This zine is dedicated to articles about the fantasy role-playing game Gods & Monsters, and other random musings. Yes, the best way to build a fire barring magic or technology is to start with an existing fire. Whether you have a spark or need to make a fire completely from scratch, the most important step to building a fire when you dona€™t already have a fire is finding something that will burn easily. Steel burns in contact with air; usually, we call this a€?rusta€?, but rapidly shaving flakes from steel will accelerate the process into sparking.
Starting a fire using sticks and wood is very similar to starting a fire with a spark: it just takes longer to get the ember going.
The drill stick and the wood youa€™re drilling into need to be a light wood, and it needs to be very dry. If youa€™re pressed for materials and all you have is wood and kindling, use the simplest method, the one most commonly associated with starting a fire from wood: rubbing a straight sticka€™s point in a piece of wood. Your drilling will create wood dust and the dust will form your ember, but if you can also get some charcloth around the drill it will help.
The block at the top of this sketch is probably a piece of rock for holding the drill steady as you draw the bow back and forth. Ita€™s a good idea to make your fire when conditions are best for making a fire, which is to say when you least need a fire. I wouldna€™t be surprised if using lamps and torches for light was originally just an aftereffect of trying to keep a flame available.
If youa€™re in a stationary camp or at home in your castle, however humble it might be, you almost always want to keep your fire burning once ita€™s started. If youa€™re traveling, dona€™t need to keep hidden, and can keep steady, light a candle in the morninga€™s fire.
If your characters understand magnifying glasses, they might be able to make a fire-starting lens out of ice. If you have a cart or carriage, consider putting some of the the hot charcoal from the morninga€™s fire into a coal scuttle or brazier, and carry it with you. If you have a wagon train, transport the whole fire in one of the wagonsa€”dona€™t keep it flaming, but keep the embers hot.
Water is practically a modern invention: we use it far more today than we did a hundred years ago and we trust it more than we did a hundred years ago. If you have private comments, or questions about this page, please, leave a message on the Negative Space Comments Page.
If youa€™re looking for something here, use the search box above to limit your search to this part of the site, or use the Negative Space search page. Wood fire enthusiast Vincent Thurkettle describes having a real fire in the home as similar to having a pet. Plenty of space for a good stock of logs and kindling at Little Cwm Colebatch in Shropshire. Take your fire building skills outside and get the fire pit roaring at Glenlusk Lodge in Ireland.
Whilst getting your stove to temperature, open the vents wide to encourage the flames to catch. Not just a great way of heating the living area, the fire place and log store at The Oak House in Scotland make a statement centrepiece too. It is possible to write whole books on how to build the perfect wood fire, as it is an art in itself. Leave an opening on the upwind side all the way to the center tinder where you can light the fire.
This is the most popular style for beginners to build - I don't know why, maybe because it looks like a house? Have extra kindling ready to drop into the top or through the spaces on the sides to feed the internal fire until the outer walls catch fire.
This fire keeps air space open due to the support stick and a steady, light wind really helps it get started. This is fun to light, but the most common challenge is burning up all the tinder without catching the kindling because too much air space is left open. Lay 4 logs, each about 5 or 6 inches across and 3 to 3.5 feet long, with about 4 inches of air space between logs. Make a lot of split kindling sticks and stick them into any open air space in the log layers. Leaving a space to light the teepee, continue placing more split pieces around the teepee to make a few more layers. This fire maintains good flame for a long time as burning fuel drops down into the larger pieces of wood and ignites them. Retrieve two short logs 6 to 8 inches in diameter and place them nearly parallel to each other about 6 inches apart at one end and 3 inches at the other. Even things we consider the most trivial of actions require making a plan, collecting resources, and using those resources to execute the plan. Anything that a match can light, fan of flame or eternal flame will have no problem lighting, and you wona€™t have to worry nearly as much about wind. The need for an existing fire is almost as important a reason to have a torch or oil lamp as the need for light. You want the kind of thing that makes brush fires start spontaneously: very dry, very light, soft, filamented and frayed. Once you get that ember going, you need to blow fresh air onto ita€”but not too much or youa€™ll blow out the ember. As the kindling burns, add heavier and heavier materials: small twigs, larger twigs, small branches, larger branches, and finally logs.
Any moisture, even absorbed from laying it on the ground, will make starting a fire from an ember much more difficult, if not impossible.

You will find it easier to notch out the sides where the drill holes are, to hold more kindling and charcloth, and more easily catch the ember. Fresh wood wona€™t work: if you dona€™t have some wood youa€™ve been drying, find deadwood.
