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Making a campfire is simple, once you master the basics. Watch our editors demonstrate the proper way to troubleshoot common problems, light a one-match fire, find the best kindling for your time and effort, and have a backcountry blaze the responsible way. For more information and best practices, read The Complete Guide to Campfires.
CAMPFIRE 101: THE BASICS
If you only watch one video on fire making, this is it. BACKPACKER Senior Editor Casey Lyons takes you through the entire process of having campfires. You’ll learn how to finding a good, safe place to site your fire, how to collect tinder, kindling, and fuel, how to light your fire, feed it, put it out, and finally, erase all evidence of the blaze. (But first, should you even have a fire tonight? Check out our quiz to find out.)
MASTER THE ONE-MATCH FIRE
One match, every time. Whether your in a survival situation and down to your last match, or just trying to impress your friends, you’re not really a backcountry badass until you master this skill. Use this tutorial to nail the elusive one-match fire on your first try.
SIX THINGS THAT BURN BETTER THAN YOU’D THINK
We busted out the stopwatch to put six common types of fire starters — natural, store-bought, and do-it-yourself — to the test.
MAKE FIRE WITH WHISKEY
Turn your favorite fireside beverage into an indispensable survival tool three ways: easy, hard, and desperate. You may be sad to watch the single malt go, but there’s nothing like a campfire to cheer you up.
WINDPROOF YOUR CAMPFIRE
If it’s gusting faster than 10 mph, your best bet is to skip a campfire tonight. What’s that? Your life depends on it? OK. First, find the lee side of a hill, rock, or large obstruction to shield you as much as possible. Then, use this US Army-tested method to build a campfire structure that will shelter your nascent blaze and give it time to catch your fuelwood.
MAKE A FEATHERSTICK
With a knife and a dry piece of wood, you can make tremendous kindling. Watch our expert demonstrate the (almost) proper technique to creating this tried-and-true fire starter.