We use fire every day to cook, heat our homes, and do so much more.
That doesn't make a campfire or bonfire any less enjoyable, or a survival fire any less crucial.
You know that fire is useful, but did you know that there are various ways to build a fire?
Once you've split a nice supply of firewood with your log splitter, take a look at our guide below for tips and instructions for building different types of fires.
Before anything else, you need to prepare for your campfire. This includes choosing a proper site for it and gathering your supplies.
Pick a site that's far away from any natural material that could catch fire and burn uncontrollably:
Make sure your site has a flat surface that's either blanketed in sand and dirt or circled with large stones. This will help prevent your flames from spreading. Remove any small rocks or debris from the area.
Once you have your site set up, you'll need your supplies. These include firestarters (matches, a lighter, or a flint) as well as a pan or bucket of water for extinguishing your fire when you're done.
It also includes the material your fire will burn:
With your site and supplies ready, you're set to build any of the types of fires below:
Also called a tipi fire in the past, the cone fire is one of the most common kinds of fires, likely because it's also one of the easiest to build:
As the fire picks up, the wood will fall inward. You can place more wood on top to keep the fire burning as long as you like.
Because of all the air circulating through the open base, the cone fire burns hot and fast.
Whereas the cone fire burns quickly, the star fire is a slow-burning fire that's a great choice if you don't have many logs to use. However, it starts with a cone fire!
Throughout the night, you can use larger and larger pieces of firewood to reduce the amount of maintenance needed to sustain the fire.
For a smaller fire that uses less wood, you can make a three-point star. Continue to push the wood inward, but don't increase the size of the logs.
For those of us who remember playing with Lincoln Logs, building a log cabin fire will feel familiar. However, even those who haven't played with the classic toy can enjoy this easy, long-burning fire.
The cabin structure will help to block wind while also fueling the burn. It's excellent when you want a long-lasting fire that you don't want to actively maintain.
When building the other types of fires, you'll lay the tinder and kindling early if not in the first steps. When building a platform fire, the tinder and kindling come last!
The platform fire might take some time to set up and start burning, but it will last a long time with minimal upkeep from you.
Building a lean-to fire can be as easy as leaning several small pieces of firewood against a large log and lighting tinder underneath them. However, there's another way that provides even more fuel for your fire.
If you're outside in windy, drizzly weather, the lean-to fire stands a good chance of getting started even in less-than-ideal conditions.
These are some of the easiest types of fires to build; you also can enjoy building other kinds of fires that require more effort and equipment, such as the Dakota fire hole or the Swedish torch.
No matter which style of fire you choose to create, be sure to keep your fire a manageable size, and don't leave it unattended. When you're done, pour water over all of your embers (not just the glowing ones!) until they stop hissing. Dirt or sand can be used to extinguish your fire if you don't have enough water.
It takes only a few simple steps to create a great fire and a few steps more to keep the site safe for everyone to enjoy.