We’re always talking about the importance of being able to get a fire going if you’re lost in the woods or in some other crisis situation, right? But, have you considered all the different types of fires you can build? Each has a different overall purpose. It would be of great benefit to you to learn a few of these types of campfires.
The teepee fire is usually quick to light and wet wood can be used because it is dried by the heat of the inner fire. Basically, take your tinder and build a small teepee over it with kindling. Get the tinder going and add fuel as the kindling burns. It works well for cooking and warmth. Most folks are familiar with this basic approach to building a fire.
Adding a circle of stones around the fire will help in windy conditions.
Then there is the long log fire. This one is great for when you go to bed down for the night. Dig a shallow ditch that runs about the length of your body. Get a fire going with tinder and kindling, adding larger logs to really get things going the whole length of the ditch. Then, add two large logs on top of the fire. It will burn a long time and keep you warm overnight.
The automatic fire is one of the best for cooking. Dig a hole about three feet deep and line it with non-porous stones. Get a fire going at the bottom with your tinder and kindling. Once the fire is going well, lay thicker logs against the side of the hole, so they drop down into the fire as they burn. You can also lay green sticks across the hole to make something like a small grid to put pans on.
The Dakota fire is the one you want to use if you’re trying to stay hidden. The flames stay below ground so it can’t be seen. Plus if you do it right, there is very little smoke generated.
Practice making the ones you’re not familiar with already. Some are more difficult than others to get going and to maintain.