How to Make a Fire With Wet Wood

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About: Hunting. Fishing. Survival.

It's rained, what are you going to do now? How are going to make a fire? Well, it's simple. Just follow my lead.

Step 1: Get Your Wood

Find some reasonably wet wood, not some you found floating in the water. Then you're going to put it into a pile.

Step 2: Start Shaving

Once you find some wood, if you break it in half, you will notice it is dry inside. Then with your knife/hatchet, you will shave the outside of it until you find dry wood. Shave the rest until like so.

Step 3: Fuzz Stick

If you like, you could make a "Fuzz Stick", which is the stick with attached shavings to help start the wood on fire. Or you could get the shavings off and make tinder for your fire also, or just do both. After that you can set up your fire however you like. I suggest the "Log Cabin". It's like the Lincoln Logs you grew up with other than the roof. Thanks for viewing!!!

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    34 Discussions

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    HelenaTroy

    3 years ago

    when camping I always keep some tinder and small wood under cover. And a tobacco tin of pencil or other shavings, with a pencil and sharpener for topping it up! once you get a tiny fire going, you can use it to dry more wood

    3 replies
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    rogersr.ingallsHelenaTroy

    Reply 3 years ago

    I see people taking along 35 mm film cans with stuff, tobacco tins with pencil shavings and all kinds of bulking things , Why not just place 3 or 4 of those small boxes of wooden matches in a sandwich bag and be done with it, its light weight,plenty of instant tinder and ignition.

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    fusionrogersr.ingalls

    Reply 3 years ago

    Matches (in the US) have a chemical added lower down the sick that puts out the flame. For survival this is less efficient.
    Paper matches have the same, you can see it if you turn them over

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    HelenaTroyrogersr.ingalls

    Reply 3 years ago

    tobacco pouches are foldable when empty, and waterproof when full!

    putting a thin coat of wax or nail varnish on match heads keeps them waterproof, just scrape off and strike.

    I think the point in the Instructable was to burn wet wood, not light damp matches! lol don't matter how dry your matches are if the wood's soaking wet!

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    AndrewG47

    3 years ago

    Vaseline and cotton balls. I could light a cinder block with those two things lol.

    6 replies
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    FredR9oilitright

    Reply 3 years ago

    Save your hard-earned money, pack a sealable freezer bag every time I camp,

    foolproof method of starting a fire, wet or not

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    wheeetsFredR9

    Reply 3 years ago

    I don't understand how do you start a fire with a seal able freezer bag

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    justbennettwheeets

    Reply 3 years ago

    I thought maybe he meant to save your money and put it in the bag to start a fire with. Must be a sadistic rich guy.

    The cotton balls make more sense.

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    mmiller79definingsound

    Reply 3 years ago

    I believe what FredR9 was trying to say was that he packs a sealable freezer bag full of vaseline and cotton balls when he goes camping. He just didn't articulate it properly.

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    gigiopil

    3 years ago

    good old advice, one of very few and working ways to light a fire without any other kind of tinder in wet weather, along with a lot of patience!

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    burnerjack01

    3 years ago

    Lots of great comments about building fires in less than ideal conditions below.

    To those who have not read it, I would like to mention a short story called "To Light A Fire" by the great author Jack London. An awesome cautionary tale.

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    pfred2

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm log cabin. I favor tee-pee style myself. It is easier to build, and makes more thermal sense. I mean heat rises. But once you get a good bed of coals going then crosshatch works good. Crosshatch is when you lay one layer of wood one way, then lay the next layer 90 degrees to it. Three courses usually burns OK. You have to maintain the right air gap between all of your timbers though. About an inch, or so works for me.

    Skip that old saying, where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there's flames, there's fire! If your fire is smoking then you're doing something wrong.

    2 replies
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    inspect366pfred2

    Reply 3 years ago

    Pfred2, What you said IS a Log Cabin fire. You start out building a Tee Pee fire and place logs around it like you described doing, making a log cabin type around the Tee Pee.

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    pfred2inspect366

    Reply 3 years ago

    I did not describe the teepee at all in my comment. I described how I build a burning stack, after I get a bed of coals going. Sorry for the confusion. That isn't how to build a log cabin fire starter either BTW. Log cabins are two by two, alternating perpendicular wise, with a gap in the middle for kindling. Much like a log cabin is, with something inside it. I make my burning mats 3 pieces wide, with just flame gaps.

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    JohnKovac

    3 years ago

    Very useful DIY. I've used it many times and IT WORKS !

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    SLKSr

    3 years ago

    I've used this method, and vasoline soaked cotton balls,and steel wool w/battery along with a teepee, or new england stack..no matter, fire is what's important as end result.

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    DirkJ1

    3 years ago

    Great Instructable Cap'n. I hope that you like and use some of these other ideas as well.

    I keep a magnesium and striker as well as vacuum packed dryer lint (a few tests will show how much you need in a package) with a few strike anywhere matches in each of the two or three packages of lint. All of this is in my medical kit with my ultra-light mini back up knife, string etc.. In a pinch the dryer lint can be used medically as well as a bandage or to staunch blood flow. This medical kit is in my fanny pack (survival basics only including superglue for sutures) for even day trips along with sesame seed hard candies for instant energy and extra water purification tabs.

    As a rule, I try and figure out how everything in my backpack can be used at least two ways and that for necessities I have two ways of covering each necessity (matches and magnesium)

    Always remember to plan three days survival plus your planned trip, that includes a day hike! Know every possibility of WATER! Dry camping in emergencies is not the goal! You will never regret coming back with a little survival grade energy supplies and knowing you were safe.

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    MichaelR5

    3 years ago

    Working towards Eagle! Nice! I'm sure you'll be a great success! Very nice job on this instructable.