How to Start a Fire with Wet Wood

Why do people choose to camp during winter when it is freezing cold? Well, there are many benefits of camping during winter. Not only do you enjoy snow-capped views but also avoid bugs, crowd, enjoy silence and even get the opportunity to know the wood.

When it is rainy or there is ice covering the ground, campers wonder how they can create fire when the wood is wet. If you have no experience or the right information on how to start a bonfire when the branches and wood are wet, you might end up feeling cold.

On top of having your heavy blankets, clothes, jackets and other winter gear, you might also need to set a fire. Not only does it provide you with warmth but also a great time to bond with your family or friends.

If you don't know how to create fire with wet wood, I'm glad you came across this post that explains everything in details. Read on to find more information.

Items You Need

Starting a fire when it is rainy can be mind-boggling. It gets even worse if you have no idea where to start. Before we begin, let us know some of the essential items that you need to start a fire with wet wood.


This is a crucial item that you need to start a fire. Tinder refers to a small and lightweight item that is easy to ignite. Your tinder should be highly combustible and able to burn longer. This makes it easy to catch flame so that you can star kindling the fire.

You can bring your own tinder from homemade of things like paper, balls with Vaseline, steel wool, wood barks, wood shaving, cotton ball among others.


Kindling is as important as the tinder and it can consist of smaller branches and twigs. The nest thing is to catch the fire from tinder and hold it long enough to burn wood and logs.

Fire Starter

Without a fire starter, it can be a nightmare to start fire in the woods; unless you want to go the primitive way. Some of the best fire starters that you should carry when going for camping, hiking or any other outdoor activity include a bic lighter, waterproof matches, dry tree back, magnesium rod, paper just to mention a few.


Finding dry wood when it is raining can be tough. Gather a piece of wet or dry wood that you will use to start a fire. I would advise you to look for wood pieces covered by other trees, and it has been there for quite some time. However, finding such wood can also be tough.

Wood Splitter

You will have to cut the wood into smaller pieces so a wood splitter is an essential item that you should not miss. You can either use an ax, hatchet or knife depending on what you have.

How to Start a Fire Using Wet Wood

After gathering all the items you need, the next thing is to begin creating the fire. Follow the following tips to create a bonfire when camping during winter.

1. Create a Fire Bed

There is no way you are going to create fire on wet ground. You need to create a fire bed so that you can have a convenient environment of setting the fire. There are different things that you can use to create a fire bed, and one of them is rocks.

If there is a river nearby, you can collect some small to medium sized rocks to create the foundation of the fire. Alternatively, you can stack up dry twigs and branches on top of each other to create a fire bed.

2. Make Kindling

You can make kindling from twigs and branches. If it is hard to find the twigs and the branches, you can split a log and then shave the inside. Even if the wood is dry on the outside, when you split the wood, the inside is normally dry.

3. Stack the Tinder

After creating the fire bed and gathering your wood, the next thing you should do is to stack the tinder. Take larger logs and place them against each other at an angle of 30 degrees.

Make sure that you leave a void in the middle. Additionally, there should be sufficient flow of air so that there is breathing space for the fire. You will also use the area to place the tinder and kindling inside to create the fire.

4. Put the Kindling in the Middle the Logs and Ignite

Take your kindling and then place it in the middle of the tinder and then ignite. The kindling catches flames fast and the smaller pieces of tinder will now begin to burn. To get the fire started, start with a few pieces and add more as the fire burns.

5. Add More Logs Slowly

You don't have to add the split logs at once because you can put off the fire. I understand that the wood you collected is wet so the initial flame is meant to dry the logs before they start burning. When the smaller logs are burning, add the bigger logs slowly and keep building a fire.

To get a decent size of fire, you can add the logs in a span of 10 to 15 minutes. When the fire is burning, now you can keep adding the wood as required.

Final Words

Do not keep yourself cold in the woods reason being you don't know how to start a fire with wet wood. If you are a serious outdoor person, then you should learn the tips and tricks of starting a fire with wet wood. I know that at first, it will not be an easy task so you will have to try a couple of times. However, with more practice everything becomes easy.

If you have the required items and the right knowledge starting a fire during winter conditions becomes easy. Repeating this process in different real situations several times will make you a pro. So, enjoy your outdoor stay and keep warm regardless of the weather.