Self-Feeding Fire   

Most of the time, fires are going to require some level of attention and maintenance on your part to continue to burn.  But this won’t always be possible or practical.  Having a fire that requires no maintenance to burn through the night when inclement weather is rolling in and might make starting a new fire in the cold morning difficult could make the difference between hypothermia and a warm morning.  This is one method of building a self-feeding fire.


  • Usually, you will see this done with the logs feeding in from two sides, but it is possible to build it so that the logs only feed in from one side. This offers the benefits of both being easier to construct and allowing you to use the logs that will later feed into the fire as a heat reflector while they are still unburnt.
  • Start by gathering material, both for the support and for the fire.
  • Set up two poles at 45-degree angles that will be used to support the logs and allow them to be fed in by gravity as the fire burns the lower logs that support them.
  • Mound some earth at the bottom of the support poles, making a half-pipe, so that the rear of the bottom log is covered, and so that the logs that come down do not roll away (if you are only using the one-sided version).
  • Stack 5 to 6 logs approximately 6 inches in diameter on the support poles.
  • Now just get a fire burning on the bottom log. You want it to burn as evenly as possible so that it allows the logs to be fed down evenly.  This will be easier with the two-sided method because of airflow being restricted.

With this method, you don’t have to hope that you wake up in the middle of the night to feed the fire, or that it miraculously burns through the night.  This self-feeding method can provide fire through the night, leaving you with a massive bed of hot coals in the morning to warm yourself and cook on immediately instead of having to start a fire in the cold.

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