by brett tucker
There are many different ways to build a camp fire. My favorite is the log cabin stack. Here is how you do it:
Other than a nice safe spot to pick out for a campfire, there are a few things you will need before you get started: tinder, kindling, fuelwood, and a lighting mechanism to start the fire. You will stack all three in this order:
The tinder is basically anything soft, fluffy and dry and it must be very easily lit. Good tinder includes things like dry grass, pine needles, shredded wood shavings, etc.
Once the tinder is lit, the kindling will soon catch. Kindling is larger than tinder, but still very small. Small twigs, split wood pieces and dry bark works great. A common mistake in fire building is to put sticks that are too big on a fire too soon. This will put your small growing flame out. You must be patient and let the fire breathe, especially when it is just catching.
Next is the fuelwood. This is what will sustain your fire. Ideally, these are not big logs. The best pieces for fuelwood are medium sized and obviously dry. This will keep your fire burning hot for a long time — although you will need to keep feeding it!
The stack: I like to pile up my tinder in the middle then set up a teepee with the kindling around it. Then I use my fuelwood to make a log cabin. I like to stack it four or five levels high. The log cabin stacking allows the fire to breathe easily and it is fun to set up. Once it burns long enough, it will fall over; this is a good thing because it breaks up the coals and makes the fire super hot. From this point, you can simply throw more wood on top and it should burn hot until you let it go out.