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How to Start a Fire for Survival

Knowing how to make a fire is one of the most basic outdoor skills. A fire can meet different needs. It helps you stay warm and dry. It can be used to cook food, clean water and sterilize bandages. It can shoo away dangerous animals, including flying insects that are sensitive to smoke. Of course, it a good way to signal for help.

Choosing Your Fireplace

Before beginning a fire, you have to find a good spot for it. Make sure you choose well as location is important. First look for a place that is sheltered and protected against the wind and has ample supply of wood and fuel.

There should be no dry vegetation nearby or anything that might catch fire. As anyone would know, the number priority is always safety. Remove any debris in the area and begin the fire on solid ground, a flat shale of rock or a layer of stones. This prevents a ground fire and leaves no trace of the fire, except soot stones.

Picking Your Material
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To build a fire, you have to do it slowly, starting with tiny pieces of wood, then going on to bigger pieces as the fire picks up.
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You need a material that will be easy to start a fire with, such as good tinder, which only requires a spark to ignite. Of course, it is important that the tinder is fully dry. Many things can be used for tinder, such as paper, bark, resin, leaves and bark. Resin is found in spruce and pine trees. Resin burns even when wet though.

just use your knife. Remember, tinder is the most important part of your fire so be sure to prepare it right.
Rub resin on small twigs and sticks if possible. Have enough tinder on hand so your fire doesn’t go out. Start collecting tinder before you actually need it, and always put it in your backpack or pocket so it’s available when you have to use it.


Highly combustible, kindling is a good addition to burning timber. Small dry twigs and sticks are the best to use. They can easily light the moment you add them to a small flame.


As soon as your fire is established, you can throw in bigger pieces of firewood but not until you have made sure they are fully dry. Dead trees are particularly good sources of dry firewood.

Final Pointers

As we have said earlier, safety must be your main priority when starting a fire. That means you should never leave camp without putting the fire out completely. And yes, it helps to check twice or even thrice.