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Building a Fire

Building a Fire

What You’ll Need:

  • Firewood
  • Tinder Materials
  • Fire Striker / Matches
  • Bucket of Water
  • Foil Tray (optional)

Getting into the Activity

Learn a key survival skills by building a fire from scratch and lighting it.

Identify a location where you have permission to build a fire. This activity can be done by building small individual fires or by building a large bonfire as a group. Follow the below steps to build your fire.

Find Tinder / Firewood: Tinder is small, dry and highly flammable materials which easily catch light. A natural tinder would be dry grass or leaves, however if you can’t find that then cotton wool will work for this. You will need small sticks to begin with, as well as large pieces of firewood. These need to be dry pieces of wood.

Build a Fire: Build the fire by creating a small pile of dry sticks. Leave a gap near the bottom of the pile to place your tinder. Once lit, this will then help to ignite the sticks above it and get your fire started. If building a larger fire / bonfire, then you will need to do the same thing, just on a larger scale.

Light the Fire: Using a fire striker, start creating sparks. To do this, hold the rod next to the tinder (which should be at the bottom of your built fire) and firmly scrape the striker down the length of the rod to produce a spark. Continue this until one of the sparks ignites the tinder. Gently blow on the flame to boost the oxygen and grow the flame. This should help light the small pile of sticks.

Manage the Fire: Ensure there is enough fuel (wood) for the fire. Once finished, carefully extinguish the fire with a bucket of water. Only build the fire as large as you need it, so it doesn’t get out of control.

Keeping Everyone Safe 

  • Activity MUST be supervised by a leader or parent/carer at ALL times.
  • A leader or parent/carer MUST assess risk before taking part.
  • A leader or parent/carer MUST ensure that current Government guidelines are followed at all times (including social distancing, travel etc).
  • Ensure young people are aware of all fire safety advice such as not wearing loose clothes, tying hair back, making sure the fire is watched at all times and so on.
  • This activity will need to take place somewhere appropriate where you have permission to start a fire.
  • Care should be taken to ensure the fire is contained and is fully extinguished before leaving.
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