It sounds silly, but this is often overlooked when building a fire. If you stack your logs in a way that prevents airflow, you are going to have a hard time keeping them burning. Make sure you leave gaps when stacking your fuel and you will be fine. There a lot of interesting ways to stack firewood, but as long as you leave your fire room to breathe you should be fine.
Heat (Spark / Flame)
This is where there are really a lot of different options. The ultimate goal is to have something that will ignite your tinder. Some people like primitive fire making methods like bow drills or flint and steel, others like gadgets like fire steel and Magnesium Bar. I think knowing how to use these items is a good idea, but my first choice for starting a fire in my area is a Bic Mini. They are cheap and reliable in most environments, and as long as they are stored properly they will last a long time.
Another outdoor skill you should learn before setting off on your next big adventure is knot tying. I don’t think it is necessary to learn a lot of decorative knots, but there are a few essential knots you should know how and when to use. This outdoor skill comes in handy for everything from building improvised shelters to repairing broken equipment.
From Bowlines to sheet bends, the number of knots and variations out there is mind boggling. I am not going to attempt to put a knot tying tutorial in this post, instead I will direct you to a few websites that I think provide the best information for knot tying.
Scouting magazine is a great resource for outdoor skills. Their article “How to tie 10 essential Scouting Knots” does an incredible job of teaching how to tie some of the most essential knots for outdoor activities.
Another resource for knot tying is Animated Knots. It is much more in depth than the article. With instructions for over 300 types of knot it can be a little overwhelming.