Starting A Fire

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Klkak, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Klkak

    Klkak Alaskan hunter/trapper
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    Here in Alaska as many places on the planet. The ability to start a fire could very well determine whether you survive even one night stranded. I’m not trying to start a discussion on which method is best. I want to encourage you to pick a couple methods and practice them until your fingers are blistered and numb. Not just on pleasant days in your living room or garage. Practice your chosen techniques when it’s below Freezing or in the pouring rain. When I say techniques, I do mean multiple. What works in Arizona in February May not work in Florida in September.

    “The best protection is multi-layered”
     
    Morgan101, randyt, elkhound and 3 others like this.
    1. TMT Tactical
      Excellent point about practicing in bad weather. I start to lose feeling in my hands when it get below 50F, so I need to practice a method that works very quickly. Thanks for the reminder.
       
      TMT Tactical, Sep 19, 2019
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  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Well obviously My favourite method is flint, steel & tinderbox, because it is easy, & it is a sustainable method. My second choice would probably be flintlock fire lighting. On a sunny day a reading glass or my reading spectacles will work very well too. My back up would be the fire-bow. After using this method for some time I felt secure enough to teach it to others, but I decided that if this was to be a method used for survival, then I should give it a good test run first. I chose a winters day when it was pouring with rain. & found a fallen tree in the forest that I could partly shelter under. Then I started collecting the materials, including a rock to use as a tool for making the parts. I collected all the parts, but I was soaked through & getting very cold. When I got to the fallen tree, I found that I had mislaid some pieces! Back I went again. By the time I had finally collected & shaped the parts I was not doing well, I figured hypothermia was setting in.
    I was not about to give up now, so I carried on. I made fire fairly quickly, my broad brimmed hat helped keep the rain off of the most important part of the fireboard. I find that you only get one chance with this method when using plant fibre cordage made on site. The cord being wound around the drill bit takes a lot of stress so you don't want the process to take too long.

    Keith.
     
  3. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    As many times as I have practiced/learned new ways of making fire, I never thought to actually practice in bad weather. Definitely putting this on my to-do list. Like, near the top.


    .
     
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  4. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    i got tons of practice..daily in a region getting 200 inches of rainfall a year...range of temps was upper 30's to 60's temps. but mostly 40's and steady rain !
     
  5. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    When it comes to fire I use the rule of threes and every kit contains at least three different methods to start a fire. I collect ways to make fire and any time I hear or read about a different one I get or make the stuff to try it. I also do the same thing with water purification.

    I was raised in a swampy place that was almost always wet. Even when it wasn't raining building a fire could be a problem until you learned how to find the various things you need to start and feed a fire. Tinder, kindling, and fuel are each very different things. I am often amazed by how many people try to start a fire without tinder. There is actually another level that you need to look into if you are trying to start a fire with a spark and that is something to carry and feed the spark to the tinder. Char cloth is an example of this. It catches the spark and then feeds it until it is big enough to light your tinder.

    Ways to make fire are wildly numerous. Some work well in some places and then not well at all in other places. Matches are great until they get wet. Biclighters are good until wet out of fuel or fuel, I always carry both but then always also carry things that water won't mess up and that will last a long long time. Flint and steel, ferrocerium rods, magnifying lenses, etc can last for years and build thousands of fires a match is good for one and a lighter might last a few months of hard use if you are careful.

    Klkak is right about learning to do the various ways to make a fire in the less than favorable conditions. A fire is a comfort and a convenience on a warm dry night but is a matter of life and death in the cold and if you are wet.
     
  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    If we were talking about traditional fire lighting, then charred cloth is tinder. Charred cloth was not generally used outside of the towns & cities by woodsmen or woods women. They used other natural plant & fungus tinders. The tinderbox is used to contain/carry the tinder, it is also used in the fire lighting process & for smothering charred tinder after use, or after preparation.
    https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-is-tinder-what-is-kindling.html
    https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/06/fire-steel-versus-ferrocerium-rod.html
    https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2015/05/period-fire-lighting-tinder-quotes.html
    Keith.
     
  7. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I always have some char cloth made and with each of my flint and steel sets. I use the char cloth to carry my ember to my tinder which is usually jute twine that I have unraveled. I have never had much luck starting the kindling with just a piece of char cloth. I was raised in a swamp and there isn't much there that is dry enough to take and grow a spark. I make the char cloth and then store it in little ziplock bags. I always have an Altoids can with me and can make char cloth if I need it. In Texas cotton is king and everything that I wear is cotton. I also usually carry some cotton sash cord and can make char rope.

    I mostly do the flint and steel just because it is traditional and nice to have as a backup. My always go to for fire is ferrocerium rods with jute twine. I save the matches for emergencies in wet conditions. I have all sorts of lighters but it is more fun to do it a little more basic but not as basic as flint and steel. You are a master with that. I can make it work but not nearly as fast or as sure, especially if conditions are bad. Honestly, I had never had much dependable success with regular Flint and Steel until I came here and watched your videos.

    I'm not into reenacting and in general prefer the early 20th century over the 17th century. Even in guns, I like the late 19th early 20th century weapons. Lever action rifles, single-action revolvers, double-barrel shotguns, and high carbon steel bowie knives never fail you.

    If worse comes to worst I wear glasses and can make fire with them if I have to. Char cloth makes that a lot easier too.
     
  8. Bishop

    Bishop Master Survivalist
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    Just like Texdanm I like to collect and have knowledge on fire making so here is one for you.

     
  9. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    That one is really cool! Along with collecting ways to make fire I also carry Gibb's rule #9 to excess. I have my Grandkids trained and get knives for my Birthday and Christmas. They have very good taste in knives too I might add.
     
  10. Klkak

    Klkak Alaskan hunter/trapper
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    For my birthday or for Christmas, my wife tells me to go down to Northern Knives in Anchorage and buy myself a knife. God bless that woman. People who know us say she is a saint.
     
  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    It seems that you and I chose well with our ladys. I get a new knife from my wife nearly every Christmas. LOL, She understands that very little makes my eyes glitter like a new edged toy or something that goes Bang.
     
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