To understand how to build a fire you need to understand what makes it go. Fire is made up of three key parts air, fuel, and heat. In order to achieve this the fire needs to have plenty of ventilation and the proper size fuel for the heat output.
The first part of fuel is tinder this will be used to start the fire initially, it is described as any kind of fuel that will easily ignite under minimal heat. Tinder must be dry. Examples of tinder
- wood shavings
- wood dust
- birch bark
- char cloth
- pine needles
- bird nests
- dry grass
- dry moss and fungi
The next element needed to start a fire is kindling which is the fuel that will help ignite your fuel. Kindling is basically sticks as big around as your finger and preferably soft wood such as pine. Soft woods are best because the oils and resin in them will burn hot and fast. It is always best to get kindling off the trees rather than the ground and when you break it off it should crack and not just bend.
The final part is fuel which is logs or big branches once the tinder ignites, it will burn the kindling and the kindling will in turn ignite your fuel.
Generally the best design i have found is the tee pee, it burns very hot and gives you a nice bed of coals.