The Best (& Only) Way to Build a Fire

The temperature is dropping with the start of winter, and you need to be prepared. Whether you grew up as an Eagle Scout or the idea of "glamping" is your idea of being outside, there comes a point in life where you're expected to build a fire. Now - you could build a regular fire that looks great for about 10 minutes, and then promptly requires continuous stoking over the course of the evening. Sure. There is an art to this constant tending of the flames. But, what if you could build a fire that burned for hours on end with minimal, if any, effort? 

The first time I attempted the "Upside-Down Fire", I admit I was a skeptic. There was no way this method could improve upon the traditional method I had used since I was a kid. I discovered the "Upside-Down Fire" from one of my favorite authors, Tim Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Chef. It takes everything you've ever learned about building a fire using the traditional "teepee method" and completely flips it on it's head. 

Upside-Down Fire Step 1

The method is simple: Place the largest logs at the bottom of the stack with no space in-between them. Make the next layer with slightly smaller logs facing in the opposite direction - again with no space in-between them. Continue this pattern of laying perpendicular layers until you get to the very top. At the very top, you will place strips of crumpled paper, tinder, or any fire-starters you have on hand. Light the top of the fire and wait. You may think it isn't working, but give it twenty minutes or so before you start messing with it.This wait time is allowing the top layer to create embers that will eventually fall and ignite the other layers below.

Then, sit back, relax, and congratulate yourself on mastering the art of a low-maintenance, roaring fire.

Upside-Down Fire Step 2