A lot of people spend extensive amounts of time finding fire-building materials and building a perfect fire structure before struggling to light it. But there’s a quicker, easier way, using all-natural materials.
First, go to a big tree or large rock with an overhang. Next to the trunk of the tree or underneath the rock’s overhang, quickly scrape together a one-foot-square pile of dried organic material. For example: Pine needles and pine cones work really well. The base of a large tree or underneath an overhanging rock are two areas that receive little moisture, so that material is often extremely dry. If it’s not dry (green rather than brown or damp to the touch), try a different rock or tree.
Second, dump the pile where you intend to build the fire. Then dig a fist-sized cave in the bottom of the pile.
Third, lay four or five sticks in a tipi shape over the pile.
Fourth, strike the match or flick the lighter and hold it inside of the cave that you dug out. As the pile goes up, you might need to blow a little. But probably not.
This is the method I use every time I build a fire outside, and it’s never failed yet. Even in the rain or snow, there’s usually dry organic material that’s piled up and been protected from the elements.
SUPER TIP: People pay money for Zippo tinder or other all-weather fire-starting products. Don’t. Instead, fill an old pill bottle with dryer lint (which is obviously free). Lint lights like a firework even in the rain. A water-proof match and a ball of dryer lint are magic in any weather. If you want to test it out, take a little dryer lint out to the driveway and light it to see how it burns.