Saturday, June 23, 2012

TeePee Fire

   I wanted to write a little about the campfire.  A campfire, in my opinion, is one of the most important  outdoor skills.  A fire can be very enjoyable while camping, or in the backyard, or to perform a certain task.  But somtimes a fire can be very frustrating to try and start, so I am going to  give you some tips that might help.  You may or may not know about some of the things  I write, but hopefully you will enjoy it. 

First, if you are lost you should always build a fire (providing it is safe to do so). It gives you warmth, comfort,and light.  It helps you to calm down if you are scared, and it might help somone find you.  That being said, you need to know how to build one well.  And if you are in danger of hypothermia you need to build a fire and you might not have much time.  These are some extreme situations, but its something to think about.

Here are the basic elements a fire needs to function properly: fuel, oxygen, and a spark.

I usually use matches or a bic lighter.   I have started a fire twice with a flint and stee,l but it is hard. I do prefer Strike- On- Anything matches, but I use regular matches too.  And I plan on practicing with the flint and steel some more.

My favorite kind of campfire to build and use is the teepee fire.  I have several reasons for this.  The first being it is easy, the easiest fire I have ever started.  Secondly, it is easy to contain.  Thirdly, it provides quick heat.  And it can be any size and it is easy to adjust the size.  Fourthly, it has easy access to oygen.

This is the basic shape and of a teepee fire.  It has the small tinder in the middle and then the larger wood on the outside.  First, you get your small tinder (fire starter) and put it in a loose pile so it will light easily.  Then you add a small teepee of your smallest sticks and twigs over that, then add a few larger sticks.  Now light it.  Then as it starts to burn you need to add more sticks until the fire is as big as you want.  If you need to put more wood on it then just add wood all around till it is replenished.  One more thing, it is very important to have tinder that is completely dry.  Otherwise it is very very difficult to get a flame going, wet wood will burn if you have a hot enough fire but it will smoke.

This fire I built on my last camping trip and I believe it started out as a teepeefire but I'm not sure.   At any rate it's a cool picture.  You can see long peices of wood sticking out of the fire.  This is so I did not need to cut them smaller.  It was also wet and so I used the small fine bark from cedar trees for my tinder.

There are many other styles of fires and many of them work very well and I may write about them later, but again my favorite is the teepee style.  I will probably discuss tinder and wood a little later.  

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