If you’re in a wet or cold environment, starting a fire is essential. However, not everyone can successfully get a fire going when it’s wet outside. If you’re in a situation where fire-starting is essential, use these tips to start a fire in a wet environment.
1. Choose Sticky Materials
If available, try to find wood from pine, fir, or spruce trees. These are the best bet for kindling because they have sticky sap. The sap works to make the wood flammable and is going to be easier to start a fire with in wet weather. You can also look for twigs beneath the canopy of these trees for some dry kindling. Any needle-bearing tree is a good first choice so look for these trees if in the area.
2. Peel off Bark
The bark on a log or piece of kindling is a protective layer that helps to protect a piece of wood from fire. Most barks aren’t very flammable on their own but they will protect the wood from getting soaked. Peel off the wet bark on sticks and kindling materials. There is usually dry wood below the surface. Since wood that’s been on the ground for a period of time will usually be waterlogged, look for standing dead vegetation in order to use this tip.
3. Max Out the Tinder
Tinder, the dry dead plant stuff that’s used to get a fire started is going to be your best friend in wet weather. It’s going to take a lot more of this material in order to get a fire started when it’s wet. Although dry weather fires don’t usually require much, have at least 50% more tinder when you’re getting started. Keep some extra on hand too as you may need to add it to the fire when starting.
4. Don’t Use a Pit
Fire pits are commonly used and they’re a great idea when starting a fire in dry weather. However, in wet conditions, the pit is going to be filled with water and prevent your fire starting efforts. Instead, build a slight mount. This will keep the base of the fire out of the water and help to get the fire started and keep it going. If you’re worried about the fire spreading, clear the debris around the mound.
5. Use a Fire Helper
If you have tools on hand to help start a fire, then you may need to use them if all else fails. Fire packets and paste are good options. Even cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly or dryer lint can help you get a fire going. If you have a fire starting kit that you keep with you, make sure to stock a fire helper. They’ll pay off in the long run.
Getting a fire started in wet weather is a challenge but it’s certainly not impossible. No matter where you are, you can use this advice to build a fire effectively. Use these tips to make sure that you know how to build a fire anytime.