Ever Wondered How To Start a Fire in an Emergency?

by Susie McArthur | Apr 17, 2021

Anyone who has been in the wild, be it in a survival situation or simply on a hiking trip can agree that one of the most important skills to have is the ability to start a fire anytime, anywhere. Fire can keep you warm, help you boil water, cook food and last but not least, boost your moral.

But getting it going is sometimes harder than people think. You must have the right tools, materials and skills, otherwise failing to do it a couple of times can have disastrous consequences for you and your loved ones (or at the least, ruin your trip).

Let’s start with the essentials

Gathering wood. Our rule of thumb is when you think you have enough wood, gather 5 times as much. I would rather wake up with wood left in the morning than be cold during the night because I ran out of wood. Gathering wood does take a lot of energy so work efficiently. You need to start three separate piles. One for tender and very small twigs and sticks, one for small limbs 2-3 inches in diameter, and one for larger logs in the 4-5 inch diameter. Gather as much downed dry limbs as possible. Green wood tend to not burn, but after a fire has been going several hours and has really hot coals it will burn, just not as well.

Now that you have gathered your wood, dig a hole 2-3 feet in diameter. Dig this hole about 4-5 inches deep. This hole will be your pit for the fire. It will also keep you coals in a good pit so you will have a really hot fire. Place some dry leaves or dry pine needles in the center of the pit.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like digging, you can place the woods in a pyramid like structure, starting from the smallest and gradually building it with the bigger sticks. The dry leaves and pines need to be at the base of it.

Now comes the moment of truth – lighting your fire! This is where a lot of people get frustrated because they don’t have the right tools and they either can’t start it at all or burn their fingertips. Worst of all, even if you manage to get a spark and a small fire going it’s not unusual to burn your eyebrows while blowing in order to bring more oxygen to it.

You see, the setup we described above is the best when it comes to guaranteeing your fire will endure for a long time and you can grow it or keep it for hours. But it requires you to light it at the base of the pile right at the heart where all the little flammable material is. This where a lot of people get it wrong and either mess up the whole construction or get burned.

If you don’t want that to happen to you too, you need to use the right kind of fire starter. One that has a steady flame and a long handle that can ease your access to the base of the pile. You can always try to do it with standard matches, bic lighters etc, but the chances of burning your finger tips or destroying the pile is pretty big.


You can use this Ultimate 2 in 1 Fire Starter to light the fire easily without ruining your work or ending up burned. It has a long handle that will help you get to even the hardest to otherwise reach places. And as a bonus you can also use the built in fire blower pipe for maximum efficiency and safety while blowing the fire.


Now that you have your fire going, don’t forget to keep tending to it. As your fire starts getting bigger, start stacking the 2-3 inch limbs in a lean-to or pyramid fashion. Your 2-3 inch limbs should be broken into 18inch sections. This will let the fire breathe, getting oxygen to your coals below. Add small sticks to the bottom to keep the base of the fire hot. Keep adding bigger and bigger limbs until you burn a big log in the fire. Don’t just throw the logs on flat; this can kill your fire. It’s is important to stack the logs in a leaning fashion in order to get the best results. Your stack of wood should look like this:

That’s it!

Now you can congratulate yourself and relax, knowing that you will have a source of light and heat for the night.