Fieldcraft Survival founder Mike Glover challenged me to survive for...
Controlling fire was one of the first skills developed by primitive man, and on the surface, it may appear simple. Just gather some combustible tinder, ignite it with a spark or ember, place your fire bundle beneath some kindling twigs, and gradually feed in larger pieces of wood fuel until the desired size and heat output is achieved. However, if you've been reading our publications or studying survival skills, you'll know that every one of those steps can be modified with dozens of techniques and variations. Building any old fire is simple — building a reliable, long-lasting, and efficient fire requires much more forethought.
While we've discussed ignition sources, tinder, kindling, and fuel many times in the past, it's also important to consider how these elements are structured. The conical tipi (or teepee) style is well-known, but other styles offer distinct advantages over this default layout. The following infographic from Rolling Fox provides illustrated examples of seven different ways to build a campfire. Click here to download a full-size version of this graphic.
We've discussed a few of these in the past, but here's a quick recap of some of the advantages and disadvantages of each campfire layout:
For a more detailed explanation of these fire styles and other fire-starting considerations, check out the article “How to Build a Campfire” from Rolling Fox.