How To Start A Campfire With Wet Wood?

When you are outdoors you will need a fire to warm yourself and cook some food. How to start a campfire with wet wood? When all is soaked with water you will need to compromise and find a way to be successful. Check my tips that will help you to make a campfire without a hustle.

starting a campfire

How to start a Campfire with wet Wood?

Starting a fire after it rains can be challenging but here are tips that will make it burn and last long.

Preparation is the key

You want to make sure that you have all the necessities for a campfire before you go in nature. Get a fire starter like flint, waterproof matches, fire steel rods, magnesium fire starter kits, or lighters. You can also make a fire starter with dryer lint at home so you will be starting a fire in no time. You can try a bow drill but it tends to be difficult to use for beginners.

You can help yourself with fuel to start a fire but it’s better to save it for other sources, such as lamps or fuel-burning camp stoves. I suggest you bring along a hatchet or an axe, or a large multi-tool with a good knife.

Find the wood

You’ll need about three to four times the amount of wood as what you would normally need if your wood wasn’t wet. The same goes for kindling.

When you are looking for wood, pick up the drier pieces. Look inside natural hiding spots, such as inside bushes or inside logs. However, be careful as you never know what’s inside – anything from a skunk to a nasty biting insect. Another great tip is to shave off the wet parts of your wood to get it dry.


Tinder is the basic fuel source for starting the fire. It goes in the middle of it – it’s the fire’s starting place and core. Pick the driest, fastest burning fuel sources you can find, such as small twigs, wood shavings, wood chips, and dry bark.


Pine is a very good tinder as the needles and sap are very flammable. Also, use other sources such as paper, or peeling the bark off of fallen, dead birch trees into paper-like strips.

Another common tactic is to use your knife to shave off the end of a stick but leaving each piece attached. The result is a conglomeration of fuzzy, thin papery pulp on a single end of the stick, which is perfect for tinder.

A magnesium strip, tiny pile, paraffin wax, and Dorito chips are good fire starters as well.


Kindling is the next part of the fire that is a middle layer, after the tinder. Get sticks and twigs, but no wider than your forearm. Include some dry wood if you can to help get the fire out of its tinder phase.

Normal wood logs

The final part of the fire goes around the kindling, the logs that will make your campfire last long and give you the heat you need. Beware of putting too big and wet pieces of fuel on a tiny fire because you can put it out.

Off the ground

Wet and cold ground is not the best for starting a fire, especially when working with wet wood. So, find something dry to start your fire on, such as a rock. Another idea is to put down a large piece of wood, and then build your fire on top of that.

Building your fire

Once you have all of your wood and fuel, it’s time to start building your campfire.

a campfire burning

First, assemble the tinder in a sort of pyramid shape. Second, assemble the kindling around that, like a protective cage. The goal isn’t to completely bury or cover up the kindling, but rather to build around it, like a Native American teepee. Basically, it’s a fire screen designed to let the fire breathe and grow. After that, put a few log pieces around it.

Once your wood is all properly leaned together like a concentric upwards pointing cone, it’s time to light it. You’ll want to ignite the center part of your fire fuel structure, where the tinder is. Use any fire starter source that you have, from a lighter to flint.

Maintaining the campfire

Be careful and build your campfire slowly. If it’s a very small fire then it can’t handle a massive tree-sized log. As your fire burns, you can place some of your wet fuel nearby the fire so the heat will dry it out.

Final Word

It is necessary to be prepared on any condition you face outdoors. Now that you know how to start a campfire with wet wood, you can be calm as it will protect you and give you the heat you need. Consider my tips and you will have a nice burning fire that will last.

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