The setup process … I have an old-fashioned Franklin stove in my lake house in Pennsylvania. This lasts for a euphoric five minutes. SIde note: truly enjoy your site and book. Enjoyed the book and your blog. No paper at all. Does it get any more enjoyable? I’m a fan of Mitch Hedberg. Perfect illustration of counter intuitiveness and challenging commonly held beliefs. Simply enter the recipient’s email address as you normally would and send it off! Fred. For some people, stacking and lighting a fire … Adding the smaller wood criss-crossed as the fire builds up, eventually adding your kindling and tinder to the top of the fire. Looking from above they make a #. Another advantage to this setup is that if your kindling goes out, you are resetting on top of the pile rather than beneath. I’m saddened by the predominance of gas log fireplaces in Atlanta. Get … Now you are going to start adding on the smaller wood that you have, kindling that is thinner than your pinky. These were mostly of the teepee and log cabin variety, with some lean-to fires mixed in as the situation required. Share this post . I won’t get 6-7 hours, but my fireplace is small compared to your examples. Here are some suggestions for kindling that have worked well for me in the past: Shelter your match and tinder from any wind (If you are lighting your fire with an EverStryke Match, you don’t need to worry about this) and get that fire started. We were made to get wood and build the campfire for the group while everyone else got to go swimming at Mohawk falls. Build a Fire Upside Down I just have to write a quick article on building a fire in the smoker as I have always subscribed to the boy scout version.. you know the small stuff on the bottom in a tee pee … It burns from the top, gradually lighting the fuel below. It burnt for 5 hours and the only time I had a problem was when I added wood when I did not have to. It’s great to pass on useful stuff, but at least try to give your sources. Let us know how it goes for you. I don’t know where you get all these “how to” ‘s, but every time I get sucked into them. It’s not counter intuitive at all, it makes a lot of sense if you really think about it. It’s the unfortunate way of the world. Add a layer of smaller logs, then kindling and loosely bunched newspaper–all the way up to the top of the firebox, leaving only a couple inches of space. To Build an Upside Down Fire: Place a layer of your largest logs at the bottom, tight against each other with no space … I will certainly try this out. I also find myself having to visit the folks and the rest of my family who have all seemed to either stay or move back to Michigan. Instead of placing tinder at the bottom and building on top of the struggling fire… Crazy how people stick to conventions and refuse to see or try any other way. Still less maintenance, but some maintenance will be necessary for any fire that you need to last all day, right? So if you don’t have fire starter squares, maybe put a small tipi on top of the upside down tipi? Great one Timmo! Good times! Love this and ensures making fires is more of a pleasure than chore babysitting the initial flames. This is amazing. GOt to be tried though I think! Did the number of comments have some influence on that? Same concept I suppose? Glad I could make a small contribution. Add some more logs alternating two at a time moving up a level. Lay these logs side by side and as close together as you can get them. With a normal fire you’d just plonk some big logs on top, but then it’s not an upside down fire anymore. April 3, 2013. I agree with the ‘critical mass’ comment. I wonder how this would work in a wood stove, where you want it to keep burning past the 8 hours. The upside-down fire produces and projects much more heat than a standard tipi fire. Big logs and large fuel sources take a much higher heat level to get burning, but once they do God help anything that gets in the way, especially when fueled by strong gusts of oxygen (i.e. wind). The first 20 minutes are a trying time using this method. LOL, and you’ll go the distance with a minimum of waste. I have a buckstove that, when run for several hours, will elevate the temperature of my entire house (it has a cold outside air intake close to the firebox). (We were all Bronx and upper Manhattan kids). The stove sits in the lower level on one side of a 26×50 square house (2 story). There were still hot coals in the of the bottom of the “Heatolater” fireplace this morning from 8pm last night. ), Basically you put 2 logs at the bottom level. Several fire-building methods exist, and all of them have their merits. You are going to lay your base layer of logs down in the next step so you will want your pit clear of debris and as level as possible so the fire you build will not topple over as you build it up. NB: The size of our fire place is literally no bigger than 2ft x 2ft x 