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I can hear the January Michiganwind literally howl as it whips over the chimney top says.

We heat with wood. And to start an appropriate fire for the night, I start with well prepared, well dried logs and small bits of kindling. My 8 year old son knows that. He knows how to start a fire with one match. Start with the small. Start prepared and small. And work up.

Do you know how to start a fire that lasts the night? That lasts the week?

You don't load the fire place with huge logs and drop a match in and hope it catches.


You start small.

You start careful. Methodical.

My very small son knows that.

Try to start a fire with huge logs, you're just wasting matches.

Start a lasting fire with thing strips of dried wood fibers.

Forget for a moment your immediate ambitions. You're starting a fire. And the laws of physics dictate.

500 degrees before wood combusts. No sooner.

Build an environment where the wood will combust. Build a "heart" as my eight year old calls it. Build that heart. Build the heart of heat and there's no stopping it.

Some folks...they want to cram newspaper in there. They want to get that fire started sooner. They think thin and packed tinder will do the trick. But it's suffocating. Pack the fire with thin tinder and you'll get a short burst of heat that cuts off airflow. No good. Won't work. Match after match, it's gonna blow you through a whole box or two.

To start a hot and lasting flame with a match...with ONE single match, like my eight year old son, you need tinder and a well prepared environment, and patience, and a basic knowledge of thermodynamics.

We heat with wood. My son, he lights the fire.

And he knows.......he don't get a lasting warming heat from a superficial and fast heat.

A lasting fire comes from preparation. From SMALL kindling and attention.

Everything else is just a waste of time.

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