When you’re in the woods, sooner or later you’re going to get cold and you’ll want to be warm and you’re going to need to know how to start a fire that keeps you warm but doesn’t burn down the whole damn national forest and a couple of prize homes belonging to recluse moviestars. 

This is a skill.  Also it’s a necessity because you’re in the woods and there’s nothing to plug your space heater into.  And even if there was, you’d be screwed because you’re outside, which is a rather large space to warm with a heater the size of a two-slice toaster.

So here’s what you do, or at least here’s what I would do if I were in that situation, which I am not. I don’t live in the woods.  I live in Brooklyn, I think.  But it’s always good to visualize things before they happen.  Visualizing things greatly increases your chance of the desired outcome, or so they say.

So get some wood and pile it up like an Egyptian pyramid-slash-death-tomb.  If you brought newspapers, which certainly you did, stick them in the middle of the pyramid as if they were an Egyptian king and his servants and dogs who would be buried alive with him, because obviously, after the king is dead, really what’s the point?  At least that’s what the servants and the dogs thought  before they got in there and the door shut behind them.

Anyway so you’ve got your newspapers under the pyramid thing.  Now light a match–you brought some, right?  If you didn’t, just give up now, find a highway and hitchhike home, but if you did, light the paper and it will smoulder and seem like it’s going to light the wood on fire but it probably won’t for your first 15 to 20 tries and by now you’ll be pretty much out of matches so it’s best to make these last two really count, and also if you brought a can of gasoline, now is the time to throw that on the pyramid to really get things going.

There we go.  Now that’s a fire. Wow, look at that baby burn.  Yes.  There’s the warmth.  Yes.  Oo boy.   Oops, did you remember to encircle it with a ring of rocks to keep it from….

uh oh. UH OH.