Technology has provided us many options besides a fire to keep us warm, give us light, and help us cook. Nevertheless, this most basic of skills is still one of the most important things for us to learn. Let’s begin with the basics of fire building:
First, determine a safe place to build your fire. Build on dirt or rock, as far from dry grasses and other vegetation as possible. Be sure you have water nearby to extinguish your fire should it get out of hand. You will need three sizes of material to make a great fire. These are calling tinder, kindling, and fire fuel.
Tinder is material smaller in width than a match. Shredded bark and pine needles are examples of tinder. Many fire starters are simply a flint and tinder. You can even find fire starter pellets that you can use as the tinder. They are incredibly handy and can help you get your fire up and crackling! Next you need to gather kindling. Kindling is the small sticks up to the size of your wrist. After the tinder and kindling, you need to gather your wood for the fuel. I prefer to arrange my wood into a tee pee configuration, with the tinder and kindling beneath.
You have a couple of choices when it comes to lighting your kindling. Waterproof matches are especially smart in an emergency along with lighters and flint and steel. I like the idea of having a few options on hand just in case.
To extinguish your fire, simply sprinkle with water and stir the ashes in with dirt. Continue to sprinkle the water until there is no longer steam or hot embers. Be certain it is completely cool before leaving your fire unattended.
Take advantage of the cold winter weather and teach your family how to build a fire. With a little know-how and a few helpful tools, you can get all fired up!