Author Topic: Practice Fire!  (Read 11247 times)

Offline jetta2337

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
  • Karma: 3
Practice Fire!
« on: November 16, 2009, 10:55:20 AM »
I was up elk hunting this weekend and got back from my walk long before my buddy did. So while I was waiting for him to get back I was practicing my fire making. While I have done it in great weather many times I have never even attempted it in less than ideal weather. So I gave it a shot this weekend. It was around 32 degrees out and the sun was out. Everything was melting off the trees which made them all wet along with the ground having about a foot of snow on it and a good Wyoming breeze!  ;D
I just used what I had in the pack along with what I could round up. Used the magnesium firestarter and one cotton ball and the rest mother nature gave me. No problems.
Now I just need to practice in a snow storm and rain!

Magnm38

  • Guest
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2009, 06:05:17 PM »
I will say that starting a fire when wet out, raining, or even when it's just a little damp out can be a real challenge. My buddy and I went camping. We wanted to camp mainly to practice our bushcraft/survival skills. We set up a shelter out of a 9x12 tarp, no problem. The first thing we did when we got there was try to start a fire. We used Swiss Steel, and a magnesium stick. The air was so damp and everything back there was so saturated with moisture, that any flame we would get, even from the magnesium would instantly go out. So throughout the evening, we would go back and try it again, and again, and again. Once in a while, we would get some tinder to go up for just a couple seconds. But the fact that everything was so damp just kept putting everything out. It wasn't until well into the night, that there were enough hot coals and some already burnt punky wood, that the fire just decided to take off. How weird!

So it just goes to show, persistence pays off. The fire would have kept going for days if we wanted it to. It just didn't want to stop burning at this point. It frosted that night, which made it quite cold. But the fire did certainly help. We should have laid closer to it to really keep warm. I had a 0 degree bag, so I was good to go. My buddy only had his coveralls. I felt sorry for him. I ended up breakin out an emergency blanket for him. And it even helped make my bag warmer. So it was quite the night. A lot of fun though. The stars, night sky, crispy cold air and slight fog made that night beautiful and all worth it. Walnuts kept falling out of trees behind us all night. Scared the heck out of me waking up to that every few minutes. But really your fire making skills are arguably the most important important of your bushcraft skills. I think should be the one practiced most and as often as you can. Many other survival experts have agreed about this and I tend to agree with them as well.

Offline Who...me?

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 525
  • Karma: 19
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2009, 06:26:48 PM »
An example of why you should have dry tinder/fire starting materials in your pack. 

I keep a Ziploc with dry tinder in my pack as well as shavings and oak chunks in my bush buddy.
http://www.bushbuddy.ca/indexs.html

I also got several of these thermite fire starters tho I haven't had a chance to try them out yet.
http://www.dbcpyrotechnics.com/servlet/the-948/Thermite-Fire-Starter/Detail

I prefer a Blast match over that magnesium fire starters...one handed operation don't ya know.
http://www.basegear.com/blastmatch.html

Offline MD3C

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
  • Karma: 4
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 10:25:54 PM »
I have a blast match, lighters. matches, magnesium bar, and the king of all fire starters, a road flare.
I hunted mountain lions in the winters years ago. The Flare will get a downed tree knarl going fast. I always have one in my pack for winter.
M

Offline phuttan

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 613
  • Karma: 20
  • Evil CO2 Exhaler
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 10:55:25 PM »
Splitting thicker wood to get to the dryer insides and stinging a poncho or tarp above your fire until it's going helps in rainy woods. Spit the insides into pencil thick pieces and sting the poncho high with quick release knots so you can remove it before it might burn. I camped in the rain alot.

Pat

Offline drthumbs

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: 51
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 03:13:03 PM »
This may be of some interest

http://survival.instantestore.net/pd_wm.cfm

Ron Hoods Woodsmaster's series Vol 1   Spark Based fire. 

Jack interviewed Ron for  epi  294

Offline joeinwv

  • The Bee Whisperer
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2579
  • Karma: 92
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 11:45:40 AM »
Also, if you can find a large piece of bark or other dry material to build your fire on, instead of on damp ground helps.

Probably the best piece of advice I can give, is to use some logs or other material to channel some wind or draft into the fire.

I did the same thing when deer hunting this year, rain in the morning turned to snow - so built a fire. I used dead, hanging grapevine bark for my tinder and built the fire on dry bark, and used sheets of bark to channel a breeze. Works.


