How to Make Your Firewood Stay Lit

How to Make Your Firewood Stay Lit
Starting a wood fire typically involves an initial source of combustion, kindling and increasingly larger pieces of wood. Once a fire is lit, it is then necessary to keep, or tend, the fire. Tending a fire is the act of maintaining a flame which is hot enough to continue producing heat. A hot fire is necessary to combust larger pieces of wood and to provide heat for warmth and cooking.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Newspaper
  • Kindling
  • Dry seasoned wood
  • Matches
Step 1
Build the fire so that gradually larger pieces of wood can be added. Begin with smaller kindling and increase the size of the wood as the fire begins to burn hotter. Use seasoned wood, which has been dried to remove much of the moisture content.
Step 2
Keep plenty of seasoned wood within easy reach. If a fire cools, it may be difficult for larger pieces of wood to catch fire and burn. Maintain a hot fire by continually adding wood as needed.
Step 3
Add kindling or newspaper to the base of the fire if it begins to extinguish. Rain, wind and snow can cause a fire to go out. These conditions will require that the fire be tended almost constantly to maintain high level of heat.
Step 4
Place green, or unseasoned, wood on the fire sparingly. The heat from the fire will need to dry out the wood as it is burned. This process reduces the amount of radiant heating as it takes more energy to burn the wet wood.

Tips & Warnings

Preparing the fire is an important part of attaining a hot fire. A hot fire produces coals that are necessary to help in burning wood as well as producing heat.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.