Introduction: How to Make a Fire

Picture of How to Make a Fire

There are several ways in which one can make a fire, in this Instructable I will demonstrate the basic steps.

WARNING: Fire can and will burn you if not used properly, don't be stupid and use caution when having a fire.

If you like this instructable please vote for it in the burning questions round 6 contest.

Step 1: Fire Methods.

Picture of Fire Methods.

As I have already stated you can build a fire numerous ways. You can build a traditional teepee style fire, a log cabin style fire, or a lean too. And you can choose to light it with a match, flint and steel, steel wool and a 9v battery, fire bow drill, the classic magnifying glass/glasses, or another method.

Step 2: Traditional Tepee Fire

Picture of Traditional Tepee Fire

You're going to want to start by gathering a fire starter, such as dry grass, cattails, or pocket lint. NEVER use paper or dry leaves in a fire, they the hot ash will rise out of the fire and can start a forest fire. Now you can gather your firewood to start get kindling, which is branches that are no larger in thickness then your pinky finger, then collect tinder which are branches no thicker then 1 1/2 inches in diameter, lastly gather your fuel which are big logs. Once you have a large wood pile you can start building you're tepee, start by making sure you have a clearly marked fire ring, this is very simple to do just clear out leaves and other flammable objects and make sure your fire ring is clearly marked by raised ground or stones.

Place your fire starter in the middle of the ring Stick a sick into the ground and lean others around it and the fire starter once you have built the tepee with kindiling and tinder keep adding tinder to the fire until you have a nice bed of coals and then you can add fuel.

** Make sure all your wood is dry. h

Step 3: Log Cabin Style Fire.

Picture of Log Cabin Style Fire.

Follow step 2 by gathering your materials and building a fire ring.

Place 2 sticks on the ground length wise and then 2 more on top of the width wise so the is a square in the middle, place your fire starter in the square and keep building the sticks up by placing them 2 by 2. then light and gradually place tinder on top of the fire until you have a nice bed of coals then you may put fuel on.

Step 4: Lean Too Style Fire.

Picture of Lean Too Style Fire.

Follow step 2 by gathering the materials and building the fire ring.

This type of fire is the easiest to build, all you need to do is place a rock in the middle of the fire ring and put the fire starter next to it then lean tinder and kindling against it. Then gradually add tinder until you have a nice bed of coals and then you can add fuel.

Step 5: Lighting a Fire With a Match.

Picture of Lighting a Fire With a Match.

Are you serious, you just strike the match. Make sure to use your hand to shield it from the wind but don't touch the flame.

Step 6: Flint and Steel.

Picture of Flint and Steel.

You can buy flint and steel at most camping stores and department stores. To use flint and steel hold the steel at and angle facing your fire starter and strike down with the flint the sparks will eventually light the fire starter.

Step 7: 9v Battery and Steel Wool.

Picture of 9v Battery and Steel Wool.

All you need is a 9v battery and steel wool (No duh!). Just press the hook up end of the battery on to the wool, the steel wool acts like shorted out wires and automatically ignites.

Step 8: Fire Bow Drill.

Picture of Fire Bow Drill.

too construct a fire bow drill you need a piece of string, a curved stick, a straight stick, a flat piece of wood, a stone, and a knife.

First you tie one end of the string to one end of the curved stick and then loop it around the middle of the straight stick and tie it at the other end. Then sharpen one end of the straight stick and cut a v shape in the side of the flat piece of wood. Lastly carve out a hole in the wood right below the v and make sure it doesn't break through the other side of the wood. Then you take the flat piece of wood and place it hole your fire starter and put the pointed stick into the hole. Place the stone on the other end of the pointed stick and with your other hand move the bow (curved stick) back and forth. Once you get a few embers in the hole then knock them onto the fire starter and blow until you get a flame.

Step 9: Magnifying Glass.

Picture of Magnifying Glass.

Hold the magnifying glass over the fire starter so that the beam is concentrated on it and wait until it catches fire this takes a very steady hand.

Step 10: Putting a Fire Out

Picture of Putting a Fire Out

There are many ways to put a fire out, the most successful way I've used is to gradually pour water on to the coals and then stir them around. this helps to conserve water. You can also bury a fire with dirt to smother it, or just pour a bunch of water on it at once. always remember to kick logs over and make sure all the embers under them are put out.

Step 11: Tips.

Picture of Tips.

If it has just rained and all of the wood is wet you can use a knife to peel off the outer layer because the inside will be dry. If you have no fire starter available you can use shavings from a whittled stick you can also use birch bark (Do not peel bark off the trees it can kill them use bark that has already fallen off or from a dead tree only.) If your fire starts to die down you can put more wood on it and use a lid to fan it or just blow into it. too make a really smokey fire for signaling you can use pine needles.


bathgnome (author)plznothanks2017-02-09

Lol. To be honest, I'd rather be looking at Bear Grylls teacher..................

Do a bit of research and you will find the man who probably personally taught Bear Grylls everything about survival is the UK's Special Forces Survival teacher, and that is non other than...............Ray Mears.

He also is used as a very experienced tracker by the UK Police.

rvstealsanddeals (author)2015-02-02

My RV starts a fire for me each time I flip a switch. I find that is the easiest way to start a fire in the woods.

dood12314 (author)2010-08-03

where did u get the flent

ducktape.mac (author)dood123142011-04-30

you get flint in walmart... actually just about any store with a camping section.

lucek (author)2009-12-27

flint and steel. enough said.

mob1 (author)lucek2011-02-27

BIC lighter. enough said.

lucek (author)mob12011-03-05

Bic lighter can't be brought everywhere and won't work if it get's wet. Matches are prone to wind problems and unless they are waterproof have same water problems. My flint I keep on my key chain in the form of a magnesium fire starter. My steel is and knife I have at the time It works on wet grass and in wind and after it's soaked it still works. IE.

