Determine where to build the fire. Many campsites have specific spots — inside grates or rings, for example. If there isn’t a predetermined spot, build it in an area without brush or low-hanging branches. Collect tinder (dry leaves, forest duff or small twigs), kindling (small sticks) and larger pieces of wood. Place a handful of tinder in the center of the spot, then use kindling to build a teepee around the tinder. Light the tinder with a match or lighter. Add progressively larger pieces of kindling to the teepee. Once the kindling burns consistently, add larger pieces of firewood to the teepee. Damp weather a challenge? Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline or dryer lint make good fire starters in a pinch.

Joe Albert