5 min fire


Be prepared

Before you start the activity ensure you have the following;

  • Matches or a fire strike
  • Plenty of tinder to build up and start the fire – this can be dried grass, dried nettle stalks, dried gorse, dried pine needles, birch bark, char cloth,
  • Some larger sticks to make a platform for your fire about 5-6 – thicker than your thumb
  • Kindling and fuel
  • About 30 very thin twigs
  • About 30 twigs the thickness of the lead in a pencil
  • About 20 twigs the thickness of a pencil
  • About 20 twigs the thickness of your finger
  • Water

Process of building, lighting and extinguishing a fire

  1. Ensure the weather conditions are suitable for the activity.
  2. Clear and area Locate tinder and kindling to build fire.
  3. Lay the platform and use the tinder to make a base for the fire.
  4. Use some small kindling to build a pyramid around the tinder
  5. Light the match or fire strike close to the kindling by striking it away from your body.
  6. Keep feeding your fire with fuel once it is lit.
  7. If the fire does not catch try blowing on it gently or wafting it to introduce more oxygen to help reignite it.
  8. Once the fire is lit do not leave it unattended.
  9. When you want to put the fire out stop feeding it fuel and allow the fire to go to a smoulder.
  10. Once this has happened sprinkle water over the fire to stop the smoulder.       
  11. When you are sure the fire is out and the remains are cold pick up the remains and dispose of responsibly. Nobody should be able to see that you have lit a fire there


cotton wool, Vaseline, lip gloss (petroleum jelly variety), tampons, out of date first aid dressing, old lesson plans, alcohol hand gel, Pringles crisps, wood shavings, an unused teabag etc

NB. Gorse will make your fire go with a whoosh so can be used to get a fire going in wet conditions. Please do not light a fire near a gorse bush as it is highly flammable!