How To Build a Fire

by Robert Maxwell

UPDATED 24NOV2018 - Where I live in rural Northern Ontario, winter seems to have struck early. We've had several inches of snow on the ground for a few weeks now, and enjoyed several days as cold as -15 Celsius. The cabin in the woods where I live with my wife and daughter has a small wood stove, and it's the main way I've heated the place since we moved in. Every year around this time, I find myself feeling particularly grateful for that little stove and the warmth it provides. Some people complain about wood heat, citing the work involved in making firewood. To me, the work is a bonus. I find few things as satisfying as the feeling of building and lighting a fire in our little stove, knowing that every stick of wood keeping my family and I warm was handled by me once before, several months ago.


The ability to build and light a fire properly in a wood stove or fireplace might not seem important, especially if you don't heat with wood. It's still a good skill to have, though. Click below to watch a video of my fire building process on Manitoulin Island.


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