocks in a circle, either is effective. After you’ve made a pit, place the tinder in a loose pile in the center.

Follow this with creating a cone shape over the tinder with the kindling sticks. Try not to just lay the sticks on top of the tinder or else you will cut off too much oxygen. Finally, have some logs leaning against each other above the kindling. This will create a three-leveled cone. Lastly, we add the heat. Use a long lighter, match or a spark maker, such as a flint rock or magnesium block. It's best to have multiple options for heat available just in case.

Now your masterpiece is complete! Take a moment to stare at the beautiful creation you’ve just made. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fire.

For more helpful outdoor recreation tips, check out asirecreation.org/rock-outdoor.

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