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Fire Week – Day 3 – Kindling and Fuel

So far this week we have covered both spark, and tinder. They are both essential to building a fire, but in order to keep the fire burning, we need kindling and finally fuel.

The four components of fire are:

What the heck is kindling?

Kindling is the third component of fire. It can come in many different shapes and sizes, same with spark and tinder. Generally, kindling is one of the easier components of fire to find out in the woods, and it is generally more abundant than spark and tinder.

Kindling can be anything from small twigs, up to pieces of wood around 1″ in diameter. Obviously smaller pieces will catch and burn faster, and the larger pieces will need more heat to combust, but will burn longer.

Lots of times, the best way to find kindling is to split a larger log, because as my old Scoutmaster “Doc” Wernert used to tell us, “You can always find dry wood on the inside of a log”, and he was right. Whether you baton a log with your knife, or split it with an axe, getting dry wood from the inside of a log is a skill that we should have.

Ok, so what is Fuel?

Fuel is the last piece of the puzzle. As the fire has grown, and is burning through our kindling we need something even bigger that will burn longer, because if we keep adding kindling sized pieces of wood to the fire, we will have to keep adding, and adding and adding to the fire, and it will not keep growing. This is where fuel comes in. Fuel would be larger pieces of wood, either split or not that will keep the fire burning for some time.

When you think of fuel, don’t think neatly stacked firewood. If you have firewood, great, but we are talking about National Preparedness Month here, and in an emergency situation you probably will not have firewood to burn, and that’s ok. Just about anything that will burn can be used as fuel. I have found it easier over the years to start with dry, dead wood first, then if you must, move up to “green” wood. (Green wood is wood from a living tree) Keep in mind that green wood is full of moisture, so it requires a good bit of heat to keep it burning.



About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

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