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in: Fire Building, Manly Skills, Visual Guides

June 13, 2019 Last updated: December 29, 2019

How to Build a Summer Fire

how to build make a summer fire illustration

Nothing caps off a day quite like a roaring campfire. But, one of the cruel ironies of summer is that even though we spend more time outside, the warm weather makes those perfect day-ending fires less comfortable to be around. Luckily, there’s a smarter way to build a fire that suits the season, so you can enjoy its crackle, smell, and glow, without having to break a sweat.  

Building a summer fire starts with sourcing the right wood. Unlike most fire-building techniques, a summer fire demands that you start with some green, unseasoned wood. Ideally, your green logs come from a slow-burning species of wood like white oak, ash, or birch. It’s also useful if they come whole and unsplit. Such wood won’t blaze as big, bright — or hot. Use the above tips to enjoy a cozy fire even in the heart of summer. 

1: Source eight logs of green wood in a range of sizes, the biggest of which should be about 6 inches in diameter and two feet long.

2: Create a 4-story log cabin-style structure out of your green wood, with the largest logs on the bottom.

3: Add tinder, dry sticks, and other fire-starting materials inside the structure.

4: Use spilt logs and dry, seasoned wood to build a teepee structure over your tinder.

5: Light your tinder bundle beneath the teepee and add dry wood as necessary to maintain your inner fire.

6: Prevent your green wood from burning too quickly by periodically dousing it with water as it catches fire.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak