As I have written about before here, not all fires are equally beneficial in all circumstances. For those times when warmth is needed and fuel shortage is not an issue, a log fire build is a great choice. It can be modified to burn slower, to work with damp wood, or to cook on, but the basic log cabin fire build is pretty simple and effective at putting out a lot of heat to warm you in cold weather.
It gets the name from the basic shape, which is, naturally, like a log cabin. Here’s how to get started building one:
- First off, you want to the two logs with the largest diameter for the foundation. If they aren’t the same length it doesn’t really matter, but it’s nice to have. Lay these logs parallel with each other, about 12 to 18 inches apart.
- In the gap between your large foundation logs, start to assemble your tinder and kindling bundles. Unlike with some fire designs, the log cabin build allows for a lot of space for kindling so take advantage of this. Make a sizable bundle of tinder and a teepee of kindling that reaches to the foundation logs and exceeds their height. If you add enough, the maintenance of the log cabin fire can be minimal.
- Now, start adding logs smaller than the foundation logs. Place them across the foundation logs, perpendicular to them. They should also be about 12- to 18-inches apart from each other, making a square hole full of kindling.
- Repeat this with more logs, the same size or slightly smaller, perpendicular to the last. At this point, you can lay logs all the way across the square as long as you leave finger width gaps between them. This will help if you want to cook on your fire, because if the logs are large enough to be stable for the duration of your cooking they will act like a grill. As long as there are small gaps they will not smother your fire, the oxygen feeding the fire is going to be drawn in at the bottom, and the hot gasses will be escaping from the top. Putting logs all the way across the top will also encourage the heated gasses to escape from the sides which will give you more warmth.
The log cabin fire build can be fun to assemble, low maintenance, and versatile. Put it in your knowledge pack.
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