Fire can ward off monsters, set the mood for ghost stories, & help make s’mores.
Here’s a fire-starting lesson from Lisa R., overnight assistant manager, in Lexington, Va.—and a local firefighter.
5 STEPS TO GET THE FIRE GOING
#1 Supplies Are Key
You need the right supplies. Whether you bring your own wood or gather it on-site, you’ll need three sizes—tinder (small twigs, dry leaves, dry pine needles); kindling (sticks smaller than an inch around); and firewood.
#2 Stack It Right, Keep It Tight
Place your firewood in a teepee shape so that your fire will get plenty of air. “That’s the main factor in a good fire,” Lisa says. “Your fire has to have air to get going.”
#3 Swipe Right
Place tinder and kindling. Once you have your teepee stacked, put your tinder at the bottom of the stack and lay the kindling on top. Crisscross the kindling so that air can get to the tinder.
#4 Come On, Baby, Light My Fire
Light the tinder with your match. Once it begins flaming, it may help to blow on it—but not hard enough to put out the flames. The flames from the tinder and kindling will ignite the larger pieces of wood in the teepee.
#5 Eye On the Prize
Keep an eye on the fire. You don’t want it to spread, but you also don’t want it to go out. If you notice the logs beginning to burn down and the flame getting weaker, it’s time to add more firewood.
Note: Always use caution when building a fire. Choose a safe location, make a fire pit (or use an existing one), obey local laws regarding open fires, and keep water nearby to douse the fire when you’re through.