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The Littlbug Blog

Your Outdoor Skills: Lighting A Fire In Wet Conditions

Posted by Written by Esther Drebelbis of Littlbug Enterprises on

Enjoying the outdoors brings various types of conditions, and sometimes those conditions are wet and rainy. Conditions like these can make building fires more challenging, even for the fire lighting pros. Here are some tips so you can conquer the soggy conditions and build a successful fire to help you warm up, dry off, and cook some delicious food.

Fire Starters

We know you’re stubborn and like starting a fire without any help, but sometimes, a little help can go a long way. Bringing fire starters from home is a lightweight and quick solution to your oversaturated alternatives. Two easy fire starters you can bring from home are dryer lint, or petroleum soaked cotton balls. You can also build fire starters out of the leftover cardboard from toilet rolls, dryer lint, and candle wax. These easy to make starters guarantee an instant light when starting a fire, especially in wet conditions. You can also buy simple fire starters and kits at most outdoor retailers, or in the camping section of Walmart.

Take It Off

Peel off the bark from branches or sticks. The bark acts as a water repellent, protecting the inside of wood from getting wet. Removing the bark reveals dryer, more fire ready wood underneath it.

The Tipi Method

You may not take the time to build a tipi every time you build a fire, but in wet conditions, this structure is crucial. The triangle shape of the tipi encourages the smoke from the fire to dry out the wood at the top of the tipi. Don’t forget to fill the bottom of your tipi with plenty of dry, quick burner fuel. 

The Upside Down Tipi Method

Another variation that works well is to build a rectangular base at least 2 rectangles high using your larger pieces of wood.  The rectangles provide support for the upside down tipi (you can think of it as a cone).  Make the cone with smaller diameter sticks about 12 inches long.  The tip of the cone should be near the center of the rectangles and the sticks that form the cone should be placed in each corner and along each side of the rectangle.  Your cone should be sized to hold your tinder and kindling and still allow for plenty of airflow.  This arrangement works to keep your burning embers together in the bottom of the cone as a concentrated source of ignition as your fire grows stronger.  Add more sticks to the cone as it burns and make sure you keep plenty of space for air movement.

From the Ground Up

Light your fire from the ground up, starting at the base, instead of trying to ignite the top portion like a candle. Starting the fire from the bottom gives the flames a place to go. Fires grow up, not down, so starting from the base of the fire, gives them more fuel as they burn through the bottom fuel.

Littlbug Fire Bowl

The ground you may use to build a fire is probably soaked through and developing pools or streams of water. To avoid having to build a fire in this soggy mess, use Littlbug’s FIre Bowl. These lightweight accessories help keep your fire out of the mud, keeping your fire nice and hot to cook your next meal. Keep feeding the ultralight backpacking stove to keep it hot, helping your stay warm, while you enjoying your dinner or hot drink.

If you don’t have a Littlbug Fire Bowl, try to mound up the dirt to create a higher surface to build your fire. This construction helps run the water down the sides, keeping your fire surface dryer than the surrounding areas.

The Sticky Stuff

Sap from needle bearing trees, also known as pitch, lights up quickly, acting as the perfect natural fire starter. You can also use the sticks from these trees, scouring underneath their protective branches for kindling and other sources to keep your fire going.

Remember: When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!

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