Building a campfire in the mountains during walking meditation on the second day of the monthly Zen meditation retreat.

1. Find or build a secure fire ring
2. Gather wood:
a. Tinder (we used dry grass and Old Mans Beard lichen, but there are many options)
b. Kindling (small twigs and sticks)
c. Fuel or firewood (what keeps the fire going)
3. Preparation is most important, have everything at hand when starting the fire.

4. There are different shapes to build a fire. Cone (or teepee) shape is easiest. Start by putting some of the stronger kindling into a cone shape.
5. Prepare the tinder in a nest shape. With fire steel, strike a spark. Or just light it with matches or a lighter(;

6. Put the burning tinder nest into your kindling tent and start nursing the fire with more kindling and by blowing air if needed.

7. Reinforce the cone shape with fuel wood.

8. Enjoy the fire and a hot meal!

9. Extinguish the fire.
10. Clean up after yourself!

Munen Alain M. Lafon

Ordained Zen monk and abbot of Lambda Zen Temple (, CEO of 200ok LLC (


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