Introduction: Sure Fire Way to Start a Fire

About: Aero Eng, mother of one, tinkerer...

If you have trouble starting your wood fire then this technique might work for you.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • Obviously you will need a wood heater!
  • A fire poker is essential for moving logs around.


  • Newspaper
  • Small sticks for kindling
  • Larger logs

Step 2: Setting Up the Base of Your Fire

The base consists of two logs. Place them side by side as shown.

Step 3: Filling the Base

Fill the gap between the logs with scrunched up newspaper. Don't scrunch or pack the paper too tightly - we need good air flow.

Step 4: Laying the Kindling and Igniting the Paper

Lay the kindling over the base then light the newspaper.

The base elevates the kindling so that there is good air circulation under the kindling.

Step 5: Making a 'cradle'

Wait until the kindling is well and truly lit. You should see flames from the kindling not just the newspaper.

Once lit, use the poker to lower one end of each stick towards the centre of the base.

Alternating right and left lowered ends creates a cradle like structure as shown.

Step 6: Adding the Logs

Place one log inside the 'cradle' that you have created. At this stage it is a good idea to close the door until it is just ajar. Leaving it slightly ajar will allow heat to build up while still providing a boost of air to get the fire roaring.

**it is important to remember not to leave the wood heater unattended when the door is open or ajar!**

Once the log has well and truly caught, you can add more logs and shut the door.

When adding subsequent layers of wood, I find it best to layer them in a criss-cross pattern to keep the whole thing 'open' and allow good air circulation.