A guide to fire lighting | How to get a fire started in the woods

Nov 7, 2014 | Bushcraft, Adventure Weekends

When you hear bushcraft your mind’s eye sees fire. Fire is one of those age old human fascinations that makes fire lighting a skill that most of us wouldn’t mind having under our hats. And, that’s not even taking in to account fire’s brilliant practicality! From keeping warm, purifying water and cooking food when adventuring in the GREAT outdoors.

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Here’s a brief how to, Fore style

*It’s important to make sure that you have chosen your fire site taking in to account safety. Whether your chosen site lies on roots that have the capability of catching fire or overhanging branches that are equally flammable

You’ll need:

  • A fire steel or matches
  • Tinder (We like natural, using dandelion clocks, dry pine needles or dry grass. Man-made material such as cotton wool balls also work well)
  • Kindling (small twigs, sticks, bark)
  • Wood (big pieces of wood that will sustain the fire)
  • An area suitable for bushcraft fire lighting

Fire Lighting How To:

First things first you’ll need to build a teepee shaped construction, using your kindling first. Then progressively larger pieces of wood as the outer part of the structure. It is important that you leave room to be able to place your tinder at the base of and in the centre of your teepee structure.

It can be helpful to literally stick some of the kindling sticks in the ground to form strong legs to the structure. Then the other pieces of kindling and wood resting against these more sturdy pieces.

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Ignite your tinder material, having shaped it into a nest like shape and using either your firesteel or matches. Shape the nest around your spark if using the firesteel (or flame if using matches). Gently blow into the tinder nest, allowing the oxygen to fan the spark in to flame. This part is bushcraft heaven!

From here, place the ignited tinder into the centre of your earlier constructed teepee. Getting low to the ground, continue to gently blow into the centre of the structure until you can see that the kindling has caught light.

fire lighting bushcraft activity dorset

Find Out More

And that Fore Adventurers is a simple bushcraft guide to get your fire started, and your woodland adventures off to a primal start. Consider fire-lighting, after giving the above how-to a couple of go’s, a skill under your adventure hat.

*The extinguishing of a fire is as important as the lighting; we always want to leave a site as it was when we started and in a safe condition. To do this, make sure the fire has burnt out, ensuring the ashes have too by covering them in water. After this, collect and spread the ashes, putting more water on to the site where your fire was. Then, using a stick, disturb the ground where your fire was to enable the water to get into the ground- ensuring no roots have caught light. Finally, camouflage your fire site with leaves and twigs to make sure no trace is left.

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Starting with four Kayaks and a hut on the beach, Fore has evolved to include, sea, shore and solid ground adventures to get big and small humans in the great outdoors. Read our story.

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