View Full Version : Teaching Fire to Kids

2007-06-05, 00:32
During this past Memorial Weekend, I had my 8 and 10 year old kids take charge of the campfire. They were tasked with making a fire each, no paper, no lint, no candles, just out of naturally occuring forest duff. I would allow a lighter to ignite their creation, to see if they could actually make a fire. Neither has ever had this opportunity before.

I started by getting them into the frame of mind, that "this is it, you are lost, and this your survival fire." It is going to be a very cold, and lonely, maybe scary night, if you cannot make this fire...make it count....

Keeping it as simple as possible, I instructed them to gather the usual tons of tinder, kindling and actual fuel woods. Advised them to find standing deadwood, to gather the thinnest material they coud find. If it breaks off the tree, it is dry. If bends, wet, no good.

They were instructed to build a tiny "birdnest" next to two other larger pieces of wood, to have lots of tinder and kindling to continue to add to the fire to get it going. Then to have plenty of fuel ready to go before they lit their fire. The duo was instructed to criss cross each piece. So our keywords were;standing dead wood, break=dry, bend= wet, birdnest and criss cross...

I decided to let them fail, but they must have been listening. Both were able to get a fire going their first try. I was very funny watching them frantically run around trying to gather more fuel as they realized they under estimated the amount of fuels necessary to get this fire going. Great learning experience. From here on out, they are in charge of our campfires, I have just retired. Where is that beer I set down?

2007-06-05, 07:06
Great job Iceman! Now, not only can you retire, but your children are on their way to building more confidence and being a little more independent. My kids are 18 and 21 and been camping since they were out of diapers. The confidence they have gained while on these trips and outings has spilled over into everything they do. Your children are on their way to self confidence and self reliance. Well done to you and your kids.:beer:

2007-06-05, 07:28
The only frist fire that i could do as a kid lite up a filed of dry hay. Now that was fun the pond was not far run back and forth got it out but scared as h---

2007-06-05, 12:33
Awesome job Kevin. :beer:

I'm going to have Jimbo build me a fire when I get home. He's turning 7 while I'm here and always says we are going camping when I get home. Gonna be a blast.