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Tips on How to Make a Fire for Camping

Aug 17, 2007
Camping is always associated with fire. Beside for the cooking purpose, this fire will keep us warm in the night and to shoo the wild animals away. Find out the tips to make the fire for camping.

Around the Fire
From books and moving pictures we all know that Indians had the ability to maintain smokeless fires, and that trapper could blot out the sites of their fires without leaving the slightest trace behind. But we're not always able to imitate these models. We gaily follow the recipe take some wood and light it. But there's far more to it than that.

Finding the Right Type of Wood
Before you build a fire, you must first have a good supply of firewood on hand. It's embarrassing to realize that there's no more wood when your hot dog is only half done. For a smokeless fire you need completely dry, brittle wood. The driest branches are those that have lost their bark and never feel cold; cold wood is damp and heavy, and it is useless to you unless you want to dry it out at a fire first. You can find dry brittle wood even after a rain. Look for branches under dense shrubbery (that's a bit of old gypsy lore) or find the lowest dead branches of young pine trees, which are especially suitable for starting fires.

Only a greenhorn would start a fire with wood that still has green leaves hanging on it. Such wood is usable only if you already have a strong fire. Thick, dead limbs of old oaks, dried roots and trunks make good heating material. In rainy weather, cut away the top layer of wet sticks; the center will be dry.

Kindling a fire
This is almost like a game of skill. First, clean the site where you are going to lay your fire, and scrape the ground all around it so that you leave nothing that may be ignited by a flying spark. Then, start with paper, dried grass or reeds, dried leaves and twigs, birch bark or paper thin shavings. Set up a little pyramid of the thinnest, driest twigs over this. Then, to get a strong flame, lay brittle softwood branches on top of the pile. Finally, to produce effective heat and a good glow, add pieces of root and thick hardwood sticks.

The hardwoods include oak, beech, poplar, birch and hickory. Hazel, spruce, pine and fir are all softwoods. The paper thin outer layer of birch bark is ideal for kindling.

Set fire to the core of the pyramid only when it is finished. If kindling piles are skillfully built, it is possible to light them with a magnifying glass if the sun is out brightly. As long ago as 278 B.C. the inventive Archimedes saved the Sicilian city of Syracuse with this principle. He erected a huge reflector on the city wall and set fire to the enemy fleet with it. Soon the fleet was swimming in bright flames on the sea. I wasn't there myself, but I have often lighted a well prepared, dry kindling pyramid with my pocket burning glass.

Before making the fire, search for the right type of wood which is dry, so easy it will be easy to burn. Arrange the woods in a pyramid form to produce such level of heat to warm the night.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.best-scopes-n-binoculars.com/ ,
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