Starting fires in the winter can be especially challenging. Preparation is the key. First there is the issue of temperature, the colder it is the harder it is to get your material to combust. Second, is the ability to find dry firewood, and last is keeping it dry.
In this little exercise I want to show you how to make a single match fire. Today, I gathered some small logs, and split them into three main sizes. Thumb size, pencil size, and toothpick. I also carved off some real fine shavings to get it going.
Once the material is processed, it’s time to put it together. Oh, by the way, when you think you have enough kindling to get started, go ahead and triple it. Better safe than sorry. You may have but one shot at getting it started.
Ok, building a fire in the snow presents one major obstacle. The fire’s arch enemy, moisture. Not only does the kindling need to be kept off the ground, we need something to keep the fire from sucking up moisture from the ground. So, we lay down a few split logs as a base. Now we can build our structure. There are many options for fire lays, but I like the Tee Pee style just because it works.
Start by placing the shavings on the base, nice and fluffy. Next, we place toothpick size material leaning against the shavings. Then comes the pencil size pieces leaned gently against the pile. After that, I like to do something a little different. I surround the pile with the thumb size pieces in a log cabin configuration. This helps to promote a good coal base as the fire grows.
Before lighting the stack, make sure you have plenty of wrist size fuel on hand to feed the fire. You can never have too much. It goes fast.
All that is left is to pull out our one match, strike it carefully, and hope the wind doesn’t blow it out. Good Luck.