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Fire Building 101

Martha Stewart Living, June 2011

If it has been awhile since you earned your merit badge, here's a quick lesson in building a tepee-style campfire.

1. You'll need to gather three types of firewood. The first group is called tinder, or twigs, which will burn quickly and easily. Crumple several balls of newspaper (traditionalists can opt for pieces of dried birch bark), and pile them in the pit. Then use the tinder to build a tepee around the pile.





2. Kindling, or medium, thicker sticks, will produce the heat necessary to get heavier pieces of wood burning. Use kindling to build out the tepee.














3. The last group, known as fuel, consists of logs. Aged logs are a good choice; they'll catch fire faster than greener ones. Expand the tepee with smaller logs -- adding "fuel to the fire."









 




4. Finish off the structure with the biggest logs.
















5. Light the newspaper at the bottom of the pile to ignite the outer layers. (The fire shown here was lighted with one match and cooked many of the dishes in this story!)