OK, you have your fire pit in place and ready to go, now comes the fun bit — getting your fire going.
To put it simply, the three things fire needs in order to burn are oxygen, heat and you guessed it, fuel. We call these three components the fire triangle. Remove any of these three elements, the fire will cease to exist. Add more oxygen and your fire will burn faster and hotter. It’s why you always see survival experts blowing on their fires so that it doesn’t go out!
Here’s what you’ll need
We recommend using natural firelighters whenever possible. Kitchen lighters and matches will also get the job done. A long-nosed lighter is the most effective way to starting a fire in a fire pit and are relatively cheap to buy.
Tinder is what you’ll use to start your fire and can be anything from leaves, pine cones, newspaper, or tree bark. If it’s dry and non-toxic it can be used to start your fire. Alternatively check the homemade fire starters list at the ‘Cool of the Wild’ website.
These are dry sticks that will burn long enough to get your larger pieces of firewood going. The most effective sticks and twigs are usually softwoods like pine, cedar, poplar, and spruce. Start a fire in a fire pit by using dry, softwood kindling like these twigs.
Logs are the foundation of your fire and will keep it burning long into the night. The best type of firewood includes varieties like river red gum, jarrah, ironbark, grey box and sugar gum. Make sure that they are properly seasoned and stacked before using.
Logs are the foundation of your fire and will keep it burning long into the night. The best type of firewood includes varieties like river red gum, jarrah, ironbark, grey box, and sugar gum. Make sure that they are properly seasoned and stacked before using.
BUILDING YOUR FIRE
Now, here comes the part you’ve been waiting for, starting a fire in a fire pit without any of that messy stuff like lighter fluid or other harmful chemicals. Let’s break it down in steps:
First, make a pile in the bottom centre of your fire pit with your tinder. Generally, this pile should be about the size of two hand spans.
Next, place your kindling directly above your tinder at a 35-degree angle to form a pyramid or tepee, ensuring it is close enough together, while still leaving small gaps for air flow. Then, take your fire starter and light your tinder pile. Once your kindling starts burning, it’s time to place your firewood.
Finally, start placing your firewood in the fire pit in a similar structure as your kindling, i.e. a pyramid or tee-pee shape, and keep the firewood close enough so the fire stays concentrated, while leaving small gaps to maximize air flow.