How To Of The Day: Store And Stack Firewood

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Jan 052017

Stack your firewood to last the Winter and to dry perfectly with this handy graphic.


After you split firewood, you want to stack it up and store it to begin the seasoning process and prepare it for burning. Firewood should be stored for a minimum of 6 months, and during that time you want to ensure it loses as much moisture as possible by exposing it to ample sunlight and air circulation. As noted above, while both elements are important, sun exposure should be prioritized over wind direction. If your backyard or property has inconsistent wind patterns, the stack should be aligned so that it catches the west-to-east winds which are common in North America.

You’ll know when your wood is ready for stove or fireplace by sight and sound: Check the ends of your firewood for hairline cracks that spiderweb across the grain, and bang the wood together; a low thud sound means you’re good to go, but a sharp clap means it still needs time.

If you’ve waited six months and your wood still doesn’t seem ready, your stack may be out of whack; check the guidelines above for tips on how it might be improved.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak



How To Of The Day: How To Make A Torch

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Feb 152016
How To Make A Torch

Click to enlarge

Whether navigating the woods in a survival situation or hunting for treasure deep in the tunnels of an ancient temple, knowing how to make a torch with just a few common supplies is a valuable skill. Need fire and don’t have matches on hand? Read up on how to start a fire.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak



How To Of The Day: Start A Fire In The Rain

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Jan 262016

The Art of Manliness put together this handy visual guide that makes it easy to remember the steps to get a fire started in the rain.

Start A Fire In The Rain

Knowing how to start a fire is one thing; knowing how to do it in the rain is a whole other. Whether you’re a frequent camper, or an avid hiker, it’s an important skill to have. In an emergency situation, it may very well be the difference between life and death, as fire provides not only warmth, but food as well. (Note that cutting bark from a tree should in fact only be done in an actual emergency, as this can damage and even kill the tree.) Follow the tips above and you’ll never be without the skills to start a fire, even on a damp and rainy adventure.

As a bonus, learn how to make your own char cloth (firestarter).

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak



It’s Poppin!

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Jan 112016

This hilarious woman gives her account of a fire to a news reporter and it may be the funniest interview ever.


Michelle Dobyne Hilarious News Interview from News on 6. Casa Linda Apartments interview – News on 6 – It’s Poppin! Ah man, the building is on fire! She said hey, somethings wrong it’s poppin’ and I was like whaat?? Yeah, and I was like nah! She said Ahh Maan! Lawd it’s a fire Part 2! Tulsa, Ok

It's Poppin - Michelle Dobyne


Doritos Fire Starter

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May 012015

doritos fire starter

Can you really start a fire in the woods using store-bought snacks like Doritos? Apparently you can.


You can kindle a fire using just about anything, but when you’re in the middle of nowhere and don’t have a lot of fire-starting supplies, a user at social news site Reddit notes that Doritos make an excellent fire starting material.

Of course, just about any chip will do (and you’ll still need a match or something to spark your fire). User JimothyBilliam says “Cheetos work even better,” survivalist_guy says “So do Fritos,” and user imsabbel offers an explanation for why chips work so well:

All kind of chips work for that. Works as well as birch bark for starting a fire in a hurry.
If you think about it, it’s basically pure hydrocarbons (which burn) soaked in fat (which burns).

So while you may not always have vaseline and cotton balls around, chances are pretty good that you do have some form of tasty, oily, fire-friendly chips that should as kindling work in a pinch.



Confucius Say: One Match

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Mar 102015
Confucius How is it that one match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire?



How To Of The Day: How to Make a Fire Tornado

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Apr 262014

Night Hawk In Light demonstrates how to make a mini fire tornado in this video.


This demonstration has been around for a few years now and I figured it was about time I gave it a shot myself. Many have made fire tornado’s using nothing more than a bowl of liquid alcohol for the flame, but I found that to be dangerous as the burning liquid could spill and cause a serious fire. The addition of cotton balls removes the risk of splashing. Care should always be taken around fire to be sure nothing flammable is nearby and that there is proper ventilation. A fire extinguisher should always be within reach whenever performing an experiment like this! Stay safe!