Survival Fire Skills: Choosing, Gathering, Starting, Building, and Maintaining Fires

Survival Fire Skills: Choosing, Gathering, Starting, Building, and Maintaining Fires

Survival Fire Skills


Fire is an essential element of survival. It provides warmth, light, and the ability to cook food and purify water. Knowing how to start and maintain a fire is a crucial skill that every prepper should possess. In this article, we will discuss some basic fire skills that will help you survive in any situation.

1. Choose the Right Location

Before you start a fire, it’s important to choose the right location. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Look for a dry and sheltered area
  • Avoid areas with overhanging branches or vegetation
  • Clear away any flammable materials, such as leaves or grass

2. Gather the Right Materials

In order to start a fire, you will need three key materials: tinder, kindling, and fuel.

  • Tinder: This is the material that will catch fire easily. It can be dry leaves, paper, or cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly.
  • Kindling: This is the material that will sustain the initial flame and help it grow. It can be small sticks or twigs.
  • Fuel: Once the fire is burning strongly, you will need larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Look for dry and seasoned wood.

3. Use the Right Fire Starting Method

There are several methods to start a fire, each with its own pros and cons. Here are a few options:

  • Lighter or Matches: The easiest and most convenient method. Make sure to keep them in a waterproof container.
  • Ferro Rod: A ferro rod produces sparks that can ignite tinder. It’s a reliable and durable fire starter.
  • Bow Drill: This method involves using friction to create an ember. It requires some practice, but can be a life-saving skill in an emergency.
  • Magnifying Glass: If you have a magnifying glass, you can use sunlight to start a fire. This method requires patience and direct sunlight.

4. Build the Fire Properly

Building a fire properly is essential for its success and longevity. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with a small pile of tinder in the center of your fire pit.
  • Place kindling around the tinder in a teepee or log cabin shape.
  • Light the tinder using your chosen fire starting method.
  • Blow gently on the flames to help them grow.
  • Once the kindling is burning well, add larger pieces of wood gradually.

5. Maintain the Fire

Keeping your fire going requires proper maintenance. Here are some tips:

  • Feed the fire with small pieces of wood regularly.
  • Add fuel before the fire dies down completely to maintain a consistent heat source.
  • Avoid smothering the fire with too much fuel at once.
  • Keep a small supply of kindling and tinder nearby for future use.

My 2 Cents

Fire is one of the most valuable resources in a survival situation. It provides warmth, light, and comfort. However, starting and maintaining a fire requires practice and knowledge. Remember to always follow safety precautions and be mindful of your surroundings. Choose the right location, gather the right materials, and use the right fire starting method. Building the fire properly and maintaining it will ensure its success. Keep these tips in mind and stay prepared for any situation.