Smart Ideas: Survival Revisited

How to Start a Fire for Survival Knowing how to make a fire is one of the most basic outdoor skills. A fire can serve various purposes. It can keep your body dry, warm and comfortable. You can cook food with it, as well as sterilize water and bandages. It can shoo away dangerous animals, including flying insects that are sensitive to smoke. Of course, you can also use it to signal for help. Selecting a Fireplace Before building a fire, choose your fireplace. You need to choose well as location matters a lot. First look for a place that is sheltered and protected against the wind and has ample supply of wood and fuel. Also make it a point that nothing nearby, such as dry vegetation, can catch fire. As you may know, safety is always the priority. Prior to starting the fire, whether on a flat shale rock, a layer of stones or on solid ground, the area must be cleared of any debris. This prevents a ground fire and leaves no trace of the fire, except soot stones. Choosing Your Material
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To begin a fire, you need to do slowly – that is, with small pieces of wood at the start and then moving on to bigger pieces as the fire develops.
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Tinder You need a material that will be easy to start a fire with, such as good tinder, which only requires a spark to ignite. Of course, the tinder should be totally dry. So many things can be used as tinder, including resin, leaves, bark, leaves and grass. Resin can be sourced from spruce and pine trees. What’s great about resin is that it burns even when it’s wet. A knife is all you need to turn dry sticks and pieces of bark into powdery tinder. Tinder is the most important part of a fire so you need to prepare it right. If possible, cover small twigs and sticks with resin. Have enough tinder on hand so your fire doesn’t go out. Start collecting tinder before you actually need it, and always put it in your backpack or pocket so it’s available when you have to use it. Kindling Kindling is highly combustible and great to add to your burning tinder. Best to use are sticks and twigs that are small and dry. They can easily light the moment you add them to a small flame. Fuel As soon as your fire is established, you can throw in bigger pieces of firewood but not until you have made sure they are fully dry. Dead trees are particularly good sources of dry firewood. Final Pointers As mentioned, when starting a fire, safety must be a top priority. That means never leaving camp until the fire has been out completely. And certainly, it’s best to check twice or probably even thrice.