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How to make a campfire in the rain

By Cheri Sicard
The skill demonstrated in the video below is an important one, should you ever find yourself in need of building a fire in wet conditions. In it, you will learn how to make a campfire in the rain and how to keep it burning.

Too often we don’t think about outdoor survival skills until it is too late, so here’s a good chance to be proactive with some help from Corporal Kelly, USMC.

The corporal waited until a storm went through and everything was soaking wet to demonstrate these techniques.

It begins with wood collection.

Look for “smalls,” in other words small sticks and twigs to start the fire. The video shows how, even though the wood may be wet on the outside, it may be dry on the inside.

Next, because the ground is wet, you will need to build a small platform to keep the improvised tinder off the wet ground. You will also want to check the wind direction and position the fire properly. The video will show you how.

Next, the corporal uses lengths of duct tape to make three small rolls. These will be placed in a triangle and the ends lit afire. By staggering the ends it will allow the rolls to burn and get the center of the fire hot enough to dry out the wood enough for it to catch on fire.

As the wood dries, you can slowly add more fuel to the fire.

Airflow and plenty of oxygen is the other key to success in building a campfire in the rain. The way you stack your wood has a big impact on this, so be sure to watch the video demo.

Building the fire this way will also give you a nice hot coal bed which will in turn sustain the fire, even if the rain continues.

You’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to build a roaring campfire, even under wet and rainy conditions. And, hey, if you can build a campfire in the rain, you’ll be in great shape during fairer weather!

##RVDT2039

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Bob Weinfurt
14 days ago

Good video. The only thing I’d like to add is that the leaves within a few feet of the fire should’ve been moved back. They may be wet now but if it wasn’t raining they could dry out and also ignite.

Joe
15 days ago

As a boy scout leader for many many years I was always leading backpacking and canoe/kayak excursions. I always had a rule that the boys could only start a fire using flint and steel, magnesium sticks, and such. However I always carried at least 1 match for every night that we would be out just in case of inclement weather and the boys could not get one going, which we had many times. My idea for a match is a 45 minute road flair in a dry bag, lights rain or shine! Just stay up wind while it’s burning. If out for a week or longer some of the older boys would each carry one to lessen my load. The challenge now is finding young men to take on the challenge to be out for more than a day or so, scouting is a hard sell now a days!

Gary G
15 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Yep, we did the exact same thing when ours boys were scouts. All the adults carried at least one “match”.

Tommy Molnar
15 days ago

Not how we did it in the Boy Scouts. I like this guys technique better. And like Bob P mentioned, we didn’t have duct tape either. 🙂

Bob p
15 days ago

Very good video, as a side note when I was in the Marines we didn’t carry duct tape in our pack. Lol

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