Camp Fire Definitions

Building a fire is a simple thing to do but many people get gather wood, set a spark and hope for the best.  While this process will work, there is s science behind building a fire.  But before we get to the fire, let’s define some words.

When it comes to building a fire, most people know that you need tinder, kindling, and fuel.  Ok, in the past I have just guessed what the difference in tinder and kindling was.  I knew it was small wood while the fuel consisted of larger branches and log.  But now we actually have definitions of what it means to gather tinder, kindling, and fuel.

campfire.definitionsTinder is that small wood that may be referred to as twigs and can be found on the bottom branches of trees and shrubs.  When gathering the tinder you may feel that you need a whole bunch but that is not true.  The amount of tinder you need to start a fire is the amount that will fit in between your fingers if your thumbs and pointer finger are put together to form a circle.  The wood should be no bigger than a pencil and no shorter than your outstretched fingers, which includes the distance from your pinky and thumb.

Kindling is the next type of wood you need to gather.  This wood should be no bigger than the diameter of your thumb.  The length of the wood should go from your elbow to your fingertips.  How much do you need?  Well, you only truly need an arm load of this type of wood.

The last type of wood you need to gather is the fuel and it is the most.   When it comes to this wood, you will need a stack that reaches your knees at least.  The wood should not be bigger than your wrist and be as long as your arm stretched out. 

Now that you have your wood, what do you do next?  Well, you build your fire.  The steps are easy and start with clearing off the ground and creating a fire ring if one does not exist.  Next, take the tinder, bend it in half and stand up inside the fire ring like a tepee.  Light the tinder from underneath. 

Once the tinder has been lit, begin to add the kindling but do not rush this.  You want to add enough to keep the fire going while making sure the fire is still getting air.  After the kindling begins to burn down, start adding the fuel to keep the fire going. Repeat the last step as long as you want the fire to burn.