Start a Fire - a sure fire way
I start a fire in my wood stoves in several different ways, but my favorite way is also the most reliable approach. I use a combination of fire starter and newspaper. The reasoning is simple - one helps the other and it's usually a one match effort.
With my wood stoves in this windy Wyoming countryside, anytime the doors are opened, there is bound to be quite a draft going up the chimney, even if the damper is closed. This provides good draw, but sometimes it also provides a bit too much air movement to keep my fire starter chunks lighted. The wind can extinguish the start to a fire before I can close the door. The flame has a difficult time getting large enough and hot enough to sustain itself.
The solution is to use a combination of newspaper and fire starter cube. By placing a lightly crumpled newspaper adjacent to the piece of fire starter, you have the best of both materials to start a fire - newspaper that is super easy to light, and a chunk of fireplace starter that burns a long duration to get the wood going.
The two big advantages of using this approach are the ease with which the newspaper burns and stays lighted, and the intensity of its initial burn. This provides plenty of time to button up the stove door and adjust air intake on the stove while the fire starter cube catches fire.
If you have a similar problem when you go to fire up your wood stove, try this approach. For me, it's a sure fire way to get a fire going when the wind is determined to snuff out my efforts to stay warm in the winter months.
Done with Start a Fire, take me back to Heating with Wood