My boys, my wife and I went “camping” in the back yard in the last few month. The experience was to see how the boys would react. They loved it! They are so ready to go deep in the woods to camp, or so they have asked. My wife and I are not so sure just yet on the deep woods adventure. State parks are the next step in camping for our family and looking to go this summer. We love the outdoors, but need to make sure they are ready for the challenge. So it got me to thinking about what would be important to know when we do go this summer. Food, water, fire, and shelter.
FIRE! Creating fire is one of the most essential lessons to learn. Most people do not know how to start a fire using primitive methods. I will have future posts about the necessities to survive.
Creating fire is pretty easy when you have dry tinder, dry wood, a good fire starter, and ideal situations. Many times people are trying to start a fire but they are working against the elements. Depending on if it’s a dire need based on a true survival situation or an experiment (camping included), one needs to know what to use and how to use their supplies. Survival skills do need practicing in order for that time when it does mean life or death.
My wife and I keep all of our dryer lint for making fires in our pit outback. I am looking to stuff paper towel rolls with lint for emergency tinder in a bug out bag situation. I will be sealing it in zip locked bag to keep it dry. The lint will be the first step to create a fire and the tube will be the next easiest piece to catch.
When the conditions are wet, some individuals use cotton balls and other will use cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly as a fire starter. It is key to have dry tinder. I usually keep something flammable in my bag to help to get the fire going. Crayons are good way to keep a small flame going. Light the paper and the wax will keep it from burning too quickly. Worst case, take lint off of your cotton garments and use that for tinder.
The main thing you need to go along with the tinder is enough of various sizes of dry wood. I keep a few knives in my truck at all times. In case of emergency where I am stranded, I can always at least make a fire. I use the knife or hatchet(don’t keep in my truck but should) and a blow-stick to hit the back of the blade with. Using this hammer and wedge method will allow you to slice your firewood into various sizes to have a better chance of success of getting the fire started. You can also use the knife to create wood shavings for tinder.
My main spark for fire is my fire steel. Some people will make fun of me but I have the Bear Grylls Fire Starter. Nice and compact and easy to use. I also have a magnesium fire starter. It does burn great, but trying to shave the magnesium into a small pile and start a spark into it usually sends all the shavings flying. Maybe I get too close to do it. Maybe I am not doing it correctly, but I am not a fan of the magnesium fire starter. I have waterproof matches, but not a great concept for a long term scenario.
I was that guy who just used lighter fluid and matches to get fire started. Those days are done (mostly) because there will be a time I need a fire but don’t have anything to start it with. Finding different methods that work. I have not tried the following methods: fire piston, bow drill, or with steel wool and a 9 volt battery. Now, the most interesting one I have never tried are Doritos. The oils that the chips are cooked in soak into the chip and should be able to light that oil on fire and the chips will burn.
Practice your methods of fire starting, along with the rest of your survival skills, You never know when you will need to use them in a life or death situation. Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.
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