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Starting a Bonfire



There is a primal link between man and fire. For ancient man, fire provided warmth, protection from wild animals, light in the dark wilderness, and a place to cook food. While fire is no longer vital to most men’s existence, it still has a magnetic power that attracts us. The flames of fire can inspire legendary stories, generate uplifting discussion, and build camaraderie among the men circled around them. Also, there’s nothing more romantic than cuddling up to your gal next to a warm fire. And I’d take some manly campfire-cooked-grub over the food of a four-star restaurant any day. Thus every man should know how to start one and be well-practiced in doing so.


Man's Best Friend

There are several ways to lay your fire. Here are three of the most common types of lays.

Teepee Fire Lay

  1. Place your tinder bundle in the middle of your campfire site.

  2. Above your tinder bundle, form a teepee with some kindling. Leave an opening in your teepee on the side the wind is blowing against. This will ensure that your fire gets the air it needs and will blow the flames onto the kindling.

  3. Continue adding kindling to the teepee, working your way up to pencil sized twigs.

  4. Create a larger teepee structure around your kindling teepee with your fuel wood.

  5. Place a match under your tinder. Because this lay directs the flame up, the flame should rise to the kindling and then on to the fuel wood.

  6. The teepee structure will eventually fall, and at this point you can simply add some fuel logs to the fire.

Lean-to Fire Lay

  1.  Stick a long piece of kindling into the ground at about a 30-degree angle. The end of the stick should be pointing into the wind.

  2. Place a tinder bundle underneath the support stick.

  3. Place some small pieces of kindling around your tinder nest.

  4. Lay small pieces of kindling against the piece stuck in the ground. Add another layer with larger pieces of kindling.

  5. Light the tinder, and watch it burn.

Log Cabin Fire Lay

  1. Start off by creating a small teepee lay.

  2. Have you played with Lincoln Logs? Basically, you’re going to play a larger version of Lincoln Logs and burn them when you’re done.

  3. Get large pieces of fuel wood and place them on opposite sides of the tepee.

  4. Find smaller pieces of fuel wood and lay them across the first set of fuel wood, parallel on the other sides of the tepee. Just like you would with Lincoln Logs.

  5. Repeat laying smaller and shorter pieces to form a cabin or pyramid shape.

  6. Light this baby up!

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