Build a Fire in the Rain/Wet Condidtions




Fire is probably the third most important thing in survival but good to have when camping. Survival is not something that is ever likely to happen, not bad to know a few thing, but avoidance of survival is better. It isn't often that you actually need to have a fire, because when when your camping, backpacking, canoeing you usually have proper gear, and are prepared, but say your are unprepared.

- When your camping and don't have to carry this in a pack, I'd recommend to always have a blow torch and propane (just a tip).

Step 1: Tinder

First we will find the stuff to start the fire known as tinder. This is probably the easiest step of the whole process. I have listed types of tinder used but excluded leaves because they are going to be wet.

*Pine needles- Pine needles can start a fire easy in rain because they don't absorb a lot of water and can be easily dried.

*Bark- Dry bark is found one the dry side of the tree (as you can see with the picture above). The under side of the bark you can scrape some small shavings off for some good tinder.

*Shavings- You can get wood shavings from inside of a (wet) stick by shaving the (wet) bark off for tinder.

Note~ I have learned to keep all of your findings in a bag or pouch in the inside of your jacket to keep it dry and to keep it warm to almost help dry the wood.

Note~ Birch bark burns wet because of the oils in it. 

Step 2: Kindling and Fuel

Kindling is not too hard to find, but fuel is harder to find that is why I would just collect a bunch of kindling and use that as my fuel to make a fire.

1) First find a nice spot where there could be some kind of minor cover such as brush, tree trunks, or boulders where there is a slant in the rock covering a spot for some dry material. (Example in Picture 2)

2) When your ready to start the fire you will shave off the bark and see if the wood is dry. If you have a lighter you can test if it's dry on a small piece or shaving from the log or stick, if the piece does not burn, then none of it will burn. You can also feather the stick (as it is called) as pictured above.

Note~ Ounce you think you collected enough wood for a good fire, double it, use this always.

Step 3: Starting the Fire

Now for the last step, you just find a spot for you fire and get it started, the hardest part of the whole process. Below are some possible places for a fire if it is raining. If it's not raining, but just wet, than put the fire anywhere it's half dry.

- Places where there is a big boulder slanted like a lean-to. (Shown above).
- You can also put a tarp between two trees above the fire (make sure it's high enough to not catch fire!).
- Build the fire on a good sheet of bark (Birch bark works best).

I hope you have learned something from this Instructables, and please comment, and correct me if I'm wrong about something.



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9 Discussions


1 year ago

what is a good kind of rock to shelter it


2 years ago

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5 years ago

First if its already raining you need to concentrate on finding shelter because you'll never get it started. Second is to get a good bird nest of shavings it's best to find a dead standing tree or the underside of a leaning fallen one that's up off the ground. It's best if your going into the woods make up a tin of petroleum cotton balls and a Bic lighter they fit in your pocket and easy to carry. And foolproof. Even on short couple hour hikes I carry those and solar blanket all fits in that tin. Oh yeah put the cotton balls in a ziplock Baggie so it doesn't get all over the other stuff. I take some plastic wrap and put them individually so I can just pluck one out and I'm good to go.

4 replies

Yes, I agree, I have learned a lot this past summer, and also this was my first Instructables. I am sorry that it is not the best. I have learned to start a fire with fire steel, and what is most important in survival/camping, is shelter, then food, then fire (correct me if I'm wrong). I will get working on making this better.


Reply 3 years ago

I do a lot of this kind of thing and I would say that the three most important things are shelter (if necessary), fire, and water. Food comes next.

Also, yes, synthetics are superior to cotton but nothing beats 100% wool; blankets and clothing, including your tuque.


Reply 2 years ago

You can go weeks without food. A couple days without water. Find a water source and set up a shelter. Then make fire. Use the fire to warm yourself and boil water. That's what i was taught at least


Reply 2 years ago

Why not say you are both right in an emergency situation what you need to do is Stop





stop moving sit and calm down

think about what you need and what you have

observe your surroundings as to what it provides

plan to find what isn't provided

then begin finding a place near by to setup a camp/shelter on the way be mindful of fuel sources gather them in a spare piece of clothing if you can, be mindful of water sources and look for materials to build a shelter.

you also need to take into account climate. if you live in a warm climate shelter might be a lesser priority than water or fire depending on the time of day.

If the sun is setting Fire becomes a major priority as it wards off animals, provides light and heat, and can be used to boil water.

If on your travel to this point you did not encounter a water source and you did not pack water this might also trump shelter but not necessarily fire.


2 years ago

Another thing to do is dig a hole to put your fire in. That stops wind blowing it about when starting and is sheltered when trying to cook in. Less fire wood is needed as well. I dig about 300mm deep and a bit wider than the pot im cooking in. Have done roasts in camp oven like this. When you've finished you can fill the hole back in before moving on. Nice and clean.