How to Build a Safe Fire in the Wilderness

How to Build a Safe Fire in the Wilderness
One of the best parts of camping can be relaxing by a roaring fire after a long day in the wilderness. However, fire safety is crucial these days. Since wilderness campers don't have ready-made firepits to build fires in, they'll need to follow come common sense when building a safe fire. A fire can be started from scratch, but you should always carry a fire starting tool. Waterproof matches, lighters, fire starting squares or magnesium fire starters are all helpful for starting a survival fire. The materials used to start the fire should be dry, and the fire structure requires airflow. The survival fire can be used for warmth, water purification, cooking and light, as well as signaling for help. Read on to learn how to build a safe fire in the wilderness.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Building a Safe Fire

Things You’ll Need:
  • Shovel
  • Tinder
  • Wood
  • Matches or fire-starting kit
Step 1
Choose your location wisely. Look for spot without overgrown brush or low-hanging branches. Most preferable would be a spot in a clearing. This way, fire will be less likely to spread.
Step 2
Dig a shallow hole in the ground. Then, line the hole with medium-size rocks. The rocks help ensure the fire stays within the pit and doesn't stray to nearby vegetation.
Step 3
Clear surrounding area of loose brush. Again, this will help prevent the spread of fire.
Step 4
Gather your fire-building materials. Then, place your tinder (crumpled paper, fire candle, etc.) in the middle of the pit. Then,surround with small twigs and logs, to form a teepee shape over the top of the tinder.
Step 5
Light the fire.
Step 6
When finished, extinguish fire with water if possible. Otherwise, smother completely with dirt or sand. Never leave a still-flaming fire behind.

Tips & Warnings

If convenient, keep a bucket of water near the fire, just in case. That way, if the fire starts getting too high, you have a ready means of controlling it.
Always follow park rules regarding fires.

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