How to Build a No-Fail, Safe and Responsible, One-Match Campfire
1. Make a 2-3 foot circle using rocks at least as big as softballs.
2. Using regular charcoal briquettes (not matchlight), make a pie in the middle. Pie should be about 2 briquettes deep and 7 to 10 wide.
3. Ball up a baseball-sized wad of paper and put on the center of the pie.
4. Build a tepee around the paper using pencil-sized sticks (dead sage works miracles!) Tepee should stand as upright as possible.
5. Build another tepee over the first using much larger sticks. Again, make it stand very upright.
6. With a captive audience, get your matchbox close to the paper, announce something brash, strike the match and light the paper.
7. Let this burn several minutes without messing with it. Once the largest sticks have caught, lean split log pieces against each other (again in tepee form) over the fire.
8. Monitor closely. If any fire jumps over the rocks, stomp it, smother it with a blanket, or douse it with water.
9. Focusing your fuel on upright tepees, continue to repeat steps 7 as needed, and step 8 continually. Forty-five minutes before you would like to put out the fire (gotta think ahead here), stop adding fuel. Move the burning fuel around so it is as flat as possible. Let it burn down for 45 minutes.
10. Douse the circumference with water, then the middle. Be sure all unburned fuel and any flammable gear are upwind and far away from the rock circle. The charcoal will stay hot enough through the night so that a small fire can be started in the morning.