How to Light Firewood Outside

When most people think about starting a fire, they imagine doing so in the comfort of their own home with all of the convenience that comes with it. However, there may be times when you need to start a fire outside and don’t have all of the typical tools on hand. Knowing how to light firewood outside without using a lighter or matches is useful in these cases. While this may seem difficult at first, it’s pretty easy to do with a few simple tips. Read on for more information!

How to Light Firewood Outside

Summary: There are many ways to light a fire outside, but the easiest and most efficient way is with a match. First, find a good spot to situate your firewood. Make sure there is plenty of dead, dry wood around you for easy ignition. Next, pick up a match and hold it so that the flame is directly over the wood. When the match starts to flicker, gently drop it onto the wood and hold it there for a few seconds until the entire piece is ablaze. Be careful not to set the entire pile on fire!

What Causes Wood to Burn?

Before we get into how to light firewood outside without matches, it’s important to understand what causes wood to burn. Wood is made up of cellulose and lignin, two types of organic matter. When these materials are heated, they undergo a chemical reaction known as combustion. This reaction releases heat, light, and various gases (including water vapor and carbon dioxide).

The rate at which wood burns is determined by the amount of oxygen that is able to reach the burning material. If there is not enough oxygen, the fire will smolder rather than blaze. On the other hand, if there is too much oxygen, the fire will burn quickly and could get out of control.

Another factor that affects how quickly wood burns is moisture content. Wet wood is more difficult to ignite and will produce a lot of smoke when it finally catches fire. For this reason, it’s always best to use dry wood when starting a fire.

Why Is It Important to Know How to Light Firewood Outside

There are several reasons why you might need to start a fire outside. First, if you’re camping in the wilderness, you won’t have access to all of the typical fire-starting materials. In an emergency situation, such as if your power goes out during a winter storm, you may need to start a fire to keep your family warm. In any case, it’s always best to be prepared and know how to light firewood outside without matches or a lighter.

This way, you’ll be able to start a fire no matter what situation you find yourself in. Another reason why you might need to light firewood outside is if you’re trying to save money. If you purchase firewood by the cord, it’s much cheaper than buying it by the bundle at the store. Finally, if you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you’ll need to know how to start a fire without matches to light it yourself.

Typical Fire starting Materials

Step by Step How to Light Firewood Outside

1. Gather Materials

The first step in learning how to light firewood outside is to gather the materials you’ll need. In addition to dry wood, you’ll need something to help get the fire started. This could be tinder, such as lint from your dryer, newspaper, or kindling. You’ll also need a way to create sparks, such as a ferrocerium rod.

2. Find a Suitable Location

Once you have all of your materials, it’s time to find a suitable location for your fire. If you’re in the wilderness, look for a spot clear of vegetation. If you’re starting a fire in your backyard, clear an area of flammable materials, such as leaves or branches. It would be best to consider the wind when choosing a location for your fire. You don’t want the flames to spread to nearby homes or buildings.

3. Clear Away Debris

Once you’ve found a suitable location, clear away any debris, such as leaves, sticks, or stones. First, remove any large pieces, then use your hands to clear away the smaller debris. It’s important to have a clean surface on which to build your fire. If there’s too much debris, the flames could spread and become out of control.

Have a Clean Surface

4. Create a Fire Pit

The next step is to create a fire pit. This will help contain the flames and prevent them from spreading. If you’re in the wilderness, you can create a fire pit by digging a hole in the ground. If you’re starting a fire in your backyard, you can use a metal fire pit or build one yourself out of bricks or stones. Try to make the pit as wide as possible so that the flames have plenty of room to spread.

5. Build a Tepee-style Fire

Once you’ve created your fire pit, it’s time to build your fire. The best way to do this is in a tepee style. First, place your tinder in the center of the pit. Then, stack your kindling around it in the shape of a tepee. The kindling should be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Once your tepee is built, light the tinder in the center of the structure.

6. Make a Log Cabin Fire

You can build a log cabin fire with larger pieces of wood. This type of fire is best for heating or cooking because it burns slower and hotter. First, lay two pieces of wood parallel to each other. Then, place the third piece on top of them at a 90-degree angle. Continue building the log cabin by alternating the direction of each subsequent layer. When you’re finished, light the tinder in the center of the structure.

7. Use a Lean-to Fire

If you’re in a hurry or don’t have much wood, you can build a lean-to fire. This type of fire is quick and easy to build and is a good way to get a fire going in a hurry. First, find a suitable location for your fire. Then, gather a good handful of tinder and build it into a small teepee shape. Next, find two small sticks and lean them against the teepee. Finally, light the tinder and add more wood as needed.

8. Ignite the Fire 

Once you’ve built your fire, it’s time to ignite it. If you’re using a match, strike it against the strike-able surface on the box. Then, hold the match at the base of the tinder and wait for the flames to catch. If you’re using a lighter, press the igniter and hold the flame to the tinder.

9. Add Small Pieces of Wood 

Once your fire is lit, it’s time to add some small pieces of wood. Start with just a few, and make sure they’re touching the flames. As the wood starts to burn, you can add more. Remember to add them slowly and only add as much as the fire can handle.

10. Monitor the Flame Height

Once your fire is lit, it’s important to monitor the flame height. If the flames are too high, they could spread and become out of control. If the flames are too low, the wood will smolder and produce a lot of smoke. The ideal flame height is about 2 feet (60 cm). If the flames get too high, you can use a shovel or stick to extinguish them. If the flames get too low, add more wood to the fire.

Monitor the Flame Height

11. Add Fuel to the fire

As the fire burns, you’ll need to add more fuel to keep it going. The best way to do this is to add larger pieces of wood to the fire. You should add one piece at a time and wait for it to catch fire before adding another. If you add too much wood at once, the fire will smolder and produce a lot of smoke.

12. Extinguish the Fire

When you’re finished using your fire, it’s important to extinguish it properly. The best way to do this is to pour water on the flames and stir the ashes until they’re cool to the touch. You can also use sand or dirt to smother the fire. Once the fire is extinguished, ensure no embers are still burning. In the wilderness, you can bury the ashes to prevent them from starting a forest fire. You can dispose of the ashes in a metal container if you’re at home.

You Can Check It Out To Build a Firewood Box

Tips and Warnings on How to Light Firewood Outside


  1. Make sure there is no wind. This will help prevent the fire from spreading.
  2. Choose a spot that is clear of any combustible materials.
  3. gather some dry kindling and tinder. This will help get the fire going.
  4. Collect some larger pieces of wood to keep the fire going once it’s started.
  5. Be sure to have a water source nearby if the fire gets out of control.


  1. Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start the fire.
  2. Do not leave the fire unattended.
  3. Do not try to fight a large, out-of-control fire. Call 911 for help.
  4. Make sure the fire is completely out before you leave the area.
Do Not Leave the Fire Unattended


So there you have it, a few different ways how to light firewood outside. Be sure to use caution and common sense when doing so, and always have a water source nearby in case the fire gets out of control. We hope this article was helpful and Happy burning!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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