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Survival_junkie
02-12-2011, 03:40 AM
There are a lot of ways to start a fire and as many correct and incorrect methods to do so. There's nothing worse in a survival situation than trying for an hour to get your fire going and wasting all of your materials. I will post some tips for proper fire starting and welcome everyone to correct me if needed and to add their own tips.

Of course, the most important step of the entire process is good tinder. You need something extremely dry and combustible; good sources are cotton fluff, hay, straw and other dry grasses, leaves, and moss. Be ready to toss some dry twigs onto the tinder as soon as it gets going good. Then add progressively larger twigs and sticks until you can add branches and logs if needed. If the wood is wet then you will need to build a proper "tee-pee" fire so that the burning tinder and twigs are in the inner center and the larger sticks form the shape of a "tee-pee" on the outside, this will help dry out the outer sticks.

Waterproof matches are always a good option but I recommend Firesteel for sparking the fire. Firesteel uses magnesium shavings to produce a shower of sparks at approximately 5,000 F, they promise an easy job even with wet tinder.

sasquatch
04-04-2011, 03:10 PM
I use the Tee-pee method all the time when camping, it works, probably the best method for any fire-making situation, wet or dry. The Firesteel is a great firestarter, I've got a Blastmatch it works really good. I also keep alcohol based hand-sanitizer in my Fire kit, you would not believe how hot and long that stuff burns. I made some cotton and paraffin wax tinder, it burns wet or dry. I also have a 9 volt battery and some fine grade steel wool. Another great thing in my tinder box is lint I collected out of my dryer's lint trap, whoo boy! does that stuff burn! I've been looking at some Fire-Plugs online, might get one.

Survival_junkie
04-05-2011, 09:02 AM
Nice tips. I've seen all the methods you've mentioned but I've always considered it too impractical to carry most of those items. One I've tried with moderate success in the past that seems to do well is to soak sawdust in WD-40, place it in a ziplock bag and let it sit in the hot sun for an hour or so. Best bet is to use pine because of the natural oils and turpentine. If you've ever seen those cheap first aid kits with the solid woodchip road flare it's the same effect, just don't try to cook over it. Unless your going to be in an area where you know dry tinder and firewood will be difficult to find a good firesteel is usually enough. The hand sanitizer actually would server multiple purposes so I'd probably consider packing one. In addition to cleaning and firestarting it would probably work as an antiseptic I'd imagine.

2ndAmend
04-07-2011, 12:24 AM
Great comments guys. I think you touched on some great ideas here. I watch the survival shows on tv they do some very unconventional methods of fire starting that may date back to early settler times. A shoestring tied to a stick made like a bow is one, spinning a stick with a sharp end into a hole in a block of dry wood until friction gets hot enough to make a hot coal or spark then dropping it into some fine dry tinder that will work if you have nothing else. This is also mentioned in the Army Field Manual. Fire is a friend when you are lost and all alone in the wilderness or behind enemy lines. Beware smoke will give away your position in daylight to an enemy but good for search and rescue groups. I once watched a documentary on someone lost who set the whole forest on fire hoping to draw in help but it backfired and he almost did not escape with his life. Survival takes a will to live more than anything. Be ready to give up all the comforts you enjoy and keep a mindset on staying alive it could be worse if captured by the enemy, or just giving up.

Survival_junkie
04-07-2011, 11:59 AM
Great comments guys. I think you touched on some great ideas here. I watch the survival shows on tv they do some very unconventional methods of fire starting that may date back to early settler times. A shoestring tied to a stick made like a bow is one, spinning a stick with a sharp end into a hole in a block of dry wood until friction gets hot enough to make a hot coal or spark then dropping it into some fine dry tinder that will work if you have nothing else.

I have also seen a methods on Man vs Wild where he just pushed the stick back and forth in his hands building friction. The major issue with either of these methods is primarily the energy expended when you will undoubtedly already have food issues. The second problem is blisters or other injury, this is the last place you want an infected cut or blister. I think most people carry some form of firestarter with them even when not in the wilderness. I myself tend to at least carry a cigarette lighter even though I don't smoke. I just can't see any benefit to these methods unless it's a last resort.

sasquatch
04-07-2011, 02:04 PM
Actually a fire bow works pretty well if it's constructed and used properly. But you're right AK, it doesn't make sense to use with all the easier fire starting devices out there. It's still not a bad idea to have the skills to use the old ways.