74 forum posts
Ok... I'm sure people have touched on this subject a few times. But, being new to Trailspace (killer site by the way) I have not seen much on the topic of fire making. Depending on where you live, you may or may not have much of an option when it comes making a fire. But, it is a skill that everyone set to venture into the wilds should have knowledge of. And it is a skill too often taken for granted. Anyone that has spent time in the outdoors can agree with me on that. It's one thing to fire up your grill, your fireplace, or even a little camp fire in the backyard for the kids to roast hotdogs. But, depending on the conditions you may find yourself in while on a trip into the woods; it may not be as easy as you thought.
Alot of people today lug a camp stove along on their trips. Some may decide to build a fire, some may not. But, its a skill that we all should have as a backup. After all, what if your fuel source is low for your stove (no cooking or boiling water), or the temp drops at night and your bag is not keeping you warm (the weather guy does get it wrong from time to time). Maybe you took a spill in a near by creek and a simple day hike turns nasty cause your looking in the face of Hypothermia. All it takes is your core temp dropping a couple of degrees and you will literally be chillin with the biggest killer of the outdoors. Fire making skills can save your life in far more ways than one. I'm not gonna go into the whole "rub two sticks together dude". Trust me, that shit is much harder than they make it look on TV. What I will get into, is having yourself a small fire kit. It will not take up any room in your pack, or put a few more onces on you than anyone could handle.
My fire kit consists of just a few items (most of which you have laying around the house as you read this) that can all be held in one hand.
A fire striker (firesteel gobspark, I keep attached to my knife sheath)
A metal sucrets can filled with cotton balls rubbed in petroleum jelly
And a ziplock stuffed with dryer lent and a handful of saw dust
(the little black band is just a strip of bicycle tire I use to keep the can good and tight, and I keep a wire saw in the can to prevent rust... neither of which is a must have)
The FireSteel really does the job of throwing a big hot spark. 5,500 degrees to be honest. And the company says you can get about 3,000 strikes off of it. Way more than a bic right? Between that kicking out a good bit of heat onto the cotton balls of vasoline... you'll get yourself around 2 to 3 minutes of burn time from each ball. Thats plenty of time to nurse a flame into fire. As far as the bag of dryer lent and saw dust, thats just a little extra fuel for your tinder bundle. Now, with any fire... you dont just get a flame and start chunking on sticks and logs. Always prep for your fire before you ever have a flame. Make you a birds nets of small tinder. Dry grass, crushed dead leaves, and very small twigs, anything like that will do (but always dry, the dryer the better, and if everything is wet, look for the driest stuff at hand). You can work in the dryer lent with all that till you get something that resembles a small birds nest. Once you have that, toss your cotton ball in the nest and light it. Then slowly wrap the nest around the flame. If it needs more oxygen... help it along by blowing on it. Have more of those smaller items on the side to add to your flame in order to feed it. Keep doing that and as your flame turns in to fire, add the larger stuff. Never take for granted that "ok, we got a fire... lets do something else". Stay with it till your sure its not gonna die out once you turn your back. This kit, if used right... will always grant you a fire.
With all that said, stay dry and warm out there this time of year. And of course.... BE COOL.