Offline PositiveForce

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 71
  • Karma: 2
  • Never ponder on negative thoughts
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2010, 07:25:52 AM »
This is a great thread!! Another good tinder trick is 100%cotton, cotton balls, ripped up a little with some vasaline lip therapy squeezed out on it, (to slow and sustain the flame) My cousin showed me that trick, and I also had seen it done the Bushcraft on fire video series recently.

There are some awesome ideas on here, thanks!!

Offline marauder

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
  • Karma: 5
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2010, 07:43:47 AM »
Instead of using cotton balls, you can make nice fire starters with lint from your drier screen, a little melted parrafin wax and the cardboard style egg cartons.

Fill each dimple in the egg carton with lint.  Top off with melted wax.  When everything sets, cut the individual dimples apart.  That will burn for a good 6-8 minutes.  Light as a feather.  Only drawback is they are on the bulky side.  But other than parrafin, which is pennies a pound, everything else is free. 

Another good one is to roll up several sheets of newspaper into a long cigar shape.  Tie off every 1 1/2"  with a wax coated string.  Cut.  Dip those into melted parrafin.  Slightly heavier, but smaller in size. And still free!!!


Offline Sapper22

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 4
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2010, 10:28:29 AM »
Instead of using cotton balls, you can make nice fire starters with lint from your drier screen, a little melted parrafin wax and the cardboard style egg cartons.

Fill each dimple in the egg carton with lint.  Top off with melted wax.  When everything sets, cut the individual dimples apart.  That will burn for a good 6-8 minutes.  Light as a feather.  Only drawback is they are on the bulky side.  But other than parrafin, which is pennies a pound, everything else is free. 

Another good one is to roll up several sheets of newspaper into a long cigar shape.  Tie off every 1 1/2"  with a wax coated string.  Cut.  Dip those into melted parrafin.  Slightly heavier, but smaller in size. And still free!!!



GREAT TIPS! Thanks.  This board is a wealth of info!  My son and I will be trying the above out this weekend.

Offline marauder

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
  • Karma: 5
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2010, 11:20:38 AM »
Hey Sapper, is your ID meant to reference the Army Sappers?  I'm watching the 3 part series on Sapper School at Ft. Leonard Wood on the military channel.  Very High Speed, low drag stuff.  I never knew much about Sappers until watching this. Most impressive.




Offline Fyrekat

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Karma: 10
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2010, 12:58:23 PM »
One thing I have used in the past, but is a little harder to use is steel wool.  If you keep some of that with you it will burn surprisingly hot and start easily.  If it's getting wet, just shake off the moisture and go.  You have to use the really fine stuff to get the best results. 

I've also used potted meat (and vienna sausage) cans full of the wax coated cardboard before.


Offline Sapper22

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 4
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 02:45:00 PM »
Hey Sapper, is your ID meant to reference the Army Sappers?  I'm watching the 3 part series on Sapper School at Ft. Leonard Wood on the military channel.  Very High Speed, low drag stuff.  I never knew much about Sappers until watching this. Most impressive.





Yep, I went through the sapper leader course about 12 years ago at leonard wood.  Didn't know the MC was doing a show on it.  I'll have to check that out.  It was fun training, I had always heard it was tougher than Ranger school...who ever started that vicious rumor was incorrect!

Didn't mean to hijack the thread...my son and I tried out the egg carton fire starts this weekend during our wait times between morning and afternoon hunts.  It was COLD and our wood was damp from frost.  those little parafin/egg cartons starts lit right up and got our kindling going with no problems.  My 10 y/o decided he wants to use those with the blast match instead of the little factory tender cubes in his survival bag.

Offline marauder

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
  • Karma: 5
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 07:45:34 PM »
Sap,

I'm glad it worked for ya!


Offline Sweethearts Mom

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1396
  • Karma: 62
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2010, 06:46:38 PM »
FK your avatar kind of reminds me of my cat right now. He hates me cause he now is an outdoor kitty.

I use pine cones stuffed with dryer lint. No wax. I am getting better but I really need to practice in bad conditions

Offline OKGranny

  • TSP Pooper-Scooper
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1624
  • Karma: 50
  • Death from the knees down
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2010, 01:26:42 AM »
Since I make candles and always have wax I break pinecones, pour a bunch of the scales in a little container of melted was and lay them out to dry. Stick them in a ziplock bag with a bit of 000 steel wool and it's easy to get a fire started in any weather. Just ask this idiot who managed to go camping in an ice storm once. Ice and I have a long unhappy history.

Offline patrat

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: 8
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2010, 05:23:57 PM »
And to think kids are discouraged from lighting fires... what is the world coming to?

