Tepee Fire

The Tepee Fire, which is also known as the tipi fire, tepee fire and pyramid fire, clearly gets its range of names from its shape. The fire structure itself is one of the core 3 methods used to start fires, or can be enlarged to be a fully functional fire in its own right.

Typically built for warmth or social reasons in a larger scale it can still be used for the purposes cooking. The strong flames it creates are good for boiling in a gypsy, tripod or so similar suspended cooking method. After time it also burns down well leaving a good bed of coals.

How to Build an Tepee Fire

1/ Assess the location. This fire requires a flat surface, preferably in a low wind area, or with a wind break. As always consider the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar.

2/ Create the base. Often the tepee fire is the foundation of other fires, so the base can be created as per their design. If the final structure is a tepee style fire only, such as found with a traditional campfire a ring can be created around the fire with stones or similar non-flammable materials.

3/ Lay the fire. Start by placing a large handful of tinder on the ground in the middle of the fire ring, and then lean a circle of kindling around the tinder. The tips should come together like poles of an Indian tepee. Do it carefully, or the kindling sticks may flop over before the tinder burns out.

4/ Light the fire. Light the fire at the base and center where the tinder is, this will in turn catch the kindling, then larger pieces of wood on fire.

5/ Maintaining the fire. The fire is continually maintained with the new pieces of wood being added to the fire while maintaining a tepee type shape. When finished, the remaining fuel can be left to fall into itself.

6/ Extinguishing the fire. This fire can be left to burn down then the remaining coals can be cooled, or the wood can be spread out across the base of the fire ring, then correctly extinguished with water. Do not leave until it is fully extinguished and cool to the touch otherwise it can re-ignite.

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About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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