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Top 3 Fire Starting Tips

Posted on February 27 by 7th Rise in General

Top 3 Fire Starting Tips - From the experts who make them every day

For me, the ability to start a fire quickly and efficiently is a fundamental way of everyday life. Living in a remote cottage in the deepest corner of Cornwall, with no central heating or running water provides challenges most people never have to think about.

History tells us that fire may have been controlled by man as early as 1.7 million years ago. What we do know is, that we've definitely had it nailed for at least 200,000 years. So when we talk of starting a fire in the modern-day, we are not so much learning how to make a fire, as trying to remember what we have grown to forget. It’s already inside us - it’s innate - we just need to find that caveman within us, the raw essence of who we once were, to be successful.

So maybe you can rediscover the satisfaction of starting a campfire. A place where friends and family can come together and embrace the beautiful crisp, outdoor evenings. Maybe even teach the younger generations how to toast the perfect marshmallow. Think woolly hats and gloves, plenty of smiles, clear night skies, perhaps a hot toddy..... And of course, a roaring fire!

So here are my top tips on creating the best inferno. To provide your party with the warmth, light, and enjoyment that only fire - and the hero who created it - can offer. 


1.    If you only remember one thing about fire making, be it this:

The 'fire triangle' – Heat, Oxygen, and Fuel

This is quintessentially the most important building block of fire info, and will always be the difference between success and failure.  If you ever can't get a fire going, you're missing one or more of the holy fire-making trinity: Heat, Oxygen, and/or Fuel.

2.    Know your wood. 

Wood is not just wood when we're talking about burning it. Get to know the trees and forests around you. 

Ash, Oak, Beech, and Hazel are the best: and the fruitwoods Apple and Cherry are also excellent, providing wonderful scents.

Alder, Douglas Fir, Elder, Lime…and worst of all Poplar, are truly awful burning woods. Unless you want little flame, plenty of smoke, and limited heat.

Wood size is critical too. Make sure you collect more than enough before you start! You need plenty of the following to create a great fire, building your way up as you go. Holding a match to a log just ain't gonna cut it.

i. Tinder - Paper, dry grasses, leaves that burn very easily but quickly. 
ii. Kindling - next size up, so twigs the thickness of your finger
iii. Main fuel - logs, thicker branches.

3.    Take your time. 

It usually takes a good 30-45 minutes to get an open fire to the point where it can 'take care of itself and all you have to do is just chuck on a few logs occasionally. 

So there you have it, easy steps to primitive skills. Go forth and do what you know you are meant to. Go start that fire...Safely and sensibly of course!

If you have so much fun making fires and the outdoor way of life, come check out the wild experiences we offer in a 300-year-old stone cottage at 7th Rise. 

Set in 15 acres of ancient Oak Woodland by the River Fal in Cornwall, you can really come and 'live it' for the weekend. Fishing, Foraging, Shooting, and Wild Food cooked using traditional techniques..... Everyone is welcome at 7th Rise. Good times await!

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