Building a “Long Fire” for Extra Warmth on Cold Nights

Constructing a long fire is a useful technique for making chilly nights in the woods more comfortable. It’s considerable extra work than conventional campfires, but well worth it when the cold starts to creep in. This method builds a fire as long as you and keeps you cozy through the night with minimal maintenance.

Begin by cutting two support logs about 6-8 inches in diameter and around 2 feet long. Place these near the ends of your fuel logs, 8-10 inches in diameter and a foot or two longer than you are tall. Two fuel logs are needed to begin. Gather additional logs to add on top as the fire wanes, number depending on conditions.

Pack the space between the logs with several armloads of small to medium sized kindling (roughly pencil to thumb thickness).

Ignite the kindling either directly or by transferring coals or burning logs from your campfire.

Use lung power to add oxygen to the equation until the fire is well established.

In short time, the fire lay will be burning well and offer a wall of heat to sleep next to. Add another long fuel log on top as needed.

This fire kept two friends comfortable through the night, and needed only one or two logs added before morning.

If camping alone, a simple reflector wall can be built to increase efficiency of your fuel. Mylar blankets make cheap, fast reflector walls. An additional wall behind you will further increase efficiency.

Special thanks to Chris and Archer for their permission to use their likenesses.

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