Survival Tips photo

I thought I knew a thing or two about building a campfire, but, as the title suggests, this video sets that notion on its head. Typically, I build a modified lean-to fire, using a large log to support a framework of smaller branches set over the top of a pile of tinder and kindling. For years I’ve used this type of fire for both cooking and heating, but the downside is the maintenance it requires.

An upside down fire, or a modified pyramid fire, starts with a base of big logs, with a rising framework of smaller logs and branches topped with kindling and tinder. As the kindling burns it ignites the level below it, leaving you free to prepare dinner or just sit back and enjoy the roaring campfire.

Though handy and effortless, this type of fire might not be ideal for cooking over as it’s going to take longer to get a good base of hot coals. You could leave one side of the base open and rake the falling coals from under the pyramid to cook with, but a trench fire or a fire in a hole is generally your best bet for cooking. Or, pack along a camp stove, since cooking over a fire is more romantic than practical.