How To Start A Fire Without Matches When Camping
If it doesn’t have a fire… a real fire, then that is not camping. But before you learn how to make a fire with nothing but sticks, you need to know a few things.
Firstly, is such a fire allowed in that camping ground? If yes, you are good to go.
Is the area safe for a wood/tinder fire? Again, if the park or area authorities have permitted this, it must be safe. With the issue of legality covered, you can now go ahead and learn how to light a fire with sticks when camping.
How to start a fire in the woods
Knowing how to start a fire with sticks without gasoline, lighting device or other store bought means is a real kickass technique to pass down to your children.
In addition, it makes you feel somewhat good about yourself knowing that you can use stone age skills to make a fire amidst all the modern tech jungle. Keep reading to see how to start a fire in the wild.
Why do you need to know start a fire with nothing? 4 Reasons!
Pandemics such as the one experienced in 2020 have shown us that anything can cut us out of regular supplies reach. Therefore, knowing how to start a fire with nothing is a good way to go back to the basics.
Here are a few reasons to know different ways to start a fire:
1. Making a fire without a lighter or matches is an important skill
Learning how to start a fire in the woods with sticks is a very helpful skill, a technique that is worth knowing. That is how the men and women of the western frontier, the Wild West did it. If you read Louis L’Amour’s books, you will see. Besides, knowing how to start a fire is a survival skill.
2. Starting a fire is a tradition worth keeping
Making fire is tradition for camping trips especially in camping destinations where firewood is not a problem. The warm flames of the fire at night brings people together to reflect on the events of the day.
They can narrate stories and share some laughter or a meal together. Fire just has a way of bringing people together, in the same way that light attracts moths.
3. Start a fire to keep you warm
Some camping destinations are usually very cold at night and a fire will help you keep warm. At other times, you may decide to go camping during the winter season and we all know how freezing cold it can be, especially at night.
During such camping adventures, you will definitely need to know the fastest way to start a fire to keep you warm so that you can enjoy your camping more.
4. Making fire protects you from wild animals
Fire can protect you from wild animals. If you get lost in the wilderness, you need to keep safe. You need to start a fire. That should keep you safe from the bugs, and deter wild animals.
It is also possible to start a fire with wood alone, without using any modern lighting tools, even without a wood stove.
Different ways to start a fire with nothing
Here are the steps, techniques and tips that will help you successfully and safely on how to make a fire in the wild:
What can I use as tinder fire?
This is very light flammable natural material that you will use to ignite your fire. If you are camping in dry conditions, you just need to look around to spot a lot of tinder.
Dry grass, very thing sticks, fir leaves and any other light and dry material lying around is good for tinder. You will use this to line the bottom of your fire pit.
If your are camping in wet conditions, you may need to bring your own tinder, or carry a sleeping bag for cold weather or both!
Some of the things you can bring for tinder include wood shavings, old newspapers and cartons, leaves and so on.
What is good for kindling for making fire with wood?
You do not want to place heavy wood on the tinder because it will not light up. What you need to start fire is kindling. These are thin twigs and branches that you will place over the tinder.
When these ignite, all your worries about the fire going out before the wood catches on are gone. Just like tinder, there is a lot of kindling around you everywhere you look.
How to make fire with wood – Best time to make a fire
Timing is probably the first factor to consider when you want to start a wood fire. Unlike when using modern devices to make a fire where it takes you only a few minutes to do so, this will take a considerable amount of your time.
Therefore, knowing the most suitable time to start making the fire is crucial. Otherwise, darkness will fall while you are not yet prepared for it.
Designate some time to start preparing all the necessary materials that you require for making fire. This includes collecting some dry woods, dry, sticks, dry leaves and grass.
Keep them in a tent or in a place where they will remain dry in case there are light or heavy showers. Ensure you collect enough firewood that will start fire and keep it running for as long as you require it to last.
The most suitable time to start fire would be when the sun starts to set. This gives you enough time so that by the time darkness sets in; you have a roaring campfire burning and spreading warmth.
Find the right spot – How to build a campfire
You can literally start a fire with sticks from anywhere but before you settle for a place, ensure that you follow some campfire safety tips first, lest you end up destroying the surrounding environment with a raging wildfire.
If your camping destination has a designated fire area, make use of it. If the site does not have such an area, you need to prepare one for yourself. To prepare the best place to start fire, start clearing the place by pushing back any dry vegetation and leaves.
How to build a simple fire pit
Ensure that the place is a distance away from trees and other vegetation. You will need to know how to build a fire pit, which should be dug some inches down.
When digging the fire pit, ensure that you keep the soil that you dig aside as it can help you put off the fire very fast in case of an emergency.
Look for some stones to place around your fire pit in order to create a boundary that isolates the fire in the fire pit for enhanced safety. Lay some tinder on the fire pit using dry leaves, dry grass and some dry thin sticks.
How to start a fire with sticks
When your fire pit is ready, you can use any of the following major ways to start a fire using sticks and without the help of a modern lighting item.
But first, you need to lay good and dry kindling on the floor of the pit. Then when you start grinding the wood, you can do it close to the fire pit so that the coals will drop inside.
Hand drill fire
This is yet another method for how to easily start a fire. You need to hold a dry stick in an upright position using both of your palms as they face each other.
