How to Make Fire

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Making a fire involves starting with the material that is easiest to ignite, such as dried bark strips, and building up to longer-lasting woods, such as maple or pine pieces. Find out how to build the best outdoor fire with life-saving tips from an experienced wilderness expert in this free video on surviving outdoors.

Part of the Video Series: Wilderness Survival Tips
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Video Transcript

In order to make a fire in the woods, there's a few key ingredients that you have to have. The first preferably is something to ignite the fire with. Obviously the most easiest would be matches packed in a water proof package like this Ziploc, or a lighter. Both of which work well but they don't work if you don't have them with you. The next thing that you need is some easy source of tinder. In this case, I peeled some birch bark off of a dead tree and peeled it down, so it's nice and thin. Next thing that you need is a source of tinder, tinder is very small wood that snaps easily. This, when building a fire you want to go progressively from easiest ignitable to longer lasting larger wood. So we are going from easy fast burning to a little bit longer lasting tinder. In this case this came off the bottom of a hemlock tree. Again it's dead and what I want to do is I want to kind of make like a bird's nest right over my tinder. And I'm going to light my fire on the bottom cause fire obviously burns up. Next thing is kindling and kindling is anything that's from tinder size to like two finger size. So in this case I've got some pine and some maple, maybe a little birch so what I'm going to do is I'm just laying this on top. Nothing really fancy, lots of air in between. Creating a loose TeePee sort of speak. This is fairly easy fast fire to build. Now you can see that it's raining a little bit today. All of this wood is, had been collected when it was dry but it's getting wet now cause of the rain. But the birch should easily dry the tinder and the tinder easily dries the kindling and then the next step would be fuel. And fuel is anything from two fingers to you know logs. And this is the stuff that you are going to use to keep the fire burning for a long period of time, to keep you warm, to create a big, good bed of coals. You don't really need that just yet. Cause lighter is too easy, I'm going to use matches. This is double packed in a Ziploc. Have these all the time in my coat pockets. I have some water proof matches, that's going to be a little bit easy for today so I'm going to just try to get this fire going with one match. Yeah right. One of the things that you can do is, you could build fire extenders, those would be things out of like pine pitch or even birch bark or other easily ignitable material. So here you have it, fire created pretty simply with one match on a rainy day, using good clean dry materials. Remember the birch or whatever you are using to ignite goes down at the bottom, the tinder should be significant enough to dry the kindling. When you build your fire you want to have enough would around so that you are not scampering around trying, you know collecting wood and trying to keep the fire going. So we already have a wood pile all we need to do is just kind of keep adding to it as we go along. And then now we have a good source of heat. We have a good source of signaling, we have a good source to be able to boil water and so on. And there you have it, how to make fire.

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