When it comes to the great outdoors, there is no denying the fun and relaxation it brings. However, when the weather turns bad, it can change the entire trip. Whether you are camping and the rain makes it harder to cook dinner, or you are stranded somewhere and the rain mixed with colder night temperatures makes it a potentially life-threatening situation, being able to make a fire is important in the outdoors. Here are a few tips on how to start a fire in a wet environment.

1. Choose the right materials

One of the biggest elements in how to start a fire in a wet environment is to choose the right material. You want to opt for anything that is sappy or sticky like pine, firs, and spruce because the needles are usually sticky which can help with starting a fire and keeping it burning.

2. Peel to reach dry wood

Most bark doesn’t retain moisture well so when you gather your wood, you can still use it when wet as long as you peel or carve back the layers to reach the dry wood in the center. Too many people assume wet wood is simply unusable but all they need to do is put in a little more effort!

3. Burn smaller pieces

Another tip for starting a fire in a wet location is to burn smaller pieces. While most people think of a few larger logs burning when they picture a fire, smaller pieces are the way to go. The smaller pieces will reveal the inner dry areas of wood. It also helps the fire to build.

4. Build it up

Speaking of building it up, too many fires are unsuccessful because people simply lay the woods flat and expect the fire to do the work. In reality, the better bet is to build the fire up by keeping it off the wet or damp ground as much as possible. You want to create a cone of kindling or pine cones as the base of the fire to keep it up off the ground.

5. Light from the windward side

While you may think the wind as your enemy when starting a fire, you can actually use it to your advantage. When you light from the windward side, you give the flames an extra push to travel faster through the kindling and wood.

6. Light it from low rather than on top

Many people think of a fire as a candle and try to light from the top. Since the kindling is placed at the bottom, this isn’t the best idea. Fire climbs upward which is why you should place the match at the bottom of the cone of kindling to allow it to climb. If the ground is too wet, it is still better to light the cone of the firewood from the mid-way point rather than the top because it will give you more fire overall than starting at the top.