How do you light a fire?

I went to the beach with my pals and we tried to light one and we thought we did it right and we clearly didn’y, please help??????

Answer #1

Well, first you build up the wood in sort of a teepee - you want the wood to be leaning on each other to create a hollow in the centre. Place some dry bits of wood (kindling) in the hollow - not too much, though - just enough to catch. Then place either crumpled paper, dry bark, or dry leaves on top of the kindling and light that on fire…you may have to feed it more bark/paper/leaves until the wood catches, but once your logs catch, you’re good to go.

Answer #2

Usually, striking a stone against a stick would work. Or rubbing two sticks together. They can’t be cold. They have to be just the right temperature to make it work.

Answer #3

You might want to try an excelerant like paper or liquor to keep the fire burning. Stay away from gas and other excelerants as they can spread quickly. I assume you are not talking about rubbing 2 sticks together, so just throw in a match and you should be good to go.

Answer #4

You would not stand a cat in hell’s chance of doing it. Have you ever tried any methods of producing fire by friction and got it to work ?

Answer #5

Next time, do it the easy way:

Get some “Zip” firelighters (traditionally used for lighting coal & coke in open hearth fires). Light them with a cigarette lighter, then throw the wood on top.

– Majikthise.

Answer #6

I wrote a howto for this:

The wood needs to be dry and if it is too windy it won’t light. Try building a box for the fire like I explained above.

Answer #7

I depends greatly on the materials on hand, but it tends to go like this.

  1. gather your tinder, dry wood split/peeled thinly, paper, cardboard, bark (best is dry cedar or birch)
  2. Gather your larger pieces of wood. make sure you have a good collection of sizes so you can feed the fire with bigger and bigger pieces as the fire starts out and gets bigger.
  3. Now that you have your supplies at hand make a pile out of your tinder and place a few slightly larger sticks on top, preferably the driest you have. Be sure to keep some tinder back in case you need some extra to get some pieces to catch.
  4. You should be ready to add the flame, there are literally dozens of different ways to do this, but my personal favorite at least for backpacking is to use steel wool and a 9 volt battery, for this take your steel wool and place it under a corner of your tinder. It doesn’t have to be a whole new piece, maybe 1/4 if you are doing this for the first time. Once you have done that go ahead and touch the top of the battery to the steel wool. When the steel wood touches both contact on the battery it will start to smolder and burn, the longer you keep the battery touching the faster this will happen. 5 . If you have planted your tinder right you shouldn’t really have to blow on it too much. if you do have to blow on it keep your air stream gentle and steady. as well you can. As pieces catch slowly add larger and larger pieces until you have reached your goal fire size.

Of course you can get the same end result with a liter of kerosene and a lighter, but knowing how to improvise and use the minimum amount of resources comes in handy. As I said there are dozens of ways to start a fire, some of them are obvious like matches and lighters, but there are more interesting and work better in different places. Flint and steel, battery and steel wool, magnifying glasses (require direct sun), various friction tools like a bow and drill (takes some practice, but I have done it) and I have heard some strange things like using a condom or balloon filled with water as a lens (never tried, but would be interesting to see)

Answer #8

Go to the nearest gas station and buy a lighter, hold it on paper light the paper on fire.

Answer #9

i use a lighter and gasoline…hehehe.lots of gasoline…:)

Answer #10

and put the smaller sticks first work your way up to the logs.

Answer #11

you can start it with a magnifying glass or a flint.

Answer #12

If they struggled with the obvious things like matches / cigarette lighter, they have not got a chance with a sparking flint, nor with a typical magnifying glass - especially not on a Scottish beach as we approach the Winter solstice. Have you ever seen the sun (or lack of it) up there in November / December ?

Of course, if you’re a Navy Seal or an SAS survival expert it is a different matter, but you would hardly be likely to be asking or offering advice on these boards about it for a happy-go-lucky bunch of teenage pals at a beach party, who just want a quick way to warm up a few sausages.

– Best wishes - Majikthise.

Answer #13

I sure did, smarty.

Answer #14


Amazing ! Any chance of getting someone to take a video of you doing it so you can post it here or on youTube ?

Having been trained in backwoods / emergency survival techniques and trained many others to do the same, I am able to use a fireboard and fire bow to light a fire, but have never seen anyone even attempt to start a fire by striking a stone against a stick. I would especially like to see that one done.

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