How to Light a Teepee Fire

The teepee fire is the fire that most people have dealt with, especially if you were a member of the Scouts as a child. The teepee fire is named as such as it resembles the cone-shaped teepee used as houses by Native Americans.

The basic principle of a teepee fire is that you lay your kindling and smaller wood in a pile and then arrange the larger pieces of wood around the pile, with their ends touching in the middle above the fire (as pictured).

The first step is to gather your wood; you'll need small sticks and twigs, larger sticks, thick logs.

The small sticks and twigs will form the base of the fire and will be placed in a mound at the centre. Then place the larger sticks around the fire leaning on each other in the middle. Make sure these sticks are as close as possible, but make sure to leave a small opening (like a doorway) for you to reach in and start the fire.

Once the first ring of sticks has been added, you then need to add your final layer of thicker logs. Now the fire is built, it's time to light.

You can use matches, a lighter or a ferrocerium (fire-starter) rod. Light your tinder (lint, dry grass, char cloth, silver birch bark shavings etc.) and then place it among the kindling. Blow lightly until the kindling catches fire.

If you don't have any fine material for tinder, you can our a small amount of fire starting gel directly to the kindling. In some conditions (wind, rain) using a fire lighting gel or other alcohol fuel will make lighting the fire easier.

Now that the fire is lit, you can add a few more logs to close the opening, just leave enough space for air to ventilate.

The next step is to start cooking, or sit back and enjoy the warmth of your fire.

Leave a Reply