15 January 2009

Lessons on Building a Fire

Last night, after Adam returned from class, he asked me if I wanted to learn how to build a fire. Let me preface this by saying that I've already tried to build one in our fireplace on my own and failed miserably. I learned that I can make a small, short-lived fire out of paper but cannot make wood burn. Additionally, when left alone with a roaring fire the other night, I learned that I cannot sustain a fire, as the whole thing turned to smoke and glowing embers in the two hours Adam was gone.

It's sad.

With the overnight temperatures expected to dip down to 20 degrees the next few nights, absurdly low for this part of the country, Adam thought it might be time to teach me the art of fire building. He instructed me on how to layer paper, small pieces of wood, and bark, then lit it with a lighter. The paper burned, and then the fire went out. Oops. He spent the next 45 minutes trying to get the thing up, and by the time he finally did, it was time to go to bed. Admitting he wasn't the best teacher, I assured him that I should be able to get a fire going on my own.

I guess we'll see.


Matthew said...

The Art of Manliness, which I always find interesting and funny, has a couple of posts on fire-building, this one being more relevant to your particular situation: How to Build a Roaring Campfire.

I'm assuming, of course, that everything in the post is transferable from campsite to fireplace.

Lindsay said...

That is great, Matt. Men do love fire -- Adam especially, since he fights it for a living. He even used the "Log Cabin Fire Lay."

Unfortunately, this post doesn't reflect his usual fire building abilities. He doesn't often have this much trouble, which is why I found the whole thing funny.

Matthew said...

Yeah, I could tell he doesn't usually have such trouble, but I figured it might be a good supplement if don't eventually get a good handle on it from his teaching.

Also (and mainly), it just amused me, because I too am fond of fire and like I said, the site always makes me laugh :)