The building stage of running a safe fire is essential and the key to it is preparation. Before you start building the actual fire you first need to complete the stages below. Click on each bullet point to learn more:
- Choose and prepare a safe area for your fire circle.
- Ensure you have selected and prepared an appropriate tinder.
- Collect and sort your fire wood.
- Ensure you have an appropriate initial heat source.
Once you have prepared the above four points you are ready to start building your fire. There are a number of different methods practitioners use for lighting fires. Often you will find that a practitioner has a particular favourite that they find works effectively. Below you will find information about three of the most commonly used methods.
The tipi method is one of the most commonly used. It involves placing the tinder in the middle of the fire area and the building a tipi around the edge using your kindling. You may find it easier to put a forked stick in the middle to help with the structure. Once lit, the flame is concentrated on the kindling at the top, whilst the bottom allows air to enter. As the flame burns you start by adding more kindling, continuing the structure of the tipi. Once the kindling is burning you add the next stage of fuel (slightly thicker wood). As each stage of wood starts to burn you can continue onto the next stage. (Click the picture below for an information sheet).
This method is often useful to block the wind if it is blowing strongly from one direction. It involves creating a structure from a standard fuel log(3 inches), with the tinder placed next to it out of the wind. You then create a structure above the tinder by leaning the tinder on the log. Once the tinder is lit and the kindling is burning you add progressively thicker sticks. The new sticks are leant against the standard fuel log, the structure should then progressively grow until you are using 3 inch logs. (Click the picture below for an information sheet).
For a log cabin, you start with the kindling size wood. Place two sticks on opposite sides, about 4-6 inches apart. Then stack two more sticks across the other sticks completing the square. Continue stacking opposite parallel layers as if you are making a log cabin. Once you have a reasonably sized box, fill it with a handful of tinder. Place sticks across the top of the cabin, covering the tinder. As the kindling starts to burn you continue with the cabin structure, slowly using thicker grades of wood (Click the picture below for an information sheet).