What he said! The trick is dry wood with lots of air space and a super cedar.It may take a bit more practice and perhaps better kindling?
If you want an easy start, get a free sample pack of SuperCedars from Thomas. Break them into quarters. One or two quarters is all you'll need to get a good fire going.
I have plenty kindling probably wont use it much since i have fire starter.I'm with BeGreen. 3-4 pieces of kindling is plenty. If you run out of kindling, no problem. A super cedar will still start the fire nicely.
I also do not use a top down fire but not a bottom up either. Just something I played around with over the years. I usually lay 2 splits in the bottom and try to form a slight Vee. On that goes a super cedar and it gets lit right away. Then I lay 2-4 pieces of kindling and on top of that goes another split. Fire is all set for several hours.
I sucked at the top down method for the first two years for some reason. Probably a combination of less than optimal wood, using too large of splits, and a lack of patience on my part. The last two years the top down method worked very well for me.I tried the top down last winter and had a smoking mess. May try it again cause now i have seasoned wood.