Lubricating it keeps you from rubbing your skin off by keeping the stick from slipping as you rub your hands against it. Youa€™ll probably find that your hands move down the drill as you rotate it; work out a method to walk your hands back up the drill as you keep rotating it, so that you can resume the necessary slight downward pressure.
If you can notch out a section of the board where youa€™ll be drilling into it, youa€™ll find it easier to get your kindling and charcloth close to the ember. Try making fire using sticks and youa€™ll appreciate the importance of keeping a flame burning twenty-four hours.
You dona€™t need a roaring fire; all thata€™s necessary is enough red-hot wood or coal to relight the fire when needed. Store the candle in a ventilated container to protect against the wind, and carry it with you to start the nighta€™s fire.
Take enough so that the embers are still burning at daya€™s end, or continually feed it during the day.
Most people have forgotten why, but a€?keep the home fires burninga€?A still means keeping a house in good order and ready for habitation. Highland is designed for the rural adventurer, where characters begin in small villages or remote areas and move in towards civilization as they learn more and more about their worlda€™s past. Today reliable water is ubiquitous, and we complain if a building doesna€™t have running water. Individual copyrights remain held by their respective authors unless they specify otherwise. Make a “V” or “U” shaped log wall in the hearth or stove, with the cut surfaces of the logs facing inwards to help the fire catch quickly. Place your pre-kindling in the centre of your log-walled enclosure and put one or two layers of kindling above this, leaving air gaps between each bit of wood to help the fire catch. When you come to add larger logs later on, don’t put them right on top of the fire, as this is likely to smother the young flames.
If you are keen to maximise the firelight from your fire (as well as bask in the heat), use dense, small-diameter logs from brightly-burning varieties such as ash, hawthorn and oak and leave slightly larger gaps between each log when you build the fire. If you have a wood burning stove in your cottage, be generous with adding logs to the fire for the first hour or so to ensure that the stove, firebricks and iron pipe become evenly hot.
We, however, are going to stop there and hope that these few pointers will help you to get the most out of the open fires and wood burning stoves when staying at a Sheepskin cottage. However, a cheap, quick and easy method of building a fire pit in your back yard is to simply dig a hole in the ground, add some gravel for drainage and line it with a metal fire pit ring insert, sometimes referred to as fire pit rings, to help contain the spread of fire and focus it's heat. Leave a space under the upwind piece through which you can reach the tinder to light it - you might need to fashion a mini-torch and stick it in to light. Ita€™s not a wonder that time-travel novelists wanting to get their protagonists in trouble with the locals give them matches.
In fact, you may find that waving your hand, while less impressive, will provide a more appropriate (and probably less damp) flow of fresh air to the ember. The stereotypical flint and steel that adventurers carry works because of the steel, not the flint. Often youa€™ll use charcloth, just as when sparking steel, to transform your hard-won ember into a flame. Your drill should be relatively uniform in thickness from the top to the start of the point. It also makes the top denser, which will keep it from heating up as much as the drill point. Then, instead of rotating the drill by rubbing your hands against it, rotate the drill by pulling the bow back and forth in a sawing motion.
Get anxious, and you wona€™t produce a smooth enough motion to get enough friction on a single point to start an ember going. If possible, assign the task of keeping the fire burning to someone, such as a guard, who will often be near the fire. Someone will need to keep the cigar burning by continually puffing on it, and youa€™ll need to light new cigars throughout the day as the old ones burn down. There are no rules specifically for starting a firea€”that would be far too piddly for Gods & Monsters.
It was designed as a version of the standard fantasy world imprinted on the American old west. You can buy it in huge bags outside at gas stations and convenience stores, and when it melts you can get some more. Site titles, such as Negative Space, Strange Bedfellows, Biblyon Broadsheet, Highland Games, and FireBlade Coffeehouse are trademarks of Jerry Stratton. As with a pet, the early stages with each fire you light are vitally important and will inform how healthy and happy it is for the duration of your time together. Feed the centre of your fire with small logs (50-75mm diameter), ensuring each one is a finger’s breadth away from its neighbour.
Push the hot, half burnt logs to the centre of the fire and lay the new logs towards the edge of your fire, giving them a chance to warm and dry before they actually become part of the fire itself. Most of the time all you will need is a steadily burning, low, gentle fire and piling up a lot of logs won’t generate much more heat but will squander your log supply. While coal fires actually benefit from being regularly agitated with the poker it is likely to impede the burning of wood fires. Once up to temperature, burn two large logs at a time, only adding the next two logs when the previous ones have almost burnt to embers. This will prolong the burn time of your logs, whilst also ensuring that there is enough air circulating to burn off the tar and creosote given off by the logs as they burn.

