Sep 13, 2018

How to start a fire

Starting a fire, like anything else, can be done in many different ways. I have started many camp fires in my life and stove fires, but what always bugged me is the time it took to get the fire to catch the big logs. You put the paper in, light it up, it seems to burn well, then the fire dies down and the big logs are not burning. You add more paper, it looks good again, then nothing.

At one point, I went to Google to find the answer. Of the suggestions I read, I liked the “Upside Down Fire” the most. The idea is basically you start with big logs on the bottom. Then, you put thinner logs on top of the big logs going perpendicular to them. Finally, on top of these logs, you put kindling going again perpendicular. Finally, some paper on the top and light it.

An example can be found here:

Although I found the method to work, it was too much for me to stack so much wood and stuff in to the stove—I wanted something simpler and quicker, so, I think I came up with my own way (at least I didn’t see it anywhere but it worked for me)

What I end up doing is using 2-3 small logs. I put one on the bottom going the length of the stove. I put the other one or two at 45 degree angle to the first log on top. I then put Quick Start Kindling alongside the last 2 logs. I use one to two pieces. An example of the Quick Start Kindling can be found here:

I then put a small piece of paper under the Quick Start Kindling and light it. Just make sure the air inlet of the stove is open. I sometimes keep the stove door slightly open as well until the kindling really gets going.

Laying out logs for starting a fire
Laying out logs for starting a fire.

The paper burns easily, it then catches the Quick Start Kindling. The kindling lights easily from the paper, but burns long and hot enough to get the smaller logs burning. Once those logs have a good flame, I turn fresh air inlet down on the stove and add bigger logs. 

Lighting paper to light the kindling
Lighting paper to light the kindling.

The burning paper lights the kindling.
The burning paper lights the kindling.

The burning kindling lights the smaller logs.
The burning kindling lights the smaller logs.

All wood completely burning.
All wood completely burning.
This method is effective and quick enough for me. I also noticed that I don’t always empty out the ash from the stove before starting a fire. I found it doesn’t affect it much.

Do you have your own favorite ways of starting a fire? Please comment below!