How to Start a Fire

Who knew that pyromania and arsonry are different conditions (read as: impulses) the people resort to?

At least, I didn’t until today…

You’ve got to admit that the desire to create is a much better impulse as opposed to wanting to destroy using the all-powerful force of fire.

And while it’s very easy to create fire when living in civilized conditions, it’s hardly the same especially when you are in survival mode without the gadgetry and fire-starting implements that you get for under a dollar.

Don’t count on getting a matchbox or a lighter (forget lighter fluid) in a situation where you have to survive… from the cold, wetness and in being in the middle of nowhere.

And for any of you who have been in this situation, you would wish that there was this strange desire to set things alight, if you get what I mean.

Why fire is important to survival
Not only does a fire give us light but warmth as well especially if you have to survive the cold at night or even the wetness of the rainy season. Apart from this, a fire can help you cook food while also serving an important purpose in protection as it can be used to ward off wild animals from attacking.

So let’s look at how you can start a fire with or without matches…

How to Start A Fire – Tips
While there are several ways by which you can light a fire, the thing in common with all these is that you will have to use fire-generating items that are freely available in the wild, not unless you have already prepared for.

You have to understand that it is one of those vital survival skills that must be learned, and it isn’t easy unless you’ve had some practice.

But before you run away and try to acquire, here are a few tips that will help you to start a fire:

Tip #1: The Location
Remember to select a location which isn’t windy because it will make the effort of the initial kindling much more difficult than it should be. Also, ensure that you dig a shallow hole so that a draft can fan the flames once it is lit.

Tip #2: Gathering firewood
There are three kinds of materials that you must collect so that you can make a fire quite easily, and these are tinder, kindling and wooden logs.

Tinder consists of dry grasses, shredded bark, mosses and fungus and must be finely shredded and as dry as possible. Kindling are nothing but medium-sized materials such as dry leaves, small twigs and sticks or larger pieces of bark. Wooden logs are what you will use to keep the fire going once you have gotten it started.

Tip #3: Lighting the fire
Now since explaining it in words will not help you visualize, here is the link to an interesting video that gives you a good idea as to how you can start a fire in the wilderness while using matches.

There are interesting ways by which you can build fire without matches or lighter fluid, and this video link might give you a good idea how, as they have been mastered by people who have to survive in the wilderness.

In Closing
Sooner or later, wherever you are in the woods, you’ll understand the importance of lighting a fire even if you aren’t much of a pyromaniac yourself.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mtman2

    ONLY- practice makes perfect and in a life or death situation where a fire is your only salvation,
    you better know and have mastered every trick in the book and NOT in the book.
    I’ve personally had to- having been survival camping since age-14, even in winter almost dying
    of hypothermia 3 times then. Then in college yrs learning professional winter survival skills in the Mts at 20-40 below and high winds, as well as Mt climbing at those temps. Spending a lot of time afterwards in Grizzly country in remote wilderness.
    Always survival needs are in the back of my mind and of real interest as I do forestry work in
    remote areas alone.
    At 15 I used a makeshift windbreak to start a fire with piles of stripped Cattail fuzz to start a fire (nothing else worked) while ice skating when later the weather-report stated we’d had- “High steady winds with gusts up to 90mph” that day. I was very proud to pull that off as it took a long while to figure just how I’d even light a match to make a fire. I felt I needed to prove that could do it as a test of my ability.

    These days- ideas of fire-starting go to reflections from the bottom of polished aluminum cans, convex lens shaped ice, suspending a clear plastic bag with clear water as a lens, cell phone batteries(or any), chemical fire combo’s(incendiary mixes) any more- all interesting.
    Tho I’ll still say the very simplistic knowledge of starting a fire with nothing but bare hands and woods craft in all weather is still king; knowing what to use and how to actually pull it off.

    As Clint Eastwood stated- “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” –
    -and Indian Chief Dan George put it- “Endeavor to persevere” ~!

  • dude

    josse wells

  • Paul Smith

    One thing that is seldom mentioned is the ability to build a fire without building a forest fire (either above or below ground). Before you go out in the wild, study a bit about campfire safety. . .