When starting a fire in survival situations, you can use many different methods. You can use the tee-pee version, the long fire, the Swedish fire, or the V fire.
While there are pros and cons to every type of fire, the V fire is one of the best for various reasons. If you want to know more about the V fire, how to build one, and its advantages, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is a V Fire?
The V fire is similar to other types of fires that feature a firewall. It gets its name because of the shape of the wall built around it.
The wall is in the shape of a V, which protects the fire on all sides except one. That way, all the heat created by your fire gets funneled in one direction rather than spreading everywhere.
The concept of a V fire is straightforward, yet it’s easy to mess up if you don’t follow the instructions correctly. Therefore, you should follow the instructions in this article to a T to maximize the benefits of a V fire.
How to Make a V Fire
1. Gather Material for the V
To form the V for your fire, you can use logs, branches, or a wall of rocks, and there are advantages to each option.
Rocks for Your Wall
Rocks are a good permanent option if you want the V in the same position at all times. They also do the best job of blocking wind and forming a solid, airtight wall.
However, rocks are tougher to come by in many locations than logs and branches. It’s also harder to move rocks around when the wind changes direction.
Branches for Your Wall
Branches and brush are also a good option when logs and rocks aren’t available. However, the problem with branches and brush is that they aren’t airtight and are highly flammable.
Therefore, there’s a good chance that your wall will burn up faster than your kindling and fuel. Branches also may not block the wind enough to get your fire started and keep it burning.
Logs for Your Wall
Overall, using logs to build your V-shaped wall is the best option. While flammable, logs are thick and sturdy and aren’t as likely to catch fire as brush or shrubs.
Logs are also easier to move if the wind changes direction or you want to move the location of your fire pit. Therefore, if you have the option, you should use logs as the V for your wall.
2. Form the V Wall
Once you have your materials of choice, you can form the V. The V will determine if and how effectively you can block incoming winds.
Take two logs and place them on the ground in a V. To block air, the points where the logs meet should face the wind.
Make sure to use straight logs, so they’re flat on the ground so that wind can’t blow underneath them and extinguish your flame.
Given the option, you should use logs that are a minimum of ten to twelve inches high from the ground to their tops. If you’re alone and can’t drag logs of this size, you can form a tripod with multiple logs.
Your logs should be anywhere from two to five feet long, depending on how big of a fire you want. It’s crucial to place the point where the logs meet so that they’re blocking the wind.
The position of the V will determine how much air and wind you want to allow onto the fire. Depending on your goals and the surrounding conditions, you can build the V as high or low as you want.
3. Add Smaller Kindling to the Middle
Once your wall is built, you can add smaller pieces of kindling to the space between the V. Fill the space with kindling and small to medium-sized branches.
You should also have larger pieces of firewood on hand for when the fire gets going. If you want the V-wall of logs to burn, stack kindling and branches tight against their side.
However, if you don’t want to burn the wall and want it to stand for future fires, leave a 6-inch clearing between your kindling and the walls.
4. Layer the V if Necessary
If you plan to build a large fire and have it blazing bright, add another layer to your V wall. An extra layer of logs will better help protect the fire from the wind.
5. Start the Fire
Once you have your wall built, kindling stacked, and additional firewood nearby, you can start the fire. There are many different options when starting a fire, depending on what items you have on hand.
The easiest way to start a fire is with matches or a lighter. However, if you don’t have those commodities, you can use anything from glasses to flint and steel.
6. Keep the V Logs Higher Than the Fire
Once you’ve got your fire blazing, it’s important to keep it going. The higher your fire gets, the higher you should make your V wall to protect it from the wind.
Not only will having a higher wall keep your fire blazing, but it will also prevent the wind from blowing sparks away and starting a forest fire.
Pros and Cons of the V Fire
As we said before, you can build many different types of fires depending on your goals. Here are the pros and cons of building a V fire instead of other types of fires.
- By connecting the V and having it point in the direction of the wind, you can block it and keep it from blowing out your fire.
- If there’s a light breeze, you can have the open side of the V facing the wind so that the breeze will add air and oxygen to the fire.
- The V fire is easy to build, and you can optionally burn the V logs or spare them for future fires.
- The open side of the V will direct maximum warmth toward you.
- Forming the V can be difficult if you only have large logs and are alone.
Wrapping Up How to Make a V Fire
While the V fire has pros and cons, the pros far outweigh the cons. V fires are easy to build and very practical, and you can use them to either block the wind or allow it to pass.
If you like the idea of the V fire but want more options, check out our article about how to make a criss cross fire.