Monday, June 5, 2023

How to Easily Start a Fire and Where to Make it

There are different ways on how to easily start a fire. Which option is best for you depends highly on your goal of the fire. You can imagine that fire for cooking is different than fire just for ambiance. 

Although the actual ‘fire starters’ differ. All other basic steps are the same.

But before we go ahead, we start with a small warning:

Please do not build your open fire within 8ft or 1,5m of your tent or a wooden building. And make sure to use protective gloves so you won’t burn yourself. 

So that is all regarding the warnings. Now back to starting our fire easily.

If you want to read more about starting a fire with or without matches, then read that post. Otherwise, continue below.

Quickly start your fire with a lighter

Every option we discuss here is lit with a lighter. More interested in ways to start your fire without matches? Then read our extensive guide on starting fires with or without matches

Here we stay focussed on lighting our fire with matches or lighter but different igniting sources. 

Down below, you see several easy ways to start a fire.

  1. Staring a fire with paraffin fire starters
  2. Use paper to start a fire
  3. Starting a fire with a ‘starter’ log

Starting a fire with paraffin firestarters

There are two commonly used firestarters. One made out of compressed wood and wood dust with a flammable wax or paraffin. This type is often brown. 

The other has flammable substances like paraffin, kerosine, and resin. This type is often white.

Although, in my experience, the white firestarters work quicker. They do have a chemical smell to them, which not everybody likes. The brown fire starters are 100% natural and do not stink as much, but they take longer to catch fire, and it looks like they don’t give that much heat.

Use paper to start

Look how easy you can start a fire. Special thanks to HowToVideo

Don’t we all know this one? Just take a piece of old (news)paper and set it on fire. The flames will grow rapidly, so please be careful. I reckon one of the easiest and most often used ways to start a fire. 

And, although the paper is easy to set on fire. It is hard to make a proper fire out of it. It burns out so quickly. So be prepared when making a fire using old newspapers.

Make sure you have your kindling at hand to put on the ignited paper. Once your kindling burns, expand to the bigger twigs and branches.

Starting a fire using a starter log

A starter log is like the firestarter but in the shape of a cylinder ;-). So it mostly exists of wood pulp with wax or other flammable material. These logs are perfect for creating a nice cozy ambiance. However, please don’t use them to make food on nor expect these logs to burn for hours on end.

Don’t use a starter log for food.

Since these logs often exist of flammable substances impregnated into the wood, it is unwise to roast your sandwich or marshmallow on top of this fire. 

The smoke and fumes will carry the chemicals onto your food. This is highly unwanted and might cause health issues. 

But, if we look at easy fire starters, they win this round in my eyes. Sometimes you don’t even have to take them out of the packaging. You light the whole thing up, and in 1 min, you’ve got yourself a warm, cozy fire.

Check out how easy it is below.

Can you feel the warmth already?

Start prepping your fire ground.

After knowing which easy ways you can choose to start a fire. It is time to look at the ‘area’ you’d want to make your fire. Most common places are:

  1. On the ground
  2. Inside a fireplace
  3. Inside a fire basket
  4. On top of a fire plate

Below we go over each option quickly to build your fire easily and save. 

Quickly start your fire on the ground.

When making a fire on the ground, make sure to clear the area from leaves and tiny twigs. To emphasize the fact that you are making a firepit, place some big rocks around them. 

Start building your fire from the ground up. Use paper, firestarters or tinder, kindling, and rocks. Once you finished constructing your fire pit. Ensure that no surrounding grass or bushes can catch fire. After that, you can start your fire using the fire starters, some paper, or some tinder.

Start your fire inside a fireplace.

How do you start a fire in a fireplace? With some, it is simple as a push of a button ;-). But when not having a fancy one:

  1. Make sure the chimney is clean.
  2. Put your tinder or firestarters on the rack (just off the tiles, for air circulation.)
  3. Cover this with kindling.
  4. Light the firestarters to start the fire, and once the kindling burns.
  5. Put on the big logs for hours of ambiance and warmth.

You can also skip all these steps and use a fire log. It won’t burn for that long, but perhaps long enough for you to enjoy your cozy evening.

How do you start your fire inside a fire basket?

Here mean a fire basket to put outside for pure comfort and ambiance. So not the fire basket used inside the fireplace itself. The question is the same; how do you start your fire in a fire basket.

Well, to be honest, it is more or the same as with a fireplace. You put your paper, firestarters, or even fire log at the bottom and set it on fire. 

With the old newspaper and firestarters, you need to build your fire using kindling. When the twigs and small pieces of wood burn, put on the bigger branches and logs.

Watch the fire, though, because when it becomes too big, the flames might expand outside the basket. When this happens, it can give you a hard time controlling the fire further.

How to make a fire on a fire plate?

There are different types of fireplates. Some of them you just lay on the grass, others are elevated and some can be used as a bbq. 

But, they have one thing in common, you can make a cozy fire in it. Since you have your fire pit at hand, starting a fire is relatively simple on a fireplate. Since we have our lighter and paper or firestarters, the other things are kindling and small pieces of wood. 

Place the firestarters or a big ball of paper at the bottom. Place some kindling and tiny pieces of wood on top of the firestarters/paper to resemble a pyramid. Light the paper or firestarters and wait for the wood to catch fire. 

Or when you go for quick and easy. Take out a starter log and chill ;-).

Any additions? Please let me know, and please share this post on your socials. Thank you

-- Get The Things You Need To Start --
Blogging about everything I learn regarding (urban)homesteading, off-grid, and outdoor living and what it takes to build my own CO2-neutral home, one-day ;-).

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