Firestarting is an essential survival skill for any prepper since you need fire to cook, boil water for drinking and sanitation, and as a source of heat. Before disaster strikes, it’s best to stock up on firewood and firestarting tools. But what happens if SHTF and all you’re left with is wet wood?
Knowing how to start a campfire using wet firewood is a handy skill to have if you’re planning to go camping for leisure or to bug out when SHTF. (h/t to ModernSurvivalBlog.com)
Ideally, you should know how to start a fire using basic techniques. It’s also incredibly helpful to have several firestarters in your everyday carry (EDC) kit or bug-out bag (BOB).
Always pack some tinder in your BOB. Use tinder that is dry, light and is made of highly combustible material.
The tinder must catch the flame and burn long enough to ignite larger pieces of kindling.
Kindling includes small twigs and branches.
Look for a dead tree that hasn’t fallen over yet and choose twigs that aren’t in contact with the ground. Break off branches that are close to the trunk and lowest to the ground since these are often the driest.
As you break the wood into small pieces, the ones with a nice dry “snap” can be used as kindling.
Tinder and kindling will get your fire going, but you need larger pieces of dry wood to sustain heat and get it to burn quickly.
Similar to when you’re searching for dry kindling, you can also find dry logs by looking for dead trees that haven’t fallen yet. Knock it over with your hands or force your weight upon it with your shoulder, then drag the wood over to your designated fire area.
Burn the larger log-size wood as it is by burning it in half then pushing the logs back into the fire, or break them into pieces using an ax.
To build a fire, start with a fire bed. Arrange branches or chunks of bark from a dead tree to build a raised bed. This will keep the new fire off the wet ground.
Prepare the tinder and kindling piles. Light the tinder bundle, then adding pieces of kindling. Work your way up to larger pieces of wood.
Assemble a fire by prioritizing a “chimney” airflow structure.
Before SHTF, learn essential survival skills like firestarting using wet wood.