Offline joeinwv

  • The Bee Whisperer
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2579
  • Karma: 92
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2010, 12:47:40 PM »
... I break pinecones, pour a bunch of the scales in a little container of melted was and lay them out to dry....
Most folks don't know how flammable a pine cone is... my neighbor has 3 large pines that grace my front yard with at least 3 hefty bags of cones on an annual basis. I have built several fires in my chiminea using almost nothing but pinecones. Burn very fast and very hot.

Dryer lint is really a fire building super tool.

Offline Dawgus

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1818
  • Karma: 89
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2010, 01:30:10 PM »
I took off for some spring camping 2 weeks ago and had a bit of the same trouble. The tinder I used were toilet paper rolls stuffed with drier lint. Though I had a magnesium starter, I just used the striker side to get the tinder started once removed from the tube and fluffed. I unroll the TP tube from end to end and it had no problem starting at all. The small twigs and sticks I had gathered were still damp from the rain the night before and didn't want to light very easily. While walking off to rid myself of the coffee I had that morning, I leaned against a dead tree and ended up with a handfull of good fairly dry bark. The top half of the tree had fallen over at about a 45 degree angle, so the bark at the top of the fallen part, on the bottom of the log was completely dry. I filled my jacket pockets, took them back to camp, and they started right away. After the fire was going, I gathered more of the bark from the tree and set it on top of a large stone near the fire to dry and store for later use. Since I plan to spend a lot more time at the same spot this year, I filled two gallon freezer bags I had in my pack with the bark and stuck them in the fork of a tree.

 Next time out I am trying the wax & egg carton style and also try using a magnifying glass.

Offline Dadio

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma: 3
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2010, 08:00:45 PM »
Here are three other options I've used in the past: 1) Those cheap tea candles  are great, use them to start a campfire or just as a candle. Buy them by the bag from WalMart for about 10 cents each; it'll last you a lifetime. They put out a surprising amount of heat by themselves and are compact and not at all messy. 2) Can't-blow-out trick birthday candles for the obvious advantage, plus very compact size. 3). Duct tape - I keep some wrapped around my bic lighter; it burns extremly hot and long. I always keep some firestarters in an inner zippered pocket of my hunting coats. I have this image of falling off the ladder getting out of a tree stand or snapping an ankle out in the woods on a damp cold morning.  Just some thoughts.

Offline phuttan

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 613
  • Karma: 20
  • Evil CO2 Exhaler
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2010, 06:51:59 PM »
Most folks don't know how flammable a pine cone is... my neighbor has 3 large pines that grace my front yard with at least 3 hefty bags of cones on an annual basis. I have built several fires in my chiminea using almost nothing but pinecones. Burn very fast and very hot.

Dryer lint is really a fire building super tool.

Pine cones, sap and lighter pine are all great for starting fire in damp/wet coditions. Wipe pine sap onto small pieces of wood before trying to start your fire. The sap will melt and drip so place some on top of fire before lighting and it will rain liquid burning sap down on the rest of your wood. Lighter pine is the hard sap saturated wood you find in the middle of stumps. It burns very well, wet or dry.

Birch bark is also good. It contains flamable oils and burns even when wet.

Find out what natives used in your area centuries ago and start looking for those items when you're in the bush/woods. Once you become familiar with the local fire starters, you'll be able to get a blaze going in any conditions.

Pat

Offline PositiveForce

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 71
  • Karma: 2
  • Never ponder on negative thoughts
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2010, 08:06:58 PM »
Most folks don't know how flammable a pine cone is... my neighbor has 3 large pines that grace my front yard with at least 3 hefty bags of cones on an annual basis. I have built several fires in my chiminea using almost nothing but pinecones. Burn very fast and very hot.

Dryer lint is really a fire building super tool.


Excellent, I was about to mention the dryer lint, great post joeinwv!!

Offline Sweethearts Mom

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1396
  • Karma: 62
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2010, 08:34:15 PM »
Bushcraft on fire has a youtube video on how to find fat wood (lighter pine). That stuff is great. Heavy but great.

Offline rustyknife

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1069
  • Karma: 30
Re: Practice Fire!
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2010, 06:55:26 AM »
If you are in an area where there are conifer type trees you can get "pitch wood" from old stumps. This is where pitch has accumulated in a pocket between the tree rings. The way to spot it is look for old tree stumps that have mostly broken down and decomposed. What is left upright is usually the pitch ring. Cut of a piece and scrape it with your knife. Smells like turpentine and will light wet or dry. Great stuff. ;D I keep some in a zip lock bag in my pack.