Flint and steel. Enough said.

mob1 (author)lucek2011-02-27

Box of matches. enough said.

flashcactus (author)2009-03-25

the most water-conserving way to put a fire out is to put some sand onto it or to pee on it (for guys only)

Noname23 (author)flashcactus2009-04-05

Never ever ever pee on a fire.

flashcactus (author)Noname232009-04-06

why not?

Noname23 (author)flashcactus2009-04-10

Because peeing on a fire vaporizes the pee, and then you can breath it in which is never fun.

flashcactus (author)Noname232009-04-12

Yeah... you're right. Breathing your own pee in is definitely not fun. You just have to be careful when doing this.
Also, I meant putting sand AND peeing onto it (onto the sand.)

Matt21497 (author)flashcactus2009-06-22

pee on a fire does Not smell good but is fairly fun

thefunktopus (author)Matt214972009-09-19

what would happen if you shat on a fire? thats my burning question!!

james4 (author)thefunktopus2011-01-30

i thought of that just before reading your comment

iLikeCoolStuf (author)Noname232010-01-10


mowie (author)Noname232009-11-28

my friend put out a forrest fire with pee...the thing is he lit the forrest fire 5 mins before

Frindledon3 (author)Noname232009-07-25

not unless you are whering a gas mask

Kaiouss (author)Frindledon32009-09-11

Urine is comprised of water and cellular waste; it is a sterile liquid and, therefore, a sterile gas. Apart from the horrible smell, you'd probably be just fine inhaling the fumes. Also, I assure you that dirt is not difficult to come by, so you should never be in a situation so hopeless as to require this method of putting out fires. Keep in mind also that it's a bit more difficult to control the aforementioned method of quenching flames and it should be especially avoided if you're in a dry deciduous forest with a lot of tender laying about. "Remember kids, only YOU can prevent forest fires."

"Remember kids, only YOU can prevent forest fires."??? Say that to the people that do controlled burns (forest fires are a natural thing).

static (author)flashcactus2010-03-28

Piss on the fire, call in the dogs and head it back on to bowlegs.
The nitty gritty dirt band

Hadn't though of those lyrics for a long time. Unless a lot a beer was held in uncomfortably, smothering the fire with dirt or sand finishes the job.

Don,t try this at home (author)2010-08-23

I tryed this and my string wont turn the stick i tryed useing shoe lacesnylon rope what am i doing wrong????

Ps i tryed the bow drill

somerandomguy (author)2009-08-20

The fire ring should not be made of stones because they can crack from the heat. The fire ring is not always even necessary.

jclarkt7 (author)somerandomguy2010-02-27

I'm a boyscout and i have probably made close to 100 fire and all the ones that had rocks the rocks didn't crack

PACW (author)jclarkt72010-04-18

 same here. 

Actually, if you're in an emergency situation, it's smart to have some rocks with your fire. They absorb heat and keep it for a long time. When you go to bed you can take the rocks out (with a stick or something of course) and bury them beneath your bedding. The ground won't be as cold then.

non-emergency but still a good way to keep warm at night. Take the rock out and let it stay out for about 10 minutes, wrap it in a towel or piece of thick clothing and then set it in your sleeping bag at your feet.

The thicker the rock, the more heat it absorbs and the longer it will return the heat while you sleep.

the gizmoman (author)2009-06-20

have you ever heard of a fire piston?

Noname23 (author)the gizmoman2009-06-24

Yeah, but i didn't know how to make one and i don't own one so i couldn't put it up.

static (author)Noname232010-03-28

I believe there's an instructable on making a fire piston.

jclarkt7 (author)2010-02-27

This is great, every method i use in boyscouts is in here, and they all work. But the bow and drill is difficult.Thanks

Bodygard1117 (author)2009-12-21

your fire starting method can double as a hunting implement  :D

xando (author)2009-08-16

do they make campfire thermometers

superitchy (author)2009-08-05

I wouldn't have put the suggestion for just dumping water. 1) it causes lots of smoke to go in your face, and 2) any excess water in the fire pit will make it difficult to light a fire later on.

Ideal_Ideas91 (author)2009-07-29

you got one big mess in the background i see :P

ojohnnyo69 (author)2009-05-04

I carry a small bottle of Potassium Permanganate and a second small bottle of Glycerin. a drop of each together is combustible and poof a fire. Separately the chemicals are safe. Both of which can be found in any pharmacy. This was also shown briefly in segments of Survivor Man and Man vs. Wild.

flashcactus (author)ojohnnyo692009-06-28

that is a very good thing, i used to carry some sort of homemade firestarters based on these two components. the only problem is that all the local pharmacies stopped selling theKMnO4.

pyro man (author)2008-10-17

magnesium shavings work well too

Noname23 (author)pyro man2009-06-24

Yeah they do!

knektek (author)2009-06-23

just spit on it! :)

Evil is the name (author)2009-05-29

Not really thats wat i do wen i make a fire oooooooo u were talking about the rocks there to keep the fire controlled

greenbeanmusicmachine (author)2009-05-05

dirt works best. smother it out

Evil is the name (author)2009-03-16

Or u could replase the rocks with a log

Wouldn't that be a bit chaotic?

geeklord (author)2009-01-21

heh, those don't ACT like shorted out wires, they are shorted out wires.

eranox (author)2008-12-17

I really would have liked to see more informational content in this 'ible. As it was, you pretty much just listed different techniques and didn't really discuss how to use each one. Good start, though.

instructableee (author)2008-12-06

nice..really liked this instructable ive always been looking for that bow one.. im gonna try it sometime soon.. i hope it works!!

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