Tag Archives: how to light a campfire on wet ground

He told me I couldn’t build a fire this way…

He told me I couldn't build a fire this way, it says, with a picture of a fire with large wood on the bottom and small at the top. Shows RV by Campfire logoMen often think women can’t do some things, like camping and lighting a campfire. Many times, when people get together in groups, the men and boys light campfires while the women prepare food.

This is how women can grow up feeling helpless in the outdoors, when it just takes a little know how to become a great success!

What if I told you that YOU can build an awesome campfire? No matter your experience, making a campfire and watching it catch fire is exhilarating. Everyone should have an opportunity to do it!

So, we’re camping near Pike’s Peak. If I open the RV door and look to the right, bam! huge mountain. We have a firepit at our campsite. We have firewood. I was excited.

In my experience building fires, which started when I was a Girl Scout, I learned about collecting different types of wood, that fires needed oxygen or they would go out, and of course, putting out a fire with water or dirt until it doesn’t smoke anymore.

I dedicated a page to fire building here that you can visit.

But you can say that now I’m unlearning how to build a fire and experimenting.

More recently, I learned that if I add a lot of small and medium sticks, then my fire burns hotter. We collected lot of smaller wood locally and we purchased larger fire wood.

From pinning on Pinterest, I saw a pin where they built and inverted campfire. Yes, they suggested building it upside down!

Fire is burning in a fire pit.
Notice this is a traditional pyramid fire, with logs on the bottom. Photo credit: Christina Goebel

What’s that? Normally, on the ground you light a bunch of tiny wood, bark, or fire starters to begin your fire. Then, if you build the common tipi fire, you layer sticks around that flame you’ve got going so that it resembles a tipi, or pyramid.

This method allows a lot of oxygen to collect under the pyramid and feed your fire.

Once that’s going, you can layer some larger firewood around the pyramid.

This new method I experimented with involved placing the big firewood on the ground. I crisscrossed it, three logs down, three across, then I did the same with kindling (medium-sized sticks), and finally with tinder, the tiniest sticks and my fire starter, in this case, bark, tiny sticks, and a piece of string.

My husband looked at my structure. “It’s not going to work,” he said, shaking his head. “It can’t work.”

I probably rolled my eyes as I used my windproof lighter to get the tinder to burn. I had to blow on it to keep it hot, spread the heat. Remember, fire likes oxygen.

Suddenly, the fire took off. The flames were gorgeous, one of the prettiest fires I’ve ever seen.The picture on this post is the actual triumphant fire getting started.

Because the big logs were on the bottom, it burned without me having to fuss with the fire and poke firewood around as it fell down.

The night was cold and clear. The fire was hot and gorgeous.

You can be everything you want to be and allow yourself to explore everything. Have fun, experiment, be a kid, light a campfire, enjoy the the feeling of accomplishment!

And of course it feels great when the husband comes up and apologizes for not believing that you could do something he thought was Impossible. Yay!

I do have an experience that tops this one in campfire building. Making a fire on wet ground with probably moist firewood. Learn how to do that here.