There are a lot of skills that you should have if you’re planning on staying outdoors. One of these is how to build a campfire. The reason for this is that being able to build a fire is the one way that you can be sure you’ll be able to provide warmth and cook food while you’re camping. It’s not necessary to know how to build a campfire without matches however, but if you don’t know how to build one without matches, then you should make sure that all your matches are kept in a waterproof container.
There are a few rules of thumb that you should keep in mind when building a campfire. First, heat rises. What this means is that the fire is going to burn up, and if you add more wood or paper onto the fire, you should always put it on top. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that what you have will catch fire.
Next, make sure that everything that you use in the fire is as dry as possible. Wet wood will not burn right away, since the water will have to boil away before the wood will even catch fire. It’s usually best to use sticks that you find underneath trees, since this dead wood will not be full of sap, and the tree branches above it should keep it dry.
First, collect a bunch of newspaper, kindling, and small branches. Then, you should build some sort of a structure that will hold the small sticks over the kindling so that it will catch fire easily. There are two commonly used methods – the teepee and the log cabin. Make sure that the kindling or paper is on the bottom, and then build up around it with the paper. You should also make sure that you use very small and extremely dry pieces of wood here. This wood needs to catch on fire from the kindling before the kindling burns itself out.
Then, light the kindling. As the wood catches fire, make sure that you add more, progressively larger wood on top. Be careful not to just add a huge piece on top before you are ready, however, because if you squash out the flames and smother them, then your fire will go out, and you’ll have to start again.