1. Find tinder. Anything that is dry, fibrous, and will take a spark or “catch” and ignite should do. Pocket lint, feather down, dried mosses, and shredded plant fibers such as cedar bark are all good examples.
2. Gather firewood. Gather several handfuls of kindling, typically tiny pieces of wood in various sizes. You want some that are as thin or thinner than a toothpick but longer; several handfuls of wood about the thickness and length of a pencil; and lots of wood up to about the thickness of your arm.
3. Make a nest. Use small fiber, such as cattail, to ignite the coal and slightly thicker fiber on the outside, such as dry leaves, to shelter the nest. Make sure you leave a hole for the coal. A cotton ball size of tinder will do.