How can I start a fire with wet wood?

So im really hoping to have a bon fire tomorrow night, but all the wood we have is almost all wet. How can i actually get the fire started without sitting there for 5 hours trying to get it to light. Help!!!


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Play the 50 Shades of Gray audiobook to it, it should spontaneously combust out of sheer annoyance in about 1.5 minutes.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Two semi-safe methods, first use a road flare light lay smaller wood on it it will dry the wood and burn. Second, magnesium shavings, place in with wet wood and paper, the moisture from the wet wood will cause the fire to burn hot enough to get wood going. Road flare is probably best bet.

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What Guys Said 21

  • You need to find dry wood. Maybe you can buy some dry wood from the local store. I see some people have said "Gasoline". Don't use gasonline, it is extremely flammable and you could seriously burn yourself, set yourself on fire or cause an out of control fire. Gasonline is dangerous so don't use it!

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    • my father used to use it and it worked, but I'm not really wanting to light up the grass around my fire pit again XD

  • It's not easy - not at all. Wet wood won't burn. So basically you have to get a small fire started by whatever method. If you have larger wood you can split it, the inside might be dry. But even large wood can be wet all the way through if it's been wet long enough. Use paper, kindling, or whatever to get it started.

    Use the small fire to dry the wet wood. You'll have to start small, and get larger wood drying well ahead of time. If you want a large bonfire, I'd get a small fire going at least 2 hours ahead of time. Constantly place wood near the fire, but not it, so it starts drying.

    Don't use gas, it's dangerous and won't work. The gas won't burn nearly long enough to dry the wet wood. Don't use wood with a lot of resin / sap either - it's almost as dangerous as gasoline. Wood with a lot of resin can go up like a bomb if you light it - that's the reason why you should not burn Christmas trees, they can blow up in your face.

    Sorry, but there is just no shortcut. The wood has to be pretty dry to burn. I know you want a fire, so just make it an activity for the guests. I'm sure everyone will chip in and make it a good team effort. But get a small-medium fire going well ahead of time.

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  • With the power of God, like literally lol 1 Kings 18:33-37

    I guess it depends on how wet it is. Use lots and lots of paper when starting the fire. And then add more paper, and more paper until it gets going by itself. That should eventually dry up the wood and get a fire going. But if it's really wet, all it's going to do is smolder and you won't get anywhere. In which case, unless you can somehow get a fire started another way, and then if you wanna use the wet wood after that, throw it on while the fire is still actually going somewhat strong as opposed to waiting until there are only ambers and no flame.

    Just don't use gas, it's extremely dangerous and stupid.

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  • How wet is it?

    If it's just a little wet you can take a hatchet and shave off a centimeter or two. It does take a bit of skill, though. The inside of the wood will hopefully be dry and you can light a fire with it. Then when you've got it going good and hot you can throw in the wet chunks you cut off.

    If it's soaked right through, I think there's not much you can do short of pouring gasoline or lighter fluid on it and lighting it up. Probably not a great idea.

    At least bring the wood somewhere out of the weather so it doesn't get any wetter and, if possible, dries it off a bit.

    My preferred method of building the bonfire is the log cabin method. Stack the wood in a square, log cabin shape, put the paper and kindling in the middle and light it. It's easy and it concentrates the heat in the centre while still allowing the fire to breathe. Sometimes the heat from the kindling is enough to dry off the surface of the logs enough for them to catch. Fan it to build up the heat.

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  • start a small fire from dry sticks while you place the dry wood standing around the ongoing fire leaning on each other.
    remember to keep the fire breathing and don't make it choke.
    keep a little space between the wet wood so u can insert more small sticks or chumps of dry wood to keep the fire going till the wet wood catch fire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgLgYcPgLc

    watch this guy this is easy.

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  • Build a base of paper, cardboard, and dry kindling. Then obtain some kerosene or diesel (off road diesel is MUCH cheaper in the US) and soak the wood in it. Then light the base of paper. You can use cups to add kerosene or diesel on it as needed but be VERY CAREFUL. Have plenty of water on hand. And whatever you do, DO NOT USE GASOLINE! If you have an open container of gasoline nearby, the fumes can creep along the ground, reach the flames, and travel back to the container causing it to bust into flames. This will not happen with kerosene or diesel. Plus, throwing gasoline on a fire is unbelievably dangerous. It also burns off very quickly, so you would be taking on a huge risk for little reward. That's why kerosene and diesel (they're almost identical) are much safer, due to their higher vapor point. But PLEASE ignore anyone advising you to use gasoline. They obviously don't have the first clue about how dangerous it is.

