Do you know how to make a self-feeding fire? When it comes to building primitive fires in the wild to cook and stay warm, this is one of the longest-lasting.
This kind of fire is the best solution to the chore of feeding the fire all through the night. Once you build a fire like this, you won’t need to tend the fire to keep it burning.
A well constructed self-feeding fire can burn for 14 hours or more without anyone tending it. Whether you are the regular outdoor person or an occasional night watcher, making fire is one of the basic survival skills everyone should know.
Step 1. Gather Tools
First, let’s gather the tools and materials you need. Some important materials and tools you need before you can build a self-feeding fire include a shovel and a trowel for digging.
We also need cordage or rope for lashing. Paracord is ideal since it’s 550 strong. Also, we need rugged straight stays for support. Lastly, gather some smooth logs for fuel.
Note: For more information on paracord, see the guide on paracord projects.
Step 2. Prepare Your Fire Pit
The fire pit must not be located anywhere near flammable materials like leaves and shrubs.
Once you choose the location, dig the pit about 6-8ft deep. The diameter of your fuel will determine the width of your fire pit.
Place two fuel logs side by side in the fire pit with little or no room to spare.
Step 3. Lash the Frame
The frame for your self-feeding fire will be made up of two sides. Each side will consist of one horizontal stave and two vertical staves lashed together to form an H.
The vertical staves should be spaced wide enough to enable them to act as ramps for the logs to feed into the fire.
Step 4. Line Up The Frame
Once you have succeeded in lashing both parts of the frame, you can line them up with the already prepared pit. Lining up the frames help point out the exact locations where holes should be dug in the next step.
Step 5. Footing For The Frame
Dig a shallow footing to ensure each one of the frames is set upright in.
Make sure these holes are a little bit larger than the diameter of the upright post and dug into the side walls partially.
Step 6. Raising The Frame
You can raise the frame by setting the poles in their footing and keeping the horizontal cross piece raised. All bracing poles should be propped under the frame poles or behind them.
Raise each side and even them out until the inner angle made by the combined ramps get to 90 degrees while the ground angles remain at 45 degrees.
Step 7. Loading The Fuel Logs
You must place and prep the initial fuel logs to enable them to light up in a unique way.
Make a gap of 1-2 inches between the first pair of logs and keep them open by some wedges between the logs. The gap between the logs makes uniform ignition and access to the logs beneath possible. The gap will help contain the flames between the two logs and prevent a bonfire.
Step 8. Sealing Up The Dirt Ramps
Before loading the fuel racks and lighting, it is important you form up the dirt behind the ramps in order to create a seal.
The purpose of sealing the dirt is to prevent the flow of air beneath the fuel logs. This prevents the heat from moving up or down the backside of the logs.
Step 9. Ready For Burning
Once the starting materials for the fire is in place, the frame should get set for loading of the fuel logs. Before igniting the system, do a thorough check to ensure all is working well.
Once you ignite, the fire will tend itself until the last log down the ramps get burnt after several hours.
Step 10. Ignite the Fire
You must ensure the fire starts along the entire length of the fuel logs. For the logs above to feed accurately, the logs must burn evenly.
As a first-timer, be ready for some hitches and make sure you keep all your fire control tools handy in case of an unforeseen fire outbreak.
No one can guarantee the success of your first self-feeding fire experiment. So while building your first fire pit, keep an open mind and take the necessary precautionary measures. It won’t be a nice first experience if the self-feeding fire feeds on you or your garment.
We hope this article helped you learn how to build a self-feeding fire. You may also want to see our guide on how to start a fire with binoculars and how to make a Swedish log fire.
Have you ever made a fire that feeds itself?