How To Build A Fire Outdoors


To start building your fire, you’ll need to first gather some materials. You’ll need to make sure to grab as much material as possible for your fire. We also recommend that you pile up materials near the location you plan to build a fire. These materials include

  • Tinder – a dry material that easily catches fire from sparks. The tinder should get your initial flame to start. Examples: Dry moss, wood shavings, paper, dry dead grass, etc…

You can easily make wood shavings with any pocket knife or sharp tool.

  • Kindling – A slightly bigger dry material that can catch fire relatively easy. Kindling burns quickly, but not as quick as tinder. This makes it easier to maintain a fire once you have that initial flame. ExamplesSmall twigs, small broken down branches, cardboard, dry tree bark, etc…
fire material
Visual Example of Kindling.
  • Small Firewood – slightly bigger sticks and branches that should burn easily when exposed to fire over a period of a few minutes. Helps fuel the fire before the kindling burns out and burns longer. Should also be somewhat dry. ExampleAverage size twigs, broken down branches (break down into bigger, thicker pieces than kindling), thicker bark broken down into burnable chunks, etc..
fire material
A variety of “small firewood”, difference in size can be beneficial to building the fire up.
  • Bulk Firewood – This is what your going to use as fuel once the fire is going. This is going to be sticks or logs big enough to burn over a longer period of time, giving you more freedom to move about while the fire is going and leaving you to maintain it only every hour or two. You can easily find this material with time, but would be easier to obtain with tools. ExampleThick sticks or logs.

fire material

  • Pitch (Optional) – pitch is the sap or residue that comes from some trees, like the pine tree, that is golden or dark in color and very flammable. Be warned, as this is very sticky and hard to remove. You should probably handle this carefully while collecting and avoid getting on yourself.

make a fire

    • An Ignition Source (optional, but VERY MUCH recommended) – This is recommended for anyone to start a fire as it will save you plenty of time and probably energy too. It IS, however, possible to do without by other means.  ExampleMatches, a lighter, flint, a glass lens of some kind, etc…