Kids Building a Fort in the Woods

Nature Learning: Make a Fire-starter for Camping

Make a Fire-starter for Camping

Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark has many opportunities to experience nature! On the Blue Mounds hilltop where Ebeneezer Brigham first broke ground in 1828 and became the first white settler, is where Brigham County Park lies.

Brigham County Park is a great place for camping. Donated by Mrs. Charles I. Brigham in 1953, this place has a historical connection to Cave of the Mounds. Cave of the Mounds shares the East Mound with Brigham County Park. The park provides a panoramic view of the Wisconsin River Valley. Park features include a group camp area, a 23 unit rustic campground, two shelter facilities, picnic area, play equipment, nature trail through a maple woods, and hiking trails that connect to Blue Mound State Park. The Brigham Trail, a 1.3 mile paved shared-use trail, also goes through the park and connects to the Military Ridge State Trail and Cave of the Mounds.

Although you can survive without fire, it is one of the most useful tools for increasing your chances of survival. Fire can be used to warm your body, dry wet clothes, cook food (like smores), and boil water. There are several ways to start a fire (a lighter, matches, flint, and steel) but creating a fire in poor weather conditions like rain can be very difficult.

We want the kids to have some understanding of the importance of fire & how to be safe with it.

There are different types of Fires:

  • Teepee Campfire- Easy to make, good for warmth
  • Lean-To Fire- Wind Resistant
    • Figure out where the wind is coming from then place your biggest piece of wood perpendicular to the wind.
    • Start your fire on the downwind side of that log, right next to it.
    • It’ll block the wind from putting out that fire.
  • StarFire- Small and Easy
    • Get your kindling going, then stick the ends of several logs into the fire.
    • As the logs burn, push them into the fire.
    • This type of campfire won’t produce a big roaring fire.
  • Log Cabin Fire – For Cooking
    • This is an excellent fire for cooking, for two reasons.
    • The first is that the logs at the top can support the weight of your pot or pan.
    • The second reason is that this type of fire burns slowly.
    • A slower fire is better for evenly cooking your food.
    • However, log cabin fires can be tough to get started.
  • Inverse Campfire – For Sleeping


You will need: newspaper, twine/hemp, pine cones, dryer lint

  1. Place pine cones stuffed with dryer lint and wrapped in a piece of newspaper, and tie both ends with a twine like tootsie roll.

*Please be careful and have adult supervision when starting a fire.

Kids hiking in the woods