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How To Build An Outdoor Fire

Most people can build a campfire, but not everyone can build a respectable fire in the midst of a rainstorm. I am going to teach you how to accomplish this. My methods are guaranteed to work in a down pour, provided that wind velocities, accompanying the rain, do not exceed about 20 mph.

You Will Need The Following Tools

Dry matches.
A small knife.
And, if you must chop wood, an axe.

The Best Wood Is Dead Wood

It's dry and if it's raining it's dry on the inside.

You will need to cut some shavings from small sticks that are lying around. Dry paper will help if you have it. Put the shavings in your pocket, near to your skin for warmth. Remember, it's raining and you must have dry tinder in order to light it with your dry match. Try putting it in your shirt. You need about two handfuls of dry tinder. You can now proceed with the rest of the agenda while the tinder is drying out.


  • Find about a dozen logs18" in length and 2" - 4" in diameter, anything close is good enough.
  • With the logs make a square on the ground and stack them like a log cabin so that gaps for air flow are formed, this is extremely important. Do not, under any circumstances, stand the logs up on end like army rifles in a civil war camp.
  • Build up the levels like a pyramid by laying down successive smaller squares on top of each other. Leave a hole in the top.
  • Get a bunch of twigs and sticks about 18" long of varying diameters of 1/4",1/2", 1",etc. Now stack these down in the hole like a Tee-Pee in the same manner as they stacked civil war rifles.
  • Now, hunch over your creation to block the rain and insert the now dry 'stuff' from your shirt inside the Tee-Pee formed by the sticks and twigs. You should be able to get your hand past the big logs where you left gaps for air.
  • Light the dry shavings with a match. The fire from the shavings will dry and ignite the smaller wet twigs, the twigs ignite the sticks which in turn will ignite the logs.
  • This chain reaction should be unstoppable in even a heavy rain. You may have to protect the fire from rain at the beginning. The big logs shield the inside from most of it.

You do not have to tend this type of fire as often as fires that have been built by just throwing logs on top of each. This type of construction usually allows the logs to fall in on themselves and is thus self maintained.

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Article Donated By:
Craig Schuller