Keeping Warm

How to Create a Fire in the Wilderness

While stranded on a remote tropical island, fire can be a man's best friend. Depending of the location, temperatures may drop significantly during the night. Having a well-built fire will help you stay warm. Fire can also be used for several other uses, such as cooking food or signaling for help.

Gathering the Needed Materials

To build a fire in the wild, you mush first get your materials needed to start the fire. These materials would be:

Tinder: These are small materials that will easily ignite with a spark. Tinder could be dry grasses, fungus, mosses, or shredded bark.

Kindle: These are medium sized materials that will catch the flame from the tinder quickly. Small twigs, dried leaves, or larger pieces of bark could be used as kindle.

Wood Logs: This is that large and sustainable material used to keep the fire burning once it has started. The wood should be as dry and as dead as possible for it will help it catch on fire quicker.

The Teepee Method

  • Clear out an area for the fire. This cleared area will be called the fire pit
  • Wad the tinder into a ball, about 4 inches in diameter, and then put it in the center of the fire pit
  • Stack the kindling into a cone around the tinder
  • Lean the logs on the kindling
Here are some pictures to help with the building of your fire:

Getting the Fire Going

If you are lucky enough to have a lighter or match, leave an opening in the teepee so you will be able to light the pile of tinder from the bottom. If you have no lighter or match, find a straight stick and place it in a groove of a piece of bark or flat wood. Make sure the wood or bark is as dry as possible. Vigorously rub the stick between your hands until the friction will cause the bark or wood to catch fire. Then, place this into the tinder of your teepee fire. Blow of the fire softly to help spread it and give it oxygen to burn. If the fire ever goes out, add more tinder or kindling. Once you get your fire burning, keep adding logs in the teepee pattern.

The Log Cabin Method

  • Build a small teepee of tinder and kindling in the center of the fire pit (Optional)
  • Stack the logs in an alternating pattern in the shape of a square around the teepee
Here are some pictures to help you build your fire:

Tips for a Safe Fire

  • Keep the fire a reasonable and safe size
  • Never build your fire near vegetation or low-hanging branches
  • Don't build your fire closer than 6 feet from your shelter

Putting out the Fire

If you ever need to put out your fire, it is important to know the proper way. If there is plenty of water available, drench the fire with as much water as possible. Then, stir the ashes and embers with a long stick. Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any remaining embers. Make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch. If there is not a lot of water nearby or none at all, don't use your precious water to put out the fire. Instead, mix dirt or sand together and with it with the embers. Continue to stir them together until everything is cool to the touch.
Now that you have build yourself a fire, you can keep warm when it gets cold out or cook food when you are hungry.
Nate Robillard