How to Start a Fire with Matches or a Lighter

Starting a fire sounds pretty simple right? It can actually be a little harder than you think. This blog gives the basics on how to start a fire using matches and butane lighter. 

It’s always a good idea to keep both on you. If you’re in frigid weather, the wheel on lighter might freeze, making it useless. If you’re in really damp or humid weather, matches can become too difficult to strike. 

Tip on Matches

Did you know that you can actually use one match twice? That’s right. Twice. Start by tearing the match from the bottom to the top being careful once you get to the top of the match. Now you have two matches to work with.

What You’ll Need

  • Matches or Butane Lighter
  • Tinder – Quickly ignites a spark (Dry grass, dead leaves, shaved bark, thin bark shavings off a dry stick, thin paper strips, or a cotton ball)
  • Kindling (Pencil size or smaller) – Added to the spark (Small grass, leaves or twigs)
  • Bigger Sticks (About thumb size)
  • Larger Sticks (About wrist size)

Step 1: Containing Your Fire

The first thing you want to do is find an area to start your fire. For the best results, try to find a place that isn’t in the wind. Clear away anything that might be in the way. After that, it’s important to make sure that your fire is contained. Grab some rocks and build a ring around where your fire will be. While this won’t stop the sparks from flying, it will help you to keep the rest of the fire in one spot.

Step 2: Lighting Your Fire

1.) With about three of your thumb sized sticks, create a small triangle platform for your tinder.

2.) Form your tinder into a bundle similar to a bird’s nest.

3.) Place the tinder bundle on top of the triangle platform.

4.) Grab the pencil size kindling and begin piling it on top of the tinder.

5.) With your match or butane lighter, place the flame underneath the tinder and kindling. (There should be a small space between the ground kindling from where the base of the triangle platform is.

6.) Once a flame begins to form, gently blow on it as it grows.

7.) Continue to add larger wrist sized sticks to keep your fire going.

8.) Don’t smother the fire with sticks that are too large.

How to Start a Fire
Photo by Pixabay

All you have to do after that is sit back and enjoy your fire. Now that you know how to start a fire, check out our other blog on how to start a fire by friction!

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