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Course Outline

If there is snow on the ground, build the fire on a platform of green logs or rocks. If the terrain is dry, clear a patch of bare dirt to avoid starting a grass or forest fire.

  • Gather everything you need before starting the fire. Pile fuel ranging from small twigs to fuel logs next to the fire site. Collect more fuel than you think you can use; you may need more than you estimate.
  • Pile fine twigs, grass, or bark shavings loosely as a base. If you cannot find dry kindling, remove bark from trees. Use your knife to shave dry wood from the inside of the bark.
  • Place slightly larger sticks on the starter material until you have a pile about 10 inches high. A tepee of larger sticks enclosing the kindling is a good way to start a fire.
  • If there’s no breeze, light the kindling in the middle of the base. If there is a breeze, light one end of the kindling so that the flame will be blown toward the rest of the fuel. As the kindling lights and the flames spread to the larger twigs, slowly add more wood to the blaze. Add larger pieces as the fire grows. A large fire will throw more heat and be easier to maintain.
A tepee of sticks and a lit match for starting a campfire
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