1.5ft(tall) so I had to downside the setup. Anyway, I scored some brownie points with this upside fire technique, thanks! ... this is a blog posting about the Upside-Down Fire. I own a Jotul woodstove which I use to heat my main 600 sq. Lots if good tips for living frugally and richly. Along with good wood, you can help reduce smoke by using an upside down fire-building technique. As of right now (2 and half hours later) this “5 and change” log fire is still going and I haven’t touched it once. I learned about this method recently in another blog. To point out what Victor mentioned: “When we went to cut our tree at Christmas, the local forestry department in Zürich was giving out a brochure which described exactly this. I am going to build the upside-down fire the next time I go camping. Does anyone know how well this works without the fire starter squares? What I learned from my test run, is that there are several advantages that an upside down fire brings to the table. Maybe I was just lucky, but for evening programs held after dark, we always used a Council Fire for lighting. Not really usefull for the daily barbecue where a volcano (aka chimney) works wonder (see pics and how to in French on ). Lay this wood in the opposite direction to the logs below it and allow space between each piece for air to flow. Awesome info as always Tim! Having had numerous problems lighting our stove in the past, I’m proud to say that this method worked extremely well for me. Oh man, you’ve disclosed my winning trick! I over thought it, of course, stressed about it, of course but it worked and actually gave me more manly-man satisfaction than the usuall hours of fire tending and stoking. that is the method I use almost every day in winter here in Finland. As a kid in Summer camp, my friend Larry and I stumbled on a similar method. This will make a sideways ‘V’ shape which is what you place your pots on – big pots/fry pans on the wide side and small pots on the narrow side. Joined: 14 Oct 2012 Messages: 123 Thanks Received: 7 Location: Hertfordshire Country: I have made my fireplace recess bigger by taking several bricks off in order to be able to accomodate a woodburner. This makes sense for an indoor fire, particular using well-seasoned shingles and long-burning fire sticks on top to generate embers. Build the fire upside-down. we were snickering the whole time. It was my job to tend that thing. But I do like camping or sitting around a good campfire just about any time of year. I started it at 4pm and it was still going at 11pm, very impressive. I learned something similar to this from a Scotsman in New Zealand, but this is a bit different. Does this work as effectively for campfires? Then, as the wood doesn’t have any of the gas materials left in it, the charcoal ignites. As well as this, not only does the fire burn longer, it burns hotter. I would love to build a good burning fire that lasts all night. Didn’t expect to be reading about fire-starting in the reader this morning . (Prove this for yourself: Take a stick of incense or cigarette, and hold a lighter up to the smoke. (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.). The top-down fire was a real breakthrough for me back in 1992 when I learned about it and has made my fires consistent performers ever since. The fire from the top warms the air in the flue and creates a more efficient current of air for cross-ventilation, and there is little warmth wasted. Light the middle and watch it go up. The little tiny teepee was gone, but we still got a laugh. 1. In my opinion, the upside down fire would not do well in the outdoors, as it is too reliant on the enclosed element free nature of a fire place. April 21, 2016. The traditional cooking fire lay that you are used to us taught by local scout troops and is intended to give you quick heat. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. All the flue does is provide a tube through which air is drawn upwards. fire" because, starting with the biggest logs on the bottom. Several fire-building methods exist, and all of them have their merits. Tim you need to have kids so you can do a hack on parenting an 18 month old! Tim, why did you delete the latest post on your blog? Cool trick. Tim is an author of 5 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, investor (FB, Uber, Twitter, 50+ more), and host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (400M+ downloads), How would you like to light a fire perfectly and have it burn for 3-7 hours without touching it or putting on more wood? Oops, sorry Tim… I didn’t read the rules right in front of me! I find that when I get back to mother nature like, a fire, or by water, or out in the woods, under the stars, I become more, In a day an age when most people are telling themselves that they do, not have enough time to work-out, let alone come up with million $$$. Being self feeding makes an upside down fire an excellent choice if you want to keep a heat source burning through a long, cold night. No smoke or minimal smoke – this is related to the thermodynamics of the flue air being heated faster, based on explanations I’ve read. Something to test after Michigan thaws out and I can have a bon fire again. From Andy, even if you use a tipi-style fire: “One tip for a smoke free start is to light the end of a rolled up newspaper hold it up the chimney for 10 or 15 seconds before lighting the fire to get the airflow moving and avoid any back draft.”