How To Start A Fire In Any Survival Situation

To know how to make a fire is one of the most fundamental wilderness skills. Practice and learn different methods, so you know how to make a fire anywhere and under any condition.

Things To Consider Before Starting Fire

Several needs

A fire can fulfill several needs. It can keep you warm and dry. You can use it to cook food, purify water and to sterilize bandages. It can scare away dangerous animals and its smoke can keep flying insects at bay. It is also an important way to signal for help.


Before you can begin to build your fire, select your fire location. Select it with care, a good fire location is important. First choose a site that is sheltered and protected from the wind and has a supply of wood or other fuel available.

There should be nothing nearby that could catch fire, such as dry vegetation. Make sure your fire doesn’t get out of control. Safety is an essential consideration. Clear any debris away and start the fire on solid ground or on a layer of stones or on a flat shale rock. This will eliminate the possibility of a ground fire and leave no trace of the fire on the ground, except soot stones.

Fire material

To make a fire, you need to build it up gradually, beginning with small pieces of wood, then progressing to larger pieces as the fire gets going. You can grade your fire material into tinder, kindling, and fuel.


You will need some material that ignites very easily to start a fire. Good tinder is dry material that takes only a spark to ignite. The tinder must be absolutely dry. There are a number of things you can use for tinder, paper, leaves, grass, bark and resin. You will find resin in spruce and pine trees. Resin will burn even if it is wet.

Use your knife to turn dry sticks and pieces of bark into powdery tinder. Tinder is the most important part of your fire, so prepare it well. If you have found resin, rub it on small twigs and sticks. Have plenty of tinder on hand so your fire will not go out. Collect tinder before you need it. Put tinder in your pocket or backpack, so you always have it handy.

Learn how to light a fire with matches, or to be more precise, light your tinder. Alternatively, why not learn how to make a fire with a flint striker.


Kindling is readily combustible material that you add to the burning tinder. Small dry twigs and sticks are best. They should easily light when placed on a small flame. The dead branches on the undersides of trees provide excellent kindling, and they are usually dry, even if it has rained for weeks.


Once your fire is established, you can add larger pieces of firewood. Make sure your firewood is as dry as possible. Look for dead trees, they are usually a good source of dry firewood.

Fire Starting Techniques

There are many different fire-starting methods, but they all fall into two categories: modern and primitive methods. Modern starting methods include matches, artificial flint strikers, butane lighters or convex lenses. Primitive fire starting methods include flint&steel;, a fire plow and a bow&drill.; All primitive methods require a lot of practice to manage.

Start a fire with matches

  • Always carry waterproof matches with you. Every match you have is like gold. One match for one fire!
  • · Make sure you have gathered together all the materials you need before lighting the fire.
  • · Always light your campfire from the upwind side, shield your fire area with your body or make a windshield with your jacket or other gear before lighting your fire.
  • · Carefully light the tinder. When the tinder start to burn, use the same match and try to light the tinder on the opposite side.
  • · Add more tinder slowly, then kindling, and build your fire up gradually.


 Never leave a campfire unattended. Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving camp. Check it at least twice.

The best time to start preparing your wilderness trip is now, before you head for the trails!

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