© Copyright 2012 By Gary Benton
Gather all of your needed fire making supplies before you start to make your fire. Then, you need a source of ignition, either a match, lighter, flint and steel, or other method. Play close attention to the winds.
One problem most people have, is attempting to light wet or damp tinder. Your tinder must be bone dry and gather a lot of it. Bird nests work good, as do dried grasses, but make sure it's small and not too big. Your kindling should be just slightly larger than your tinder, but it can vary in size a great deal.
In high winds you may have to shield you fire to allow it got ignite or the winds may blow it out. As shown in the illustration, low winds are much easier. Once the tinder catches fire, slowly add small pieces of kindling until the flames grow in size. Once the flames are burning well, add small logs or limbs to the flames.
Keep in mind wet or green wood will give a lot of smoke and both will give you less heat than dead wood. I always try to only use dry dead wood, because pound for pound it produces good hot flames. Don't worry about cutting your wood, you can simply move the log as it burns to the center of your fire. Cutting wood is a lot of work and not needed in most cases when using a campfire.
If you have problems getting your tinder to burning, find a gob of pine/cedar sap or pitch, which grows on the sides of pine or cedar trees, and place it with your tinder. It burns hot and will ignite even damp wood.
Never make your fire under limbs that are closer than ten feet or directly under limbs covered with snow. The rising heat will cause the snow on the limb to melt or fall on your fire, putting it out. Keep your fire small, no larger than a dinner plate, because it'll save fuel and give you lots of heat.