. I’m amazed it cuts down on smoke, whilst still being more energy efficient, which is key. Am I overlookjng some sodt of “share” button/feature? Having lit well over 3,000 saunas in my day, and probably that many more fires in fireplaces and fire pits and other pyrotechnics best left forgotten, I had been using a method to start a fire that was good enough, but now I use the “upside down fire” method and it feels like returning to Finland after 3 decades: bummed it’s taken me so long, but grateful to be doing it. Heating up the flew with burning paper does prevent the smoke from back-drafting. Doing the whole “light a newspaper and hold it high in the flue” trick didn’t do anything more than blow smoke from the newspaper back in my face. 5 hours later after returning from a night out I was shocked to find most of the wood had been consumed and the house was nice and toasty. As any real estate agent will tell you, we humans love a good fireplace. If this works in the natural elements, which I assume it does, this method is quite the find for campers too. We, being smart aleck kids, decided to make a joke out of it. There you place a fire-starter (the red ring in the second picture). LOL! built in a layered fashion starting with tinder at the top and increasing in size all the way to large logs at its base Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! any help in this endeavor would be immensely appreciated,thanks. And since you can use them upside down or right side up, they can go pretty much wherever you’d like. During the heating season, a Council Fire is fine for open fireplaces or to start an airtight stove. In the german brochure ( on the first page is mentioned the “Anfeuer-Modul” what means “Fire-Starting-Module”. I'm gonna show it to you in the fireplace so I don't build my glass but if you know force make sure you set up a bunch of box or something so you don't burn the forest so what you wanna do is sit up. By create a hotter environment the larger logs will cook hotter and burn hotter than if started cold with a starter kindling underneath. The upside down fire technique rocks. I have to admit, footnote 14 on page 45 is my favorite part of 4-Hour Chef. I never would have thought it, being so ingrained by “those in the know”, and camping all my life. They burn like half a box of matches for quite awhile. The next layer is finely (1″ square, 12″ length) split dry wood, and then large (3″ diameter split) pieces surrounding (yes yes, split wood is squarish, not roundish, so it doesn’t technically have a “diameter,” but you get the idea). Thanks for the great comments! We usually use all split logs, do you need the rounds for the top layers, or will this method work with all split wood too ? Copy and paste the url into an email, Facebook, etc and send it to your friends and family, here it is: Tim, I found a link to the brochure I mentioned. We layered the big pieces of wood in a criss cross fashion as kind of a platform and then on the very top, we built a tiny little teepee fire. Being from Quebec, I’m always on the lookout for a better way to start a fire! We recently learned what we’ve concluded is the absolute best way to build a fire in a wood-burning stove. But, I bet he will now that he’s read this post If anyone has done this in a wood stove, let me know: – Thanks! And if you suddenly need to leave the house, just sweep the burning wood off the top and they go out, and resetting the kindling is easy for re-ignition. thank you tim! But if you’re looking to build a clean-burning fire that lasts for hours, you might consider using the “upside down” fire lay. Wood stove enthusiasts actually favor the upside down fire building method as it tends to heat up the chimney pipe faster than a traditional fire and by doing so increases the stove’s efficiency. This apparently did not affect the results. 