However, in the standard fantasy faux-medieval worlda€”such as Gods & Monstersa€™s Highlanda€”there are no matches. Put this in with your kindling, and the charcloth will light as long as it catches a single spark. You also want to avoid woods with liquid in them, such as pines: the sap will keep the wood from forming an ember. If it tapers larger toward your hand, it will rotate more slowly, generating less friction. Lubricate it with something sticky, such as sap, soap, tar, or a thick grease.3 Dona€™t use any lubricant that will migrate down to the pointa€”it will keep the fire from starting!
The bow string will rotate the drill faster than you can with your handsa€”fast enough that you wona€™t be able to hold the drill down with your hands. On the other hand, if youa€™re stuck in snow, build your fire when ita€™s so cold that all of the moisture is gone from the air. But starting a fire is a common enough occurrence in fantasy gaming that describing it is an easy way to add some fun immersion to your game. Here’s our step by step guide to creating a roaring, cheerful fire to make your holiday cottage feel like a home from home. You need some form of drainage at the bottom of your fire pit so that it will always be ready for use. Unlike sparking, which puts the ember right into the kindling, when you rub sticks together you need to transfer the ember to the kindling. Take very good care of your drill and your fire board: never store them directly on the ground or otherwise expose them to moisture because, being very dry wood, they will suck that moisture up and will no longer form an ember as easily. Youa€™ll need a piece of stone, metal, or hard wood with an indentation or hole in it to hold the drill steady and allow you to apply a light downward pressure. But take extra care to ensure that your fire-making equipment doesna€™t get ice or snow on it: as soon as that ice or snow melts, it will quench your nascent fire.
This method will require kindling, since youa€™re basically carrying a continually-burning ember with you. Otherwise, maybe 3 days after the last rain fall, your fire pit could still be full of dirty ash water, which is not pleasant, and renders your fire pit unusable until the water has naturally drained out.
Also the pea gravel used for the drainage provides the perfect base to set your fire on!If you follow this guide, providing drainage is as simple as digging a hole!WHY USE A STEEL LINER?
If you want your fire pit to be a permanent feature, then it needs to have some structure to it.
Obviously you could just dig a hole, but after a relatively short period of time the sides of the hole will start to collapse due to rain and natural land drainage.
If you need something to carry, aged and thin wood shavings are probably the best combination of durable and flammable. For a relatively small cost, you can make the work you did digging the hole a lot more worthwhile. Subject to local fire pit regulations which you need to check before you start, the choice is yours. From a construction point of view, it basically boils down to how deep a hole you want to dig. So if for example the area you live in has very hard ground, then maybe you should opt for a above ground version.
We will explain here the simple way to build a fire pit, whichever one you choose, above ground or in-ground If you do choose the above ground version, you also have another choice.
You can either use a solid steel ring, and then build around that with rocks or stones to cover the blank steel ring, or you could use a more decorative ring.Before you rush out and get started digging there are a few important things to take into account!First of all check with your local authorities that fire pits are permitted in your area and what regulations there are with regard to these. Construction materials, minimum distances from property lines or structures amongst other things may be determined by local authorities, so make sure you are aware of these at the planning stage!SAFETY Safety should be your main concern when picking the right spot for your fire pit.It should be located away from overhanging trees, bushes, tree roots or any other combustible material or structures.
Debris that can easily catch fire or organic material such as leaves, pine needles, dry grass needs to be cleared from an area at least 10 feet from the fire pit.
Adding a layer of gravel on the ground surrounding the fire pit will also help prevent the fire from accidentally spreading.When choosing a location for your fire pit, consider how smoke may affect surrounding properties. After all you don't want the neighbours complaining!Safety tips:Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
Make sure there is plenty of room surrounding the fire pit for seating and access.HOW TO BUILD FIRE PIT.
Mark out a circle on the ground with a diameter of about 2" larger than the fire pit ring you have bought, ( thats about about 32" if you bought the Outdoor Classic ring from us ), in the location you have chosen for your fire pit.
This can be done easily by using a piece of string tied to a stake placed at the central point and using the other end to draw a circle.2. Dig out the marked area to a depth of 6" + the height of your fire pit ring less 2", so in our case the ring is 10" high less 2" = 8" + 6" = 14". This is to create a 6" drain at the bottom of the hole and have 2" of the fire pit ring above ground.3.
Fill the bottom of the hole with 6" of pea gravel, tamping this down a little as you are putting it in. Drop in the steel liner, make sure it is central and level and you have roughly an even gap all around it in the hole.5. Back fill between the edge of the hole and the steel liner, this will be about 1" all around, with pea gravel. Make sure that whatever you use it is non pourous, and if you use bricks, make sure thay are heat resistant or they may crack.

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