Il The Triangle of Combustion
A fire needs three things to start: heat, fuel and oxygen. The heat can come from a match, a lighter, or even the sun. Fuel can be anything capable of burning, such as wood, paper, or gasoline. The oxygen present in the air allows the chemical reaction of combustion.
When all three elements are present, they form the so-called combustion triangle. And it is precisely this triangle that must be present for a fire to ignite.
If one of the sides of the triangle is missing, the fire will not be able to light. For example, if there is no heat, the fuel will not be able to ignite. Or if there is no oxygen, the fire will quickly suffocate and go out.
To keep burning, a fire needs a constant supply of fresh air, which supplies the oxygen required for combustion. If a fire is enclosed in an airtight room, sooner or later, it will run out of oxygen and go out.
The triangle of combustion is a simple but important concept to understand if you want to start a fire.
How to light a fire
The first thing to do is find a suitable place to do it. Ensure you are authorised to light a fire and that there is an open area with little vegetation.
One way to start a fire from scratch is to use the Teepee Campfire technique, well known to many scouts, though not always the most efficient. To begin with, get several thin twigs and some bark. Arrange them to form two X-shape on the base of a burner (a small pile of wood). Press the pieces into the central pile to create gaps to place the finer sticks vertically within the core, like overlapping strings.
At this point, you can take water or wet sand and place it on the core of the hearth – it is called “cold light “, which is essential because it softens the fibres of the bark and accelerates ignition.
Now all you need is flammable tinder; it can be dry leaves used as straw, sticks or matches; another method is to use a dry cloth. Place them between the branches and light the tinder with a lighter or something else; at this point, the fire should start easily with a slow and constant blow.