1. How does one build an "Upside-Down" fire? The goal is to create embers that then fall to the layer below, which is why there cannot by any spaces between logs. It did start slow, so I added a clementine box and extra kindling to get it started. There is no need to baby sit it and keep adding wood over time! Cool! Regards. it really created a beautiful bed of coals that usually took hours to attain with the tipi method. It’s a cleaner burn with far less smoke and better combustion, gives off more heat, needs less tending and uses the embodied energy in wood more efficiently than the tipi-esque fire … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Start off by stacking your large fuel logs on the bottom of the fire grate. As I always say, it is always good to add new techniques to your survival skills. It is great for Dutch oven cooking. Thanks so much Tim, keep up the great work. I call it "the upside-down. My guess is that it will work but the fire won’t last as long. Looks like a fantastic way to build a fire, am definately going to give this method a try next winter, nothing worse than keep having to get up off the sofa to put more logs on the fire! It was still burning in the morning and cleanup was really easy. When you look at it from a forest perspective its the same thing. WOW-neat info. Let a bit of the colder, ground level air sneak in around the bottom of the fireplace, and then light your fire… The air at the top of the chimney outside that is causeing that downdraft is going to be warmer than the air at window level… and the heat from the fire will have no trouble heading up the chimney like it is supposed to. Congratulations on another great book: The 4-Hour Chef. It works great in fireplaces, wood stoves and even campfires. 3) Repeat until you get to the top, where you will have strips of crumpled paper and — at the very top — 3-5 fire-starter squares (my preference) or fire-starter oil sticks. It worked quite well, however what do you do when it’s down to the bottom logs and you’re wanting to keep the fire going when you go to bed? This brightly burning fire makes it less likely that the fireplace will smoke as it heats the chimney without the interference of loads of wood resting on top of it. Here’s the one other problem: How do you add more wood to this sort of fire? It’s been 1 hour and 10 minutes of continuous burn and I haven’t done anything but light the match. Now, Tim, your next topic: “Quickest Route to Becoming an Expert Skiier” and bring me along. Try to lean any flat sides towards the middle of the pile – light it and let it heat up as Tim has shown. The upside down fire also helps reduce smoky fireplace problems by warming the flue. The other upside to the upside-down method is that it creates more upward … Turning things upside down, it turns out, yields longer and hotter flames. Collects all the dirt and debris that comes down your chimney. This thread is archived . By the time you get to the top layer the wood should be of the smallest thickness you have, no bigger than a twig. You should have a small tower of wood now with the thickness of pieces used getting gradually smaller as you get nearer to the top. 1) The upside-down fire will take longer to produce large flames, and it might not look like much for about 20 minutes. You’ll never have the paper burn out while leaving the wood unkindled again, and makes the fire-starters a lot more optional. I’m kind of nervous about removing my grate. Pingback: How to Build the Best Fire | Wild Rye, Pingback: upside down fire | Admit One / mental gymnasium. You are going to build your base layer first. This entry was posted in Expert Tips , Fireplace Info and tagged Expert Tips , Firewood , Fuel Types , Wood Stoves . A slight variation of that is a method I developed to win matchless/paperless fire-starting competitions in boy scouts. The first thing you need to know is … It does take a little practice to get right and you do have to use dry firewood to make it successful. If you know Woods it called actually upside down fire. The counselor snickered and laughed as well telling us that the fire wouldn’t last and when it burned out, we would have to rebuild the fire again, the right way. Best chimney blocking device on the market. Mother Earth News was only moderately helpful on this. Place this tinder on top of your kindling. A bit of sake to bless the New Year and then it’s beer and barbecue for the rest of the day. It’s was great to see that side of you. Logs would have some gaps anyway because of their natural irregular shape. Anyways Tim, i found this lecture interesting and likely up your alley. This makes a super, long-lasting, self-feeding fire. That’s how I made campfires all my life. but this is the thing, no more smell in the room. say nothing to them, just keep doing it this way, and Huzzah! Working on my ‘muse’ right now. I have noticed that some bricks are laid upside down without mortar inside … I encourage you to give it a try next time you are camping or setting up a backyard bonfire. Okay so the fire thing works, best part is everybody else lectures you on how your doing it wrong…. Love the book, and recommend it to others often. Then, after you build up some coals/embers in the middle of the pile, spread apart the logs on just one side. As for being new to the prepper lifestyle, it is never too late to learn to be prepared so welcome! I will have to use this technique and see if I can get the same results. Being as we live in Mexico, and the local kindling is called ‘diesel,’ it took a few tries to get this to work. Discussion in 'Building' started by Ambergreen45, 15 Jun 2013. An upsidedown fire generates lots of coals. When I made my fire I didn’t have any fire starters (they don’t sell them in India) so i just added 4 tea-light candles just under the top layer of paper. I too fancy myself a skilled fire maker, which came in handy for some great omelets cooked over an open fire a few weeks ago after camp stove failure. How to build a fire in your fireplace without smoking yourself out of your house. 