Building a Campfire

Most people can build a campfire and roast marshmallows. But not everyone can build a respectable fire in the midst of a rainstorm, nor can they build one with “artistic flair”. I am going to teach you how to accomplish this. My methods are guaranteed to work in a down pour, provided that wind velocities, accompanying the rain, do not exceed about 20 mph.

You will need tools.

  • A dry match
  • A small knife
  • And, if you must chop wood, an ax (or better yet a campers saw)

The Best Wood is Dead Wood

It’s dry and . . . (newsflash) . . . if it’s raining it’s dry on the inside. You’re going to cut some shavings from small sticks that are lying around. Some dry paper will help if you have it.
Stick these in your pocket, near to your skin for warmth. Remember, it’s raining and you must have dry tinder to light with your dry match. Try putting it in your shirt. You need maybe two handfuls of ‘stuff’.
You can now proceed with the rest of the agenda while the ‘stuff’ is drying out.


  • Find about a dozen logs18″ in length and 2″,3″,4″ diameter (anything close
    is good enough).
  • Arrange them in this manner: Build a square with each log on top and on
    the bottom of its neighbor so that gaps for air flow are formed. (extremely
    important here) Do not, under any circumstances, stand the wood up like
    army rifles in a civil war camp.
  • Build up a pyramid by laying down successive layers just like the
    former. Leave a hole in the top.
  • Get a bunch of twigs and sticks ~18″ long of varying diameters (1/4″,1/2″,
    1″,etc.) and shove these down the hole in the manner of the formerly banned
    civil war rifles. (Yeah . . . they’re wet. It’s OK.)
  • Now, hunch over your creation to block the rain and insert the now dry
    ‘stuff’ from your shirt inside of the tent formed by the civil war
    . [You should be able to get your hand past the big logs where
    you left big gaps for air.]
  • Finally, light those dry shavings with the match. If all goes according to
    Hoyle the shavings will dry and ignite the smaller wet twigs, the twigs ignite
    the sticks which in turn will ignite the . . . etc.
  • This chain reaction should be unstoppable in even a heavy rain.
    You may have to protect the fire from rain at the beginning. The big logs shield the
    inside from most of it.

WOW!! Here it Goes!!


You will be surprised at the speed of growth and resistance to water of such a composition.

You do not have to tend this fire as often. It will not normally fall over like the army rifles style. Rather, it falls in on itself and is thus self-maintained.