Teepee Fire

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The teepee fire, or tipi fire, is a fire-building style that many people love to use. 

In fact, when building campfires, I prefer this method more than any other style, and I use it frequently. 

The teepee design works great because it's quick and easy to set up, plus it gives off a lot of heat for everyone sitting around the fire.

The teepee design should only be used for an outdoor campfire, though. 

Since the design requires the tinder and fuelwood to be stacked in the shape of a teepee, the wood will typically collapse on itself as the fire burns down.

Building this style of fire inside a fireplace is not recommended since the structure will eventually fall over.

The burning logs could then roll out of the fireplace.

Typically, the teepee design is built for social purposes, mainly to create warmth.

The intense flames produced by the teepee design work great for outdoor use, mainly for cooking campfire meals with a tripod grill, skewers, or simply roasting a hotdog or marshmallow.

After a while, all the tinder and fuelwood burn down, leaving a bed of coals.

When Should You Use A Teepee Fire Design?

The three main circumstances when you should use a teepee fire may include:

When You Want to Start a Quick Fire

The teepee fire design is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to start a fire.

Therefore, if you need to start a fire fast, this is the method to use.

Teepee fire can start pretty quickly because it has good airflow at the firebase.

This is because it gives room for spaces or gaps between the fuelwood.

The angle at which the teepee fire is structured places the tinder at a place that is easy to ignite or light.

Also, fire always burns upwards.

Therefore, the teepee structure is excellent in starting a fire fast since it generally points upwards.

When in Need of a Short Campfire

As much as this is a shortcoming of the teepee fire layout, it is still a good thing if you are looking to start a campfire just for a few hours.

Teepee fires only burn for a few hours before collapsing.

When Teaching or Learning

When teaching or learning how to start a fire, you need an easy, quick design that can easily be stopped once you are done using it.

The teepee structure is straightforward.

As long as you know how to arrange the fuelwood and the tinder, you can be sure it will produce an intense fire.

Teepee Fire Construction

The teepee design can be a little tricky to build at first. It's not that hard with a little practice, though. 

You need to find a good and safe place to start your fire.

You should find a place that can accommodate the sparks and flames without causing a hazard.

If there is no specific designated fireplace in your area, you can always build your own.

Building your own fireplace can be done in several ways.

One of the standard methods you can use is digging a shallow hole in the ground and then surrounding it with stones.

Be sure that the fire is far from the camp tents and that there are no overhanging branches or leaves that can catch fire.

Once you have identified the area, the next step is to prepare and gather your materials.

Some of the materials you'll need to start the fire include tinder, kindling, firewood, and fire starters.

To begin lighting the fire, take some dry tinder and place it in a small pile in the middle of your fire pit.

Dry leaves, twigs, and paper will all work well for tinder as long as they are dry, loosely piled, and not tightly compacted.

Next, find a handful of small branches to use as kindling to begin creating the shape of the teepee. 

You can also use thinly split pine, cedar, poplar, or many other firewood types. 

Just make sure the wood is split relatively thin, and the wood is dry.

Sticking one end of the kindling in the ground while resting the top of the wood against each other works great in the beginning to help form the teepee shape. 

Once the basic framework is completed, you can rest the additional pieces of kindling against this framework.

Now, take several larger wood pieces (called fuelwood) and continue stacking them in the teepee shape against the kindling.

Leave enough airspace between the sticks to allow airflow to reach the fire.

Finally, light the tinder in the middle of the teepee fire, and you're done!

The tinder will light the kindling, which will light your larger fuelwood, creating a lovely warm fire for everyone to enjoy.

As the fire burns down and the teepee design begins to crumble, criss-cross additional fuelwood over the pile of coals, and the fire will continue to burn without any issues.


Building a teepee fire is one of the quickest and easiest ways to build a hassle-free campfire.

The shape allows a lot of airflow to reach the fire, and the overall design is enjoyable to watch as the fire burns.

Have fun building a teepee campfire but make sure you are careful to avoid fire hazards.


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.