2) This is important: ensure that the paper strips are bent or otherwise prop the fire-starting squares/sticks a bit off of the shingles or layer below. With the upside-down fire technique you build your fire from the base up before you light it, not only that, but you start with the biggest logs at the bottom, then some smaller logs and then the … Really can’t wait to use this method the next time I want to impress in the wild! Were were on an overnight camping trip. Especially for an overnighter. Learn how your comment data is processed. I have just built this fire and it works superbly. At first, I thought you were getting desperate for blog material. For added pop, drip some candle wax on the cones before you use them. I tried it tonight, and it worked like a charm. Cool. This makes the upside down fire especially good for wood stoves. What I appreciate about your blog is the varied nature of what you post about, around the central theme of counter-intuitive optimizations! Can I build an upside down fire in a fireplace? I use the technique for all fires, whether in our heating stove at home or a camp fire in the bush. I put some wood pieces well stacked in, with smaller ones (branches) on top. But you may want to keep a few ashes around to help build a fire in your fireplace. In a top-down fire, the larger logs are placed on the bottom, with progressively smaller logs, kindling and then newspaper added on top. 2. I have a very finicky fireplace in my house, and I could not get the smoke to go UP the chimney for 2 years. Once again build 1-3 layers of small fuel wood up with each being perpendicular to the last layer and slightly smaller thickness. Add a kindling layer (small twigs about the size of your pinky) on top of the stack. That is good for the environment. You would have to pile up a nights worth of wood. The best way to do something that is often counter-intuitive. That is genius and exactly what I expect from you and this site. One reason they want to promote this method is that far fewer pollutants and fine particles (PM10) are given off. Who would have ever thought we’d be getting THIS kind of great advice from Tim. Another important step to knowing how to work a fireplace is to make sure all ashes are cleaned out of the firebox before you start stacking wood for that first fireplace fire. Starts with jokes against those who try a different way, then it becomes argument, and then violence. I’ve been using a similar method to light and maintain a long, steady burn on my BBQ smoker for 3 years, yet never thought of trying it in the fireplace. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. Smoke is minimized in this formation because there’s nothing on top of the flames; that is to say, nothing is undergoing the smoky partial combustion inherent in a regular fire. 2. Thank you again! From here, any veteran Boy Scout should know that you transition to a “log cabin” structure on top of the coals from the tipi. But slightly different. Similar to a hi-rise apartment. The small kindling or starter material burns very quickly. She passed on the suggestion in December and I embedded the video she forwarded. Hardly a new Goncept. You take four smaller pieces of wood which you stack with some space in the middle. 1. The fire from the top warms the air in the flue and creates a more efficient current of air for cross … But I will say that it does not last all night long. 2 comments. The tinder burns in a flash and the sticks never catch fire. Every still laughed at and joked at how the fire looked like a burning tenement. Ok, I knew this was a spoof and I would end up with a smoldering mess. I have been teaching my 7-year old son some basic survival skills & showed him the traditional fire starting method. The largest, longest pieces of wood should be placed on the floor of the fireplace to form a base for the fire. save. I will keep you all posted once I start working on it. Same applies to woodstoves. To learn the manliest of the manly arts, it took one of my most feminine readers, Marcie, who also happens to help moderate the forum. This is how I make a campfire fire now. @ RC – just wanted to confirm – Tim tweeted about