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What is kindling and how does it help you start a fire?

What is kindling and how does it help you start a fire?

Some people think all you need to start a fire is fuel logs and gas. That couldn't be more wrong. First, gas is highly flammable and should never be used to start a fire. Second, kindling and tinder are super helpful in the fire starting process. Tinder is any material that lights quickly and burns fast. It helps get a spark going and is the first step to building a long-lasting fire. What is kindling you might ask? Well, if you'd like to know, keep reading, that's exactly what we will be discussing in this article.

When people try to build fires in their fireplace or fire pit, they often skip a very important step. That's kindling. Some people understand the need for tinder. You have to have something that will light quick to get the fire started. But kindling is the middle man between getting the first spark and maintaining a long-lasting fire. Tinder is usually made up of cotton balls, wood shavings and even copy paper. It lights quickly but often doesn't stay lit long enough to light a dense fuel log. That's where kindling comes in.

What is kindling and how does it help you start a fire?

Kindling is dry wood, a foot or two long, that's no thicker than your thumb. This size works great for catching a spark from the tinder while also holding a flame long enough to catch the larger fuel logs on fire. When choosing kindling for your fire, make sure the wood is dry. Seasoning wood is a term we use to discuss how long it takes for wood to dry before it is ready to be burned. This is a good thing to consider when talking about the main fuel logs, but as for kindling, just make sure it is dry and you should be good. Leaving it wet will cause you to burn through a lot of your tinder and waste most of your fire materials.

What is kindling and how does it help you start a fire?

So, it is important that you get a good amount of tinder to start your fire and dry small pieces of wood to use as kindling. Once you do that and allow the fire to burn for a few minutes, you are ready to add your main fuel logs in a teepee or log cabin shape. That will ensure enough air is allowed to flow through so the fire is oxygenated.

With these few things in mind, you are well on your way to making the best fire ever! Just remember - leave the gas at the station. You don't need that anywhere near your fireplace or fire pit. If you have any questions on what we talked about today, please feel free to call our NFI certified techs at 800.203.1642

About the Author

Collin Champagne

With over 13 years in the industry, Collin is a National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified technician and managed content for the eFireplacestore and eCanopy brands. He has achieved the highest NFI certification possible as a Master Hearth Professional and is certified in all three hearth appliance fields: wood, gas, and pellet. With experience with sales and in-field installations, his expertise shines through his technical knowledge and way with words.

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