Baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie, some things are timeless; classics. In the campfire sphere, there’s arguably nothing more enduring than the teepee fire. Just the thought of them takes me down memory lane that includes boy scouts, church camps, and cozy fire sessions at the lake and in parks. It also invokes images of hotdogs, burgers, and s’mores. Regardless of wood size, that conical shape is engrained in the mind. This is not merely due to the mental picture, rather, it has much to do with the ease and effectiveness of this popular brand of controlled fire.
People often think starting a fire is easy…until it’s not. Overconfidence at the hands of automatic lighters and lighter fluid runs amok. The fact is, there is a science to creating fire, not the least of which is its dependence on good tinder, oxygen, and patience.
The teepee fire-building method remains the consummate approach today. They’re easy, scalable, and sustainable. Today, I pair the Pyro Putty fire-starter with this timeless approach that continues to bring warmth, food, and fellowship to millions of people across the globe.
Advantages of the TeePee Fire
The teepee fire lay is the prototypical fire building approach, largely due to its simplicity. That’s why it’s widely considered the best method to teach kids. Make no mistake though, it’s a reliable means for anyone wanting heat and flame. However, its basic advantages have much to do with fire basics. For one, heat and flames naturally rise. The leaning angled branches provide a lot of surface space for the fire to attach to. Put differently, the conical shape makes a home for plenty of oxygen to do its work. Likewise, this means that it’s a faster approach than most – one that results in a particularly hot fire.
What You Need
The basic components of a teepee fire are not much different than any other type. The following staple items will be needed for success:
- Firestarter – Any starter will work, including a common lighter, dual arc lighter, Ferro rod, or even matches. To enhance success, use Pyro Putty to supercharge the ignition of your tinder.
- Tinder/Kindling – Gather any combination of dried twigs, grass, leaves, or wood shavings. This will serve as the fire lay.
- Structure Wood – Gather split logs or small branches to form the intial teepee structure that will envelop your ignition pile. The goal is to use dry pieces that will catch fire once in contact with the flames rising from the fire lay.
- Fuel – Once established, maintain a stash of larger logs to intermittently add as fuel. Using larger pieces will ensure a longer-lasting fire.
Why is Pyro Putty Ideal?
This one is simple. The teepee fire relies heavily on the quality of the ignited tinder that lies below the angled structure. This is one of Pyro Putty’s inherent strengths. A small pinch of Pyro Putty used in concert with dried leaves, twigs, or grasses is ideal, as it’s waterproof, lights easily, and maintains the initial flame for a long time. This allows the tinder bed to create a sustainable fire in mere minutes.
Finally, while any variety of Pyro Putty will work well, there are special blends ideal for temperatures, seasons, and applications. For example, there is the Summer Blend for warmer temperatures and the Competition Charcoal and Barbeque Blend for cooking.
TeePee Fire Steps and Tips
- Clear the area of any brush or debris and place a small pile of tinder in the middle. A fire ring is a great spot.
- With larger sticks, build the conical structure around the pile. Leave a small gap on the wind side for adding tinder.
- With larger sticks, expand the “cone” by adding a second circle around the initial teepee. This layer is considered the fuel. Note that the bigger pieces will result in a longer-lasting fire.
- At the gap of the structure, light a pinch of Pyro Putty on or underneath the tinder pile. Occasionally, add more small pieces until the fire is established.
Easy Tips for Success
While the tee pee approach to fire building is easy, it can be made even better by using one or two branched pieces in the structure. This will create a solid cradle for the leaning sticks and limbs to rest. It’s best to use pieces that are of the same length. Finally, use both dry tinder and kindling for best results. To ensure its availability, collect a dry stash ahead of time.
A Dependability-Laced Solution
It’s no surprise that this go-to fire-building method is often taught to boy scouts, girl scouts, and kids in general. After all, it’s simple. However, establishing fire isn’t child’s play. While campfires and cookouts are fun, this popular technique is ideal in survival situations as well.
Once you’ve mastered the tee pee method from the ground up, you’ve afforded yourself a lot of comfort and security. Set yourself up for success by combining Pyro Putty with this triangular structure of greatness. Remember, simple is good.