Into the Wilds: 3 Fire Building Types You Must Know

November 30, 2020

Recently I was on a camping trip and had forgotten, of all things, a grill to place over my fire to cook eggs and bacon with and to place my coffee pot on. The good news is I am an astute outdoorsman and survivalist who has gleaned much information over the years from various sources. It wasn't long before I had a snappy fire going with my coffee pot, steaming brilliantly, perched on top.

How did I do it? Quite easily. I prepared a Swedish version of a teepee fire, The Swedish Firestick, an offshoot of what I made, is quite popular amongst campers but takes some advanced preparation to be functional. Therefore, we won't be going into how make that. Here are three fire building techniques you must know for successful camping. Note, these are not fire starting techniques, these are fire building techniques.

1. A teepee fire. This actually isn't going to be included as one of the three simply because it is the basis of the three other ones. So briefly, the teepee fire is simply contrived of debris the size of a bird's nest (to begin with on the bottom), which progresses up to the size of your thumb. This is a great fire to just get warm by and then kick out quickly.

1b. A cabin fire. I don't know if the name for this originated because the assembly resembles a log cabin, or because if you started this in your cabin fireplace it would burn all night. But this type of fire consists of three logs placed side by side, three more stacked on top going the opposite way, (staggered), and three more on top of that to a height of three or four layers. You would then build your teepee fire on top of that and it will burn slowly downward for hours.

2. A Swedish triad fire. This is a simple version of the Swedish firestick that starts with a basic teepee fire, to which you then add three logs of the exact same size to by standing them on their ends around it so that they are slightly touching at the bottom, (place the larger ends down so the fire will be able to breathe and climb). You can then place your coffee pot on the top.

3. A 3 day fire. To make this fire, start with a teepee fire, then drive poles at a slight angle, two on each side into the ground, and stack large pieces of firewood at ang angle so that as the log below burns up, gravity will feed the next log into the fire.

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