The stick lay fire is a method that is founded on a stick that is laid between two rocks. This is used to lay the burning wood on creating a good amount of air to create a quick and efficient burning fire. It is similar to the Lean To Fire, however this one has wood laid up on two sides, compared to the other one which in most cases is on one side only.
The stick lay fire create initially good flames for boiling and can quickly burn down for a bed of coals. The two rocks are then perfectly positioned to use to suspend food on or create a rack to rest pots and pans.
How to Build a Stick Lay Fire
1/ Assess the location. This fire requires a flat surface, and access to rocks. As always consider the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar.
2/ Mark out the base. The rocks are positioned directly into the wind, and down wind, this allows them to act a little as a windbreak, and maintain the heat in between them for and optimised heat area. The stick that is to be used should be located and used to help decide the distance between the two rocks.
3/ Lay the fire. With the main stick in position suspended between the two rocks, the tinder can be positioned between the two rocks with a small amount of kindling laid on it to catch fire when lit. Once the foundation is completed, additional kindling and wood can be laid against the suspended sticks on both sides. Ideally once set and lit it should be self-managing while you have time to prepare your food.
4/ Light the fire. If there is a firm breeze or strong wind the fire can be lit near the rock on the up-wind side, under the supporting stick and it will move along the length of the stick. If there is no wind, a small opening can be made in the center between the two rocks, and the fire will burn up then slowly out. Once the tinder has caught then the rest of the fire will light from this.
5/ Maintaining the fire. The fire is designed with good air to burn hot and quick with the supporting stick also eventually being burnt through and falling into a hot coal base that is located between the two rocks. Additional wood can be added if desired. The main maintenance is watching for when the main stick breaks and adjusting at this point if required.
6/ Extinguishing the fire. This fire can be left to burn down then the remaining coals can be cooled. Do not leave until it is fully extinguished and cool to the touch otherwise it can re-ignite. Rocks can be returned to their original location.