The Great Outdoors



In the Boy Scout Handbook they show several kinds or types of fires you can build. Each has a purpose: easy to build, ceremonial purposes, signaling, lazy man’s way, cooking, and etc. Determine what your campfire is supposed to do before you start gathering fire building material. It also helps to keep the weather in mind before you light that first match. Some examples are:

Tee Pee Fire: Lay down your fire starting material (leaves, paper, etc) and build a tee pee over it. Lean each small stick of wood against the others in a tee pee fashion. Use bigger, thicker pieces of wood as the tee pee gets bigger. Leave an opening into the middle to put your match or piece of lit candle to get the fires started. This fire gives off a bright light to see what you’re doing around camp, to signal help, or when cooking with a reflector oven.

Log Cabin Fire: Lay down two large sticks of wood (logs) in parallel about a foot apart. Lay two more in parallel with each other but on top of the two you’ve already laid down. Continue building your log cabin in this fashion using smaller and smaller sticks (logs) as you build up. In the middle of the ‘cabin’ put your fire starting material. Light the fire starting material with the stub of a candle (lasts longer than a match) and start your ceremony. As the fire burns down it will collapse on itself and self-feed so that you don’t have to keep adding wood. Eventually you may have to add wood depending on the length of your ceremony.

Reflector Fire: Drive two stakes in the ground at an angle and about a foot or two apart. Lay logs on top of each other against the stakes forming a reflector wall. Now build a fire in front of the reflector. A tee pee fire will do to get it started. This fire when built in front of a lean-to or open tent will reflect heat into the sleeping area. Eventually the bottom log of the reflector will burn through so you may have to add another log on top. It is best to use green logs for your reflector.

There are many kinds of fires so pick the one that best suits your needs: Here are a few more types – 3-point fire, rock fireplace, Hunter’s fire, trench fire, bean hole, star fire, and the vigil fire. Get a Boy Scout Handbook and learn how to build them.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer