Building Indoor and Outdoor Fire Quickly

Build a fire is one of those things you could sort of know how to do, but do not really do it often. Build a fire is actually quite simple, whether a campfire or comfortable in your living room. Here’s how.

What you need:

  • A safe place to build your fire. If you are outdoors, which means a home away from trees and bushes. Inside, meaning a fireplace with a good grid, a screen that will keep the sparks flying out, and duct work that you can open to let the smoke escape.
  • Matches. Obviously, you’ll need these to light the fire. Of course, you do not have any matches, firelighters will do. Matches are usually the most convenient.
  • Tinder. Here is what you will use to start your fire. Outside, it means small dry sticks and twigs, while domestic newspaper works fine.
  • Ignition. This is wood that is slightly larger than tinder, usually a little less than an inch in diameter. This will easily burn and get your fire going, the construction of a coal bed under your biggest wood. Make sure it is dry.
  • Logs. You know what they look like. Usually a few inches in diameter, it is the wood that will go on your last fire, it’ll build it the right size and keep it burning for a while. Again, you’ll want to make sure it is dry before use.
  • Water. You heard Smokey Bear said a million times, I will not bore you but make sure you have some water handy to extinguish the fire when finished. Only you can make the prevention of forest fires.

Note that lighter fluid is nowhere on the list. He looked down at by many as dangerous, and frankly, you just do not need. At best, you will have some weird tasting marshmallows, and at worst, you could burn your house. All you need for this is a good old wood, and if done right, you will have a solid fire going in no time.

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Build an outdoor Campfire

If you build a fire outdoors, you need to be a little more resources than if you had the comforts of home. This means you will need to find wood, kindling, and tinder, and you’ll need to build a small fire pit if you do not already have one. Also, since you do not have a grill, you’ll need to put some more work in the structuring of the fire. Watch the video above to Howcast to see it in action, or follow the steps below.

  1. Make sure you are away from trees, bushes, or anything that burns. You do not want to be from forest fires. Also, if you are in a campsite, make sure fires are permitted in the area.
  2. Build a small home. To protect the wood from falling apart in the area where you sit, dig a small hole and surround it with rocks. If your campsite already has a home (or you’ve built a backyard one yourself), you can obviously skip this step.
  3. Put some tinder in the center of your home. Remember, tinder sticks are small twigs and leave that you will use to get your fire burning, so it burns more, the better.
  4. Stack your kindling on top of the tinder in a structure “teepee”. Be sure to leave an opening on the side you’re going to light. In general, you want more wood on the leeward side so that you can protect the people on this side of the fire.
  5. At this point, you have a ready-fire structure. You can build it as big as you want (be careful!), And the structure does not matter as much. Some people like to build large teepees with their largest newspapers, while others like to build a square structure around their small teepee. In general, the square structure “log cabin” is better to let out the heat, but a teepee is easier to do in a big bonfire.
  6. Light your fire. Take your matches and lit the tinder. It helps to light in a few different places to get faster combustion. Note that you may need to add more tinder if the kindling takes a while to catch fire. As the fire burns, you can gradually enlarge by adding larger and larger sticks.
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That’s all! You must have a good fire in no time, and if you have thought of saving some of these sticks, you can get your ‘mallow roasting on. Make sure you put your fire out completely when you’re done!

Build a fire within

When winter comes and you start to build domestic fires, you should change a bit technical. We will assume that you already have all your wood, but you will also need to face the fireplace, make sure you have a quality grill, and a fire extinguisher nearby (you know, just in case). Check out the video to the left of Monkey see and follow the instructions below.

  1. Before doing anything, open fireplace and make sure it works properly. You will usually be able to feel the cold air coming from the outside if it is open. The last thing you need is a house full of smoke!
  2. Take your journal and crumble some pieces in place, throw them in the back of the fireplace. These will act as our tinder, from our fire with an easy surface to light.
  3. Stack some of your kindling on top of the newspaper. Make sure to leave enough room there for oxygen to circulate, like the fire will need to burn. We do not need a too rigid structure here since you have the grid and the screen to keep the fire in place.
  4. Light your fire. Again, you’ll want to ignite tinder (newspaper, in this case) in a few different places to get burn quickly. Your fire should catch fire easily. You can add some more kindling once it begins to create a pleasant coal bed.
  5. Once you have a little fire going, you can start adding your biggest newspapers. You can usually just throw them through the gate lengthwise, then stack one or two on top diagonally. Remember: you want to leave enough room for oxygen to circulate that everything catches fire easily.
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That’s all! You should have a warm, crackling fire going in no time. You can always add logs if you want to keep it longer, too. Make sure you put this screen to protect your home from flying sparks you do not want your carpet to catch fire.

Obviously, everyone has his own methods for building fires, and there is no one way to do it. If you have your own favorite methods or tricks, whether for indoor or outdoor lights, make sure to share them with us in the comments.