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Building an outdoor fire

  • Jun 30, 2014

Campers, hikers and outdoor adventurers know that at some point, they may have to make camp for the night in an unfamiliar location. When trekking outdoors, it's important to bring the essentials for survival - like nonperishable food and a watch compass - but there are several other items the adventurous man should bring along to craft the perfect fire. 

Whether you prefer the certainty of matches or like to rely upon the resources at your disposal, there are a few ways to approach building a fire in the wild. Outdoorsmen should, however, always check that the area in which they camp allows fires, as some locations do not permit hikers to start flames.

Before you start, you'll need to pick the perfect place. Some sites have prebuilt fire pits, but if you're adventuring solo, you'll need to build your own. Find an area close to water but far from dry bush that could easily ignite. Then, create a small ring from rocks, which will protect the flames from spreading. Be sure to dig about three to five inches down, giving the fire a bit of room to breathe. 

Next, you'll need to collect the following materials: eight 12-inch dry sticks and a stack of materials that will easily catch fire, such as paper, debris, dry leaves and bark. Arrange the dry materials in a small pile in your pit, then stack the sticks as if you were creating a grid - place two sticks on either side of the debris, two more stacked in the opposite direction, etc. If you've brought along waterproof matches, light the middle area until the materials and logs have ignited. This may take a while if it's recently rained or if you're not used to manipulating matches. Be sure to have extra dry materials to pull from in case you need them.

To put the fire out, smother the flames with water and dirt. It's essential to ensure all flames have completely dissipated, as a small spark could lead to disastrous results.

Nothing is more relaxing than stepping out of the city life for a few days and embarking on a camping trip. When going camping for more than a day, it is important to know how to stay well and healthy. Things such as creating a fire, finding food, or finding a safe place to sleep are just a few of the challenges you face on these trips. A useful tool to take with you is the Pro Trek, PRW3000-2. This watch lights up in the night and has a built-in compass to allow you to navigate through the safest locations!