Make sure you’re away from trees, bushes, or anything that burns. You don’t want to be starting any forest fires. Also, if you’re at a campsite, double-check that fires are permitted in the area.
Build a small fire pit. To protect the wood from falling apart into the area where you’re sitting, dig a small hole and surround it with rocks. If your campsite already has a fire pit (or you’ve built a backyard one yourself), you can obviously skip this step.
Put some tinder in the center of your fire pit. Remember, tinder are the small sticks, twigs, and leaves you’re going to use to get your fire burning, so the easier it burns, the better.
Stack your kindling on top of the tinder in a “teepee” structure. Make sure to leave an opening on the side you’re going to light. In general, you’ll want more wood on the downwind side so you can shield people on that side of the fire.
At this point, you have a fire-ready structure. You can build this as big as you want (be careful!), and the structure doesn’t matter as much. Some people like to build large teepees with their bigger logs, while others like to build a square structure around their small teepee. Generally, the square “log cabin” structure is better for letting out heat, but a teepee is easier to make into a large bonfire.
Light your fire. Grab your matches, lighter, magnesium and light the tinder. It helps to light it in a few different places to get it burning faster. Note that you may need to add more tinder if the kindling takes a while to catch fire. As the fire burns, you can gradually make it larger by adding larger and larger sticks.