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    • only person I've ever known to use gasoline and actually have it work safely, was my father. even then, the last time we used gas, it lit the grass up around my fire pit

    • Yes, it can work safely if you know what you're doing and observe the proper safety measures. The question was never really whether or not it worked, but the safety involved in using gasoline versus an accelerant with a higher vapor point.

  • Try drying off some small twigs and branches then use a tamp on to get a small fire started. PS the tamp on is got a troll or a joke.

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  • If the wood is only damp, get a dureflame fire starter and place a few of the least-wet pieces on it. The starter will dry it out enough to catch. Slowly add wood until the fire is built, and keep the rest of the wood near the fire so the heat helps dry it out more.

    If it's totally saturated, you're screwed, unless you want to buy dry wood.

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  • Birch tree bark burns at nearly twice the temperature compared to normal paper and it burns longer, that's one way to speed up the process. Before the wood lights, though, it still needs to dry. So pick a set of logs, chop em up and put them somewhere where they can dry up.

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  • Start drying the wood now, or buy new dry wood.

    Once you get a fire raging it will usually take wet wood, but it has to be dry when building up.

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  • Keep it soaked in lighter fluid or gasoline. But I wouldn't recommend that

    Trip to the hardware store and pick up some fire starter kits

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  • Smother the logs in napalm before lighting it up.

    If napalm isn't available, thermite will also work.

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  • For bonfire night my dad used to chop up the wood and put it in the oven to dry out for a few hours, which seemed to work for us.

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  • Well, you can't... It's impossible.

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  • Pour used motor oil on it, Or unused, Whatever you can find.

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  • Gas.

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    • NO!!! It's too explosive and dangerous. Plus, it burns off too quickly.

    • last time i used gas, the grass around my fire pit went up in flames. not using that again. unless i have no kindling or paper. that is my last resort.

  • Cum a lot on it, piss a lot on it. the take a deep breath. put petrol & get fire.

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  • Poor some gasoline on it.

    Light a piece of tinder and throw it on the pile from a safe distance.

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  • Don't do it. Bon fires are too dangerous.

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  • Lay it all out all day, in direct sunlight, on a day with low humidity and you may well be able to use it, especially if you turn it during the day to expose all sides. Use dry kindling and have at least one bundle of very dry wood (you can buy a bundle of kiln-dried at a grocery store) for starting the fire. Throw the recently wet logs on after that. Good luck.

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  • Gasoline and lots of it.

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    • It works. We had bonfires all the time growing up. Place three or four logs in a tepee patern. Fill the tepee with smaller branches and dry tinder. Pour a liberal am out of gasoline on them. Light from afar. If you have enough gas the wood will dry out rather quickly. And by all means do not, DO NOT, add gasoline to a lit fire. And make sure you are a good distance away when you light it. The fumes will cause a flash. Light a small stick and throw it onto the log tepee.

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    • @VirginiaBeachBum honestly, that does work, if you actually know what you're doing, which i do not. but it honestly does work. its just not the safest thing to do lol

    • #asker, yes, I know it works, but as you said, it's not as safe. If I need a long lasting fire which has a little bit of flare up to it, such as brush clearing, etc, I've had success with using a mix of mostly off road diesel with about 5% gasoline. Pure denatured alcohol works well, too, but it is now horribly expensive, approaching $25/gal. in some places. I've used alcohol in a pump sprayer to clear grass, weeds, poison ivy along fence lines with wooden posts, because it is very easily controllable.

What Girls Said 3

  • You can't use wet wood, it just won't work. You'll have to find dry wood somewhere… or find some way of drying it really fast.

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  • DO NOT USE GASOLINE! It burns much too quickly and will not last long enough. The gas will burn off before the wood has a chance to catch. That being said, diesel fuel will work pretty well. It burns much more slowly, especially in the cold. That's usually our go to.

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  • Gasoline is probably your only option.

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