No Trace Bushcraft - 7 steps to a stable fire

7 steps to a stable fire

The 7 steps to a stable fire ensure that when you finally have that flame. You’re definitely going to benefit from this, too.
No Trace Blog Feathersticks (photo: LBN)If you have reached this flame with feathersticks you can skip the first 2 to three steps of the structure below. Good feathersticks, as in the photo, cut by Thijmen Apswoude of Living by Nature,are the same as these steps. Read more about feathersticks and their use in the accompanying chapter.
Skipping steps, rushing or other carelessness will certainly ensure that the desired result will not be achieved. And that all effort has been for nothing. As with all bushcraft skills, a certain form of discipline and accuracy is a requirement. In this way, Bushcraft can quickly turn to Survival ;-).


Make sure you’ve collected enough of the steps below before you even start igniting your fire. Also, make sure that you keep the steps in a dry spot while collecting and lighting the fire. And this all 7 lays so ready, from the ground and out of the rain, that you do not have to move when you start to build up the fire.

Step 1

No Trace Bushcraft - step 1 of 7This first step consists of 2 bundles (big hands full) bone dry twigs with the thickness of a match. The bundles may be held firmly at one end but must be airy at the other. Like an old-fashioned broom or roe. This ensures that there is enough oxygen between the fuel and that it can get there.
The length of these twigs is ideally the length of your forearm.
This length ensures that the bundles can be easily held crosswise above the flame. By holding them in this way, you can easily control the supply of oxygen and fuel by moving the bundles up and down above the flame.
Only when you have put down the bundles AND the flames come through the bundles in several places it is time for the second step.

Step 2

No Trace Bushcraft - step 2 of 7The twigs in this step are twice the thickness of a match. Also, the bundles are again at least the length of the forearm and so thick that they can be held separately just with one hand. But still be light-hearted. The part you’re in
Also, keep these bundles cross-cross above the flames first and play with the supply of oxygen.
The moment you can put the bundles back down and the flames get through the bundles, it’s time for the next step of a total of 7 steps.

Step 3

No Trace Bushcraft step 3 of 7 stepsFor this step, hold the bundle loosely with two hands and place it calmly on the flames. Place the bundle in such a way that it is spacious and at right angles to your thighs. One end of the twigs near your left hand and the other end at your right hand.

Step 4

No Trace Bushcraft step 4 of 7 stepsThis step equals step three. Only now you place the branches at right angles to the previous one. If you have put the previous step different than described then you will do so here as well.

Step 5

No Trace Bushcraft step 5 of 7 stepsIt is important to put the branches at odds with the previous layer each time in order to maximize the supply of oxygen.
At each step, you wait quietly until the flames break through the previous layer easily before imposing a new airy and quiet.

Step 6

No Trace Bushcraft step 6 of 7 stepsWhen this phase fires, you’re well on your way to a nice stable fire and can slowly start thinking about the size and purpose of your final fire.

Step 7

No Trace Bushcraft step 7 of 7 stepsThe moment your last of the 7 steps fire, the fire is resistant to rainfall. You can now speak of a stable fire.

These 7 steps are an important part of the fire mentality.
Instead of searching all phases in loose sprigs, it is of course also possible to process larger wood into the desired sizes. For example, by using an axe or by battoning the wood with your knife. Every environment and situation requires a different approach. The described amount per step or phase and the rest with which you apply the next stage, while in the meantime ensuring that the next remaining dry, are essential.