by Jeff Tindall on 2-5-2012
Fire is the primary lifeline to life like water is the lifeblood. We need fire in our everyday lives to make and build things, mold tools, turn raw materials into steel that can be molded into just about anything, create heat to keep us warm and many other things in life.
In a survival situation, urban area, swamps or forest, the ability to create a fire is of very importance on the top of the list of things to do to staying alive. But how many people can really create a SURE Fire in a real survival situation, in the rain, wind, snow or swamp? When Mother Nature and the elements are not in your favor for making a fire, can you still pull it off? You had better be able to.
Most everyone has watched a you tube video or survival show on TV, they look at it and say to themselves and I could do that and leave it at that. When those people are placed in a situation the reality starts to sink in that it’s not as easy as it looks.
Just like everything in life, things take practice to learn or become a master of. I hear a lot of people make the comments; well I am a smoker so I always have a lighter on me. Well if these people had done their homework, butane lighters don’t work very well in cold tempters and not to mention if they get wet they don’t work until there dried out. Am I saying you shouldn’t carry a lighter? Absolutely you should as a matter of fact I carry two Bic lighters in my kit sealed in a dry bag.
What I am saying is you had better plan on other means of creating that spark and fire. A means of creating a SURE fire no matter what the circumstances or conditions are and the knowledge and skills of the best materials surrounding you for tinder, kindling and fuel.
I have seen students spend hours getting a fire going in dry conditions, let alone in damp or wet conditions. Most don’t realize or have the knowledge there is a technique for turning your basic spark from fire steel into a living breathing fire.
I recommend everyone have several means of creating a spark or fire in there kit, from a Bic lighter to magnesium flint, to having a few cotton balls stored in dry bag for tinder, the lint from your clothes dryer also works great as tinder, or #000 steel whole. Seal it in a small zip lock bag and store it in your fire kit in your bag.
Understand there are 3 main elements to a fire.
Component one Tinder, Kindling and Fuel
– Tinder (birds nest)
– Kindling (Small DRY sticks typically 1/8″ in diameter or smaller)
– Fuel (Medium to large sticks)
Component two Heat
– Spark from flint or other
– Ember from Friction
-It must be able to breath and have air
Once you have the basic fire needs met and have practiced them and you have become proficient in their use. Start working with friction fire like a hand drill or bow and drill set. Friction fire is by far the hardest fire making skill to master but should be practiced & mastered by every survivalist for an extra back up.
Spend the time practicing these things as much as you can, once you have the basics down using one method move to the next method and master that one. Always progressing and moving forward in your skills, none of us will ever learn everything there is to know or possibly learn about survival, each time I venture out into the woods or swamps I find something new or learn something new, that’s why I love doing it so much.