Bushlore Topics > Fire!

How do you guys build a winter long fire?

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I pulled this out of one of Ross's trip threads that keeps coming up.

"How do you build a long fire?".

The classical "long fire" as I know it is called a "Gap Fire" two four foot logs spaced five feet apart and then a five to six foot log split and layed on top of along the width of your shelter with a foot or two gap between.  You then add your fire lay between the two long logs and set the whole thing on fire, keep adding wood in the middle and let the whole thing burn all night.

The Finnish version splits a birtch on top of the two longs nearly the same size and you light that bad boy on fire with a gap at the bottom for air flow.  Even a big hardwood burns faster than I like that way.

I tend to do a non-classic style we used in the army.  Dig a pit five feet long length wise with your shelter face, split a five foot log and lay it split up side by side in said pit. Ring it with rocks and build your fire lay on top and let it burn down to hardwood coals evenly across the logs as you add fuel.

As Ross has mentioned it's a lot of work and needs lots of wood but if it's nasty out I'll stop way before sundown, say 2 hours before and start building camp.

Interesting concept, I can't say I have a lot of experience with that type of fire..

I don't bother with splitting the long logs. I'll lay 3 in a shallow trench, then build a fire on top of those in the middle. I keep adding wood as it burns outwards. This will generally burn all night once you get a good coal bed established. It's not a bonfire so to speak, just a slow burn.

Same here, just 3 logs to start with, and half way the night add 1 more log if needed.
These are pics from my last trip.

Whole evening normal small fire for cooking.
Just before we crawled in our wool blankets, we started the log fire.
2 logs next to each other, coals from the small fire on top, birch bark, small sticks, then 2 pieces of wood at both ends as a spacer for the 3rd log on top.

Once the fire is spreading, removing the spacers.
Just to be sure between our sleeping place and the fire an additional log in case some burning log comes rolling down towards us.

This was dry standing pine, not very thick, and burned real fast.
Twice we added 1 similar log in thickness, once me, once my friend, so we had a good decent night of sleep.

Next morning.

Wood Trekker:
Very nice. Awesome camp set up. I usually don't bother with long fires. A lot of that is the fact that I usually backpack alone, and if it's just me, a fire a foot and a half in diameter keeps me plenty warm even in very cold weather because I stay close to it. That's assuming I'm in an area where I have access to good size wood.

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