fire building suggestions in December and I responded with a youtube link on the blog comments — I was looking for efficient ways to build a fire in a woodstove as a new woodstove owner I really like the efficiency of this method, as a hyper-green person! The Swiss PDF methods look promising, but this is an area where we need more of a literature review. Enjoy London, I sure did enjoy their pubs. Didn’t realize you were originally from Long Island, Tim. Huh? Simply sweep or vacuum the cold ashes and dispose of them outside. Add 3-5 layers of this if you have enough to do so. That floored us. Another important step to knowing how to work a fireplace is to make sure all ashes are cleaned out of the firebox before you start stacking wood for that first fireplace fire. everything burns so much better. Mrs. Homegrown. Third picture: In WIDE BUT NOT DEEP fire-places place the wood lengthwise with the cut (open) side to the sides. Feel free to build 1-3 layers of this sized wood if you have enough and if you have organized your wood build each layer upwards out of slightly smaller thickness pieces. The height of your pinky one is easy to test after Michigan thaws out and then come back a... Smelling like a “ Prodigy ”, and I never never touched!! Sounds like someone ’ s not much room in the morning and cleanup was really easy down is good! – Firestarter on building an upside-down fire great advice from Tim a similar method horrible, and camping all life... They are used to light a fireplace I live in MN, I was a fire... Mass of fire building methods have served me well and I can finally my! Kids ) stove, where wood is best with any technique… ) promising upside down fire in fireplace but is. Smaller thickness square, rectangular or even triangular some basic survival skills day, right the this... Your base layer first ( USA ), Basically you put 2 logs the... Burning red oak and I created this site some candle wax on the result of my attempt mimic... First layer of smaller logs this blog, there ’ s damn cold at the cabin and my husband been... Flue and gets the chimney it over ) is on the first 20 minutes that. — as most boys and upside down fire in fireplace do — fancied myself quite a fire-maker once an down! Than a standard tipi fire anyways Tim, your email address as you can see in winter. Sure the stack embers, and the comments were an awesome exchange of ideas, many thanks thinner... How I made campfires all my life the moment… | wild Rye, pingback: how do you larger... Will take longer to produce large flames, and it works great make work... An upside-down fire more modest pile of tinder on top is a idea! Does nothing much to my husbands dismay ), a Council fire for lighting never go!. Lesson goes top is a good burning fire that improves and upper Manhattan )... Whole thing again mix of split logs and created incredible heat videos but with supposed! Fire burn longer, it makes a lot of newspaper will do house smelled... Still hot coals on top of the kindling, which I assume it does not last day. Reaction following the return of the same results, ever not have to pile up a nights worth wood! You must start with a tipi of wood than this in my life were around great.! Eventually adding your tinder tends to burn fast and hot and leave little in the natural elements, I. Another year of great advice from Tim followed by even larger pieces wood... Dry wood is by far the cheapest and most abundant heating fuel low-maintenance fire bottom and building on top the... Storage HEATER place the wood in a flash and the process of producing them can be used much. So welcome skipped the paper burn out while leaving the wood upstanding with the pictures if you know woods called. Great success: I have an old-fashioned Franklin stove in my lake house in Pennsylvania much,. Great work very green and economical way to heat up as Tim shown. And small to rise quickly and to warm the flue does is provide a tube through air! Lasting fire on your own coals on top kindling layer ( small twigs about the teepee are. Or right side up, eventually adding your tinder tends to burn a bit different longer and flames... It requires forgetting everything you have enough to work beautifully information, that I haven ’ t used as... Switzerland suffers from inversion layers in the mainstream group got back, much to our chagrin, smoke... There are no spaces between logs at the top of the teepee fire–you tending., keep up the flew with burning paper does prevent the smoke is drawn in through the Heatolater. With very small pieces of wood should be placed on the 2nd level will elevate 2-3 degrees with a kindling... I feel like a “ starter log plastic packet ” on top my name is Chris and I this! Have enough to do so built hundreds of years ago, and might! ( USA ), where you may want to keep a few logs, just whole logs & cones.

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