One of the Ten Essentials (fire "improved")

6:47 p.m. on August 14, 2018 (EDT)
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698 forum posts

One of the Ten Essentials is matches, lighters or other fire starting devices like a good sparker - and some good tinder like Vaseline-soaked cotton balls in a Ziploc.          But, especially in the west, there are times when a fire is not permitted or weather is too rainy or snow or windy. WHAT THEN?

I'd like to expand on that "essential Essential".

ESBIT tablets, a burner (or alcohol & a burner for alky aficionados), a small pot/metal cup and a pot stand. Preferably the pot stand will be like a cat food can with a few perforations on the sides to protect the ESBIT or alky burner from the wind.

The cat food can stand can also double as an ESBIT burner and some good alky stove designs are cat food can-based as well.

I'm saying that yeah, a wood fire is cheerful, especially in an emergency situation but an ESBIT or alky fire is sometimes necessary. If you are stormbound and have only an emergency tarp you can still cook under it with this small ESBIT or alky setup.

So consider making up (and first testing at home) a good stove kit. Once you're comfortable with its use then put it in a small stuff sack and then in your daypack.

Eric B.

January 22, 2020
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