Bad weather can put a damper on a camping trip, but it doesn’t have to impact your campfire. The rain and strong wind can play havoc with a well-made fire but certain things can be done to remedy the situation so you and everyone enjoying the great outdoors can stay warm. Some of the methods involved gadgets whilst others require a little know-how but by the end of the following article, you’ll be the go-to person for creating some sparks when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Toss The Bark Away
Some techniques can make a fire catch faster, but since it doesn’t light well, bark should be removed. Even if the thinner strips look like they will burn well, this isn’t the case. Since it protects the wood underneath it may have kept it dry which is a bonus when the rain is pouring. Alternatively, you can peel back the wet layer to reveal the dry inside of the bark if you have the right tools. This can make for good tinder when you peel it into small, thin pieces.
If It’s Sticky, It Might Be Pretty Flammable
The temptation to throw away any bit of wood that has sticky resin, think twice before you do. Common on pine trees, this is likely to be one of the most flammable things you can find. If it is derived from a pine tree then you are in even better luck since the needles catch well and stay warm for a decent amount of time. Throw some pine needles into a kindling pile and watch the results take shape.
Location Is Vital
The natural technique to get a fire started in adverse weather always starts with a sheltered spot so before you start throwing wood into a pile, choose wisely. When the wind is becoming a pain, find an area that gives shelter from as many angles as possible. Building it under a tree with a decent amount of foliage can provide good shelter from the rain. Of course, this is not without its risks but if you build your fire well in a pit and keep it controlled, you should be fine.
Get All Your Supplies First
Before you get the fire burning, it is important to have all the kindling and wood you need. With strong winds and rain, a weak fire can go out fast when you are scrambling for more wood. Grab more than you think you’ll need then start to assemble the fire.
Use A Windproof Lighter
No camping trip is the same without a few useful gadgets and they don’t come any better than a windproof lighter. The better products can keep a flame during extreme winds and there are different models to choose from. Some use a strong jet flame, others an electric pulse via a rechargeable device but whichever you choose, you know that when the fire is made you are going to be able to produce a reliable flame to get things started as quickly as possible.
Carry Different Lighting Techniques
Although you only need one if you have a windproof lighter, it is always good to have backup options. Some products are better in the rain like stormproof matches whilst others are good for creating a longer-lasting flame. No matter what, it is good to have more than one way of lighting a fire when the weather is torrid.
Quickly Find Dry Kindling
It’s nearly impossible to get a fire going when you are working with wet materials so look for kindling and wood as soon as possible. Even on the way back to camp you can pick fallen wood from under the shelter of a tree and keep it dry until you get there. It is also vital to keep your tinder dry, no matter what method you are using otherwise the first stage of lighting a fire will be more challenging than it needs to be.
Make A Fire Lay
Although everyone thinks they have the best method for making a fire, when it comes to adverse weather, a fire lay is a good option. Start by making a pyramid of small sticks and place as much kindling as you can in the space underneath. This can help to get a fire going to the point where it won’t go out and is easy to make. The kindling will cause the small twigs to burn as long as there is plenty of oxygen for the fire to thrive.
Don’t Overdo It
Making a large fire sounds like a good idea, but you will have to keep your distance, making it difficult to keep warm. Anything around halfway up the shin should allow you to get close enough to feel the warmth. This approach also takes less time, ideal for when you’re up against the clock.
Prepare Tinder In Advance
One of the ways you can make your life a lot easier before you’ve even left the house is to make sure you have tinder ready. This can help get things going faster so when the rain is soaking you, it doesn’t take so long to get the fire burning. Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly light well and for a decent amount of time and dryer lint is another easy to carry and light tinder you can grab at home. Store them in a plastic container to keep them dry so at least you can get off to a good start.
Use An Accelerant
Sometimes you need all the help you can get, especially in bad weather. This is where you can give yourself a headstart by using the likes of alcohol or gasoline to give the fire some help to get going. If you are really up against it and are short on options, siphoning gasoline from the tank of your vehicle can get damp wood burning although it takes a little skill to do.
When it comes to keeping warm, desperate measures call for drastic action.