Setting up a fire is one of the greatest camping traditions around, but if you didn’t bring firewood with you on your trip how can you find the right type of wood that’s suitable for building a fire? Well there are a few techniques to finding the ideal wood that can burn long into the night.

First of all, taking wood from living trees won’t help you at all. Trees are full of water and it runs through their bark, branches and leaves, so avoid live or recently fallen wood entirely. Instead try to focus on wood at the base of trees that is brittle enough to snap. This type of wood will often be completely free of water and will burn easily.

Fallen branches and twigs also make great kindling. Many people overlook smaller pieces of dry wood in favor of larger pieces, but the truth is that a collection of small dry wood can be even more effective than single blocks. This is because each twig will have to catch fire individually which will prolong the amount of time that a fire will last.

If you’re unable to find wood on the floor, then don’t use dry foliage instead. It can often blow out of the fire and has been known to set other objects alight. Instead you should try to locate old dry stumps or dead trees. Use a saw or axe to claim the wood that you need, but always be careful that you don’t damage trees and plants around you. Once you have your firewood prepared, you’ll be ready to start a fire.