How To Make A Fire with Carli H

On our boat, Ed is the skipper. This is largely to do with his ability to steer the boat for more than a mile without screaming at a duck to get out of the way, but also because of his superhuman powers of Fire Making.


    Still, I am working on learning how to build and maintain the fire by myself and believe I have identified a foolproof method which I will outline in the following tutorial:

How To Make A Fire

with Carli H

1) Preparing the Fire Box

fireThis is the Fire Box. Our aim is to fill it with fire. 

Preparing the Fire Box begins with wiggling this wiggly thing.

IMG_5879This is in order to wake up the Fire Box and let it know that it’s time to get to work. 

Then you must empty the old ashes from the Fire Box’s ashpan, which lives under the fire.

Or, in my case, ask Ed to empty the ashpan for me because the ashes might still be hot and potentially hot things worry me.

Old ashes go into the Tippy outside.

 Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 12.50.45
This Tippy.

Not this Tippi.

Success! You are now ready to begin building your fire.

2) Building Your Fire

The key to building a successful fire is witchcraft. Failing that, you must ensure that your burny stuff has plenty of air, which helps it do its burny thing properly. Or something.

In our case, this means making sure our (smokeless — we play by da rulez) coals have plenty of space between them in order to let them burn good.

BBQ GrillSince we have to pay for our coal, I’m now going to start being VERY NAUGHTY before every Christmas to keep costs down.

3) Place coals into Fire Box*

Begin by withdrawing coals from the coal bucket and then positioning them in the Fire Box as described above.

coals into fireJust follow this scientific diagram and you’ll be fine.

4) Worry you haven’t used enough coals and throw a few more in there

5) Contemplate large number of coals now in Fire Box

6) Worry you’ve put too many coals in

7) Take some coals out

coals out of fire

8) Look at hands


9) Go back to step 3) and notice the “*”


10) Set things on fire

Now it is time to make like The Doors and light your fire.

To do so, you need two things: matches and kindling.



You might need to break up your kindling a bit before you put it into the fire.

chair-on-fireIt really depends on how patient you’re feeling.

11) Use matches to light kindling

12) ….use matches to light kindling


14) Look at matchbox in confusion

IMG_5885Say out loud to self: “These are designed to set things on fire right?”

15) Attempt to light kindling using matches one last time

16) Swear

17) Sit on the floor for a bit

18) Look around desperately for something that burns good


Newspaper burns good, right? Tear up a whole newspaper and throw it in the Fire Box.

Daily-Mail-Front-Page-233x300NB. Some newspapers are more satisfying to burn than others. 

20) Watch smugly while newspaper blazes, filling Fire Box with beautiful fire

IMG_5681Optional: – Throw gloves triumphantly into coal bucket and walk away saying “My work here is done”.


– High-five passing coots.

21) Notice fire is going out

22) No, no, no no nonononono NO

23) Yell “Whhhhhyyyyyyyyyy” for a bit

24) Waste 17 matches attempting to light crumbling newspaper ashes with shaking hands

25) Drop matches everywhere

IMG_588725a) Cry.

26) Put on coat

27) Go to the shop

28) Purchase large pack of fire lighters

29) Return home

30) Look at instructions on fire lighters box

31) Shrug

32) Insert whole box of fire lighters in Fire Box

33) Throw in box of matches for good measure

34) Light

35) Enjoy

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 14.40.09
Cat slippers also optional.

Et voila! You are now warming yourself in front of your toasty fire. Or, possibly, you have exploded the front of your boat. Either way, still warm.

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