If you’ve ever tried to start a fire without using kindling, you know it rarely goes well. Firewood kindling is important for getting fires going quickly and without minimal fuss. Whether you heat with a wood stove, just want some ambiance in a fire place, or are getting an outdoor fire going for some s’mores, make sure you have kindling on hand.
What is Firewood Kindling?
Kindling is small, dry pieces of wood that can catch fire quickly and easily. They will burn longer than tinder, which gives your larger logs time to heat up and catch. Soft woods make the best kindling, pine is very common to use and usually easy to find. Kindling will burn quickly, so make sure you have some hardwood, or larger logs on hand to add to your fire after it gets going.
How To Cut Your Own Kindling
There are a lot of products out there that claim to make splitting kindling easier, but honestly, you really don’t need them. You can make perfectly fine kindling for yourself just using your regular ax and chopping block.
Choose a piece of regular-sized seasoned firewood that is mostly straight and has no knots or branches coming from it. Use your ax to cut it into board shapes. Once you have those strips cut, use the weight of the head of the ax to split the thinner board shapes into small sticks. You don’t need to swing, or hardly even push!
Here’s a YouTube video that shows how to do it:
How To Start A Fire With Kindling
Once you have some kindling ready, it’s time to start your fire. Place your tinder in the center of your firebox and create a teepee with your kindling above it. Place smaller kindling closer to the tinder and larger kindling farther away.
If you’re wondering what to use as tinder for a fire, I like to use scrap paper as tinder, as it’s usually plentiful in my house. Other good options are newspaper, dryer lint, pine cones, cattails, dry leaves, pine needles, or dry grass. If it’s dry, small, and flammable, it will probably be fine.
Light your tinder on fire and let it ignite the smallest kindling. As they catch, so will your larger kindling pieces. Once they are burning well, you can add even larger kindling, or some small firewood. And finally, once your firebox is nice and hot, add your fireplace logs directly on top of your wood and coals.
With the right kindling, you should not need any sort of purchased fire-starting products or gels!
Enjoy your fire!
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