Winter Fire Skills Part 2: Building a Platform Fire in the Snow

Posted by Beyond Clothing on

This is Part 2 of our Winter Fire Skills series.  This post is based on a good understanding of fire prep skills.  If you are unfamiliar with fire prep, or just need a refresher, head over to Part 1 of our Winter Fire Skills Series.

Step 1. Prep your site

You want your fire site to be as flat and solid as possible.  Pack down the site where you’re going to build your fire with a boot, or a snowshoe.

Step 2. Build a Platform

A platform will help keep your tinder and coals from going out as you build up the rest of your fire.  You can build your platform out of dry rocks, wood, or even metal.  Just keep in mind that metal will heat up quickly and begin to melt the snow beneath the fire.

Step 3.  Use Fire-starter to Light your Tinder Nest

We deal with quite a bit of wet inclement weather in the Northwest, so when I go out, I try to keep at least 4 – 5 different types of fire-starter, at least two bic lighters, and a set of waterproof matches.  In this case, I’m just using a simple fire-starter that I picked up from REI.  You can make this stuff yourself by rolling cotton balls around in petroleum jelly.  Once you get your fire-starter lit, place it deep within the tinder nest and place it on your fire platform.

Step 5.  Stoke the Tinder

Once your tinder is lit, you’re going to need to start moving quickly, so that it doesn’t go out.  Start small and begin adding larger kindling in a teepee, or log house formation.  Keep adding kindling to the fire until it is sustaining.

Step 6.  Build a Log Cabin

Next you’re going to want to start building a log cabin base around your fire.  Place several pieces of medium sized kindling along the top to help spread the fire to the larger pieces of wood.

Step 7. Add your Fuel

Once the fire has begun to spread to your log cabin, you can begin adding larger pieces of fuel.

Thanks for checking out our Winter Fire Skills Series.   Stay tuned to the blog for more survival skills!


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