HOW TO LIGHT A FIRE
HOW TO LIGHT A FIRE.
A number one priority in a little hut on a hillside... getting the fire lit.
For some- its a dawdle... for others, their nemesis. So much relies on that fire: the evenings comfort, toasty toes, the whistle of the kettle, warming the wine, chilly nose prevention at 2am...
Here are our top tips!
(There is more than one way to skin a cat... so this is just our standard method)
Tinder (dried orange peel, thistle down, 2mm thick twigs, those twisty sappy wooden fire lighters) Really dry kindling (ca. 1-2Cm thick), small logs, bigger logs.
Air, Source of flame/fire
1- Make sure your fire isn't too clogged up with the remnants of the last fire. Clean her out, ash on the compost heap (or straight on the garden, but only if you have low pH/acidic soil and you want to add a little alkali).
2. Lay a little bed of kindling out- 3 slithers usually does the trick!
3- Pop your tinder into bed- nestled into the middle
4- You now have two options... the Teepee option, or the Jenga option.
Teepee- Around your bed of kindling, stack your kindling with it's tips together and feet splayed, creating a Teepee over the bed (leave a space for your fingers to get through to light the tinder).
Jenga- stack that kindling! Like a game of Jenga that has lost half its blocks, or perhaps like a fancy stack of chips (such a con- you definitely get less chips that way!!).
5- Ensure your air vents are open! On our woodburners at Guardswell- that means the little slider knob to the left- but yours may be different, so just play about.
6- Some woodburners need a little helping hand- it's counter intuitive, but if you're struggling to get a draw from your chimney, why not open a door or a window in the hut or room, and try to push some air through.
7- LIGHT 'ER UP!
8- Now, don't be too keen. Don't smother that fire in logs of love. Let her burn away nicely on her kindling until you have lovely embers and flickery flames.
9- Add a little log... and just work your way up from there. Don't add another log until the first one has really taken...but once the fire is fully roaring- fire away! Just remember, you need some air in there, so don't pack too tight!
10- Want to keep it going all night...? Once the fire is roaring, turn the vents down to 95% closed (allow a little air into the party), add a couple of whole "unsplit" round logs- ensuring air space around them...and then close the door and jump under the covers!!
SAFETY SAFETY: Never leave a fire unattended- particularly if there are children in the vicinity. Close the woodburners door... those logs may want to escape!