The stick should have one pointed end, which you can shape using your camping knife. Rotate the stick as you press the sharp end downwards on another flat piece of wood in order to create a great friction between the two surfaces.
Ensure that you keep the spinning going without posing. That way, the friction generated can bring forth enough heat to make the tip of the stick you are rotating to start glowing.
Do not stop at the first sight of smoke. Keep on spinning until the stick forms a hot coal that can be transferred to the waiting tinder in the fire pit.
How do you make a fire plow?
Find a flat like piece of a wood and use your knife to cut a channel along its length. Get another dry stick that is about 15 inches in length and with a thickness of that of a pencil. Hold your pencil thick stick at an angle and rub it vigorously up and down the channel.
This friction will create some heated fine dust that should be dropping at the tinder on your fire pit.
How do you make a bow drill fire?
This fire without matches method requires you to prepare a bow using a bent stick and drawstring cord, a shoelace or any other kind of a strong string. Make a small hole or depression on a flat piece of wood that will help you to steadily hold your fire stick.
Use one hand to hold the stick on the flat wood and use the other hand to rub the bow against your fire stick to create a rotational movement of the stick until it creates an ember at the small depression the flat wood.
How to start fire with sticks – Things you should know
If you are a beginner camper, there are some few tips that you should know on how to start a fire with sticks.
When choosing stones to put around your fire pit in order to isolate the fire, not every stone will make a great choice. Look for bog dry stones. Avoid the soft ones. they can overheat and explode hurting those around the fire.
A very big fire is more difficult to sustain that a smaller fire. In addition, an extremely large fire may produce less heat when compared to a much smaller one.
In case you need to keep animals and insects away, add some wet woods in order to produce smoke that will irritate them, thus keeping them at bay.
If you need more light, use soft wood instead of the hardwood as soft wood produces more light.
Use completely dry wood and sticks for fire starting because they catch fire quickly. Using semi-dry woods and sticks will only make you frustrated and it may take a very long time before yielding any fruits.
Fire safety – Safe campfire building techniques
As earlier mentioned, fire starting safety is crucial when it comes to making fire with wood. If you fail to observe safety precautions, there are risks. It can result to damage from uncontrollable fires, which injure people and the environment.
Ensure the fire is controllable
When starting fire, ensure that you are prepared to control it. You can protect the environment and the people around from getting hurt. Isolating the fire in the fire pit might not be as easy as you think. It requires constant monitoring and observing some basic safety precautions.
Here are some basic safety tips that you can use to ensure that your camping fire lighting adventure does not result into a disaster.
Keep it away from vegetation
Ensure that your fire pit is at least 20 feet away from trees and other vegetation ( especially the dry vegetation). If you think it will act as kindling, it definitely will.
Consider the direction of the wind before preparing your fire pit and lighting the fire. Wind is notorious for spreading campfires. Wind turns small fires them into serious wildfires. Do not take this precaution lightly.
Keep any flammable material at least 5 feet away from your fireplace. This includes your stuff, your bags and anything else that can catch fire easily. Besides, your electronics can be damaged by heat.
Keep soil near the firepit
Dig up some soil and heap it just near the fire pit. It can help you put off the fire in case of an emergency. Always ensure that you keep some water near for the same.
If you are camping in an area that is well-supplied with water, fetch some. Do not make the fire near the water because it deters animals from coming to drink.
Don’t use flammables to start fire
Do not use highly flammable liquid such as gasoline on the fire. Besides, you are making fire with sticks. Why then would you need to carry camping stove fuel?
Always keep a close eye on the campfire and never leave it unattended. Do not leave kids or pets all by themselves around the fire.
Once you are done with the heat, make sure that you put it off. You can do that by heaping soil on it.
Putting out campfire safely – Can you put out a campfire with water?
On their website, the USDA Forest Service gives out the best ways to put out a campfire. When you are done using your fire, it is time to safely put it off completely. Start preparing to put out the fire as early as 20 minutes before going to bed since it may take longer that you think to totally put off the fire.
Allow all the wood in the fire pit to first burn into ashes before doing anything else. To speed up the burning process on any wood that has not yet burnt, poke the campfire with a piece of wood. This lets in more oxygen, which rekindles the fire.
Once all the wood has burnt into ashes, sprinkle some water around the pit until all the frizzing noise stops. Ensure that you sprinkle the water but you do not pour it in. If you flood your firepit, it will be difficult for you to start a fire again the following evening.
As you sprinkle the water, use a stick to stir the ashes, in order to ensure that all of it gets put out. When you no longer hear the hissing sound from the ashes, you are almost done with the process.
Do a touch test by putting the back of your palm close to the ashes. If you still feel some heat coming from the ashes, keep on sprinkling water on it until it is completely cool.
If you are not going to need the firepit again, patch up the ground by replacing and covering the place with all the soil and materials that you had dug up earlier. Putting back the soil will also help in completely putting off the fire.
Teach your children how to make a fire with rocks or sticks
Teach your children how to make a fire without using matches or store-bought fuel. It sounds like a simple feat, but they will never forget it.
One day, they will also teach their children how to make a fire with nothing. Besides, knowing how to make a blaze without modern lighters makes you feel like a real badass dad or mom.
After knowing how to start a campfire with sticks, the next thing you need to know is how to start fire with rocks.