Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Fire Starting ?

  1. #1

    Default Fire Starting ?

    So whats the best way to start a fire in really harsh conditions . I want a fire starter that's going to be able to take some abuse and will work first time , every time . Please tell me pros and cons of each fire starter .


  2. #2
    Junior Member Tokwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Penang and Kulim Malaysia
    Posts
    1,479

    Default

    It depends what you mean harsh. Is it raining? Is it windy? Do you have enough burning materials such as dry wood or you need to split them to get to the dryer part?
    I think that if you do not have a lighter or matches, the best thing would be either the ferrocium rod and something that can catch spark easily and would not go out easily.
    I do not know of any product that withstand the rain or strong wind. You will need to shelter the amber and tinder from rain and wind. Therefore a rain and wind barrier must be erected...or put up. I always carry some aluminium foils for this (as a large piece can be folded.).

    My favorite is either the ferro rod (firesteel) with pure cotton in 100% petroleum jelly or a DOAN magnesium strip. With magnesium, you would still need tinder though and the best tinder is a water proof tinder. Remember that the tinder might be waterproof, but the flames are not.

    So a good barrier that shelters the fire from rain and wind is a key factor. When you have the place you wanna start a fire is free from rain and wind, you will succeed. But now..the kindling and firewood is also important. They should be able to catch fire and mantain the burning. I hope I did answer your question.
    I'm a Gramp who is not computer savvy, give me a slab and the rock ages tablet..I will do fine!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Tokwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Penang and Kulim Malaysia
    Posts
    1,479

    Default

    Comparison of fire making tools- based on where I am (In Malaysia Jungle).
    1. Fire steel and cotton with 100% petroleum jelly..works every time, but needs sheltering. Works even though wet.
    2. DOAN Magnesium Strip..same as above but the magnesium shavings work on other natural tinder if you shave a lot. If wet, wipe them up and wait a few minutes.
    3. Matches...useless when windy and spoils in rain.
    4. Lighters, always won't lite when you need it, prone not towrk when wet and prone to the liquid inside drying up.
    I'm a Gramp who is not computer savvy, give me a slab and the rock ages tablet..I will do fine!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Tucumán, Argentina
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Tokwan, a question for you: I am currently field working in a heavy wooded area, more precisely a degraded cloudy jungle on northwest Argentina. We work all morning and for lunch we depend on a fire to boil water for tea and mate, and cooking or heating the food. The problem is that sudden rains are very common, and the firewood is usually damp, or at least humid. There are ways to neverthless start a fire with little dry firewood, and slowly add the humid one? Sorry if the question is confusing, still working on the english

  5. #5
    Senior Member tjwilhelm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    VERY-rural Illinois
    Posts
    327

    Default

    You really need to gather multiple-days worth of tinder, kindling, and fuel wood when conditions are as dry as possible; and, then keep it under cover and dry until you need it.

    Otherwise, try this:


  6. #6
    Junior Member Tokwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Penang and Kulim Malaysia
    Posts
    1,479

    Default

    Archeonut, from what I understand is you have a problem with dry wood? I have the same problem here.
    When you have a fire, make a fire shelter. I would usually make a tepee type, tie 3 pieces of wood at one end and open them up like a tsanding tripod. Since you are at a camp, you can get simple tarps to make a teepee cover and let the part of the fire open. Make side walls as barriers and have the fire. I would put green leaves about 3 to 4 feet above the fire to stop the heat from melting the tarps.. and also act as a secondary roof.
    Once the fire is lit, I would stand firewood near the fire, using the teepee cross members and let the wood dry. U can also put wood over or under the leaves (sort of smoking them) and the heat will dry the firewood. Always keep your firewood under shelter.
    Only split wood before putting them into the fire and not too early, this way the dryer part of the inside will help with the fire. I hope I am able to help you. My english is also not so good..hehehe
    I'm a Gramp who is not computer savvy, give me a slab and the rock ages tablet..I will do fine!

  7. #7
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    31º4.3'N, 84º52.7'W
    Posts
    3,969
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    Sappy conifers, especially pine that has been damaged while alive, make fatwood, or "fatlighter". I have started fire in the rain and wind using the windblocks described above. It will even catch if the fatlighter is wet because the saps and terpenes are so volatile. In the woods, I just walk around kicking stumps. often they will dislodge, and then just make a shave or chop the outside. You'll know if it's fat enough to catch.
    The simple magnesium starters like you can get at any camping store will suffice if you have enough tinder material with you to get enough flame to catch the fatlighter. Your fire lay will depend on the weather conditions, including blocking wind and keeping the heart of the fire dry.

  8. #8
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    58,826

    Default

    Define harsh conditions and we'll be better able to help you. There is a huge difference between damp woods and full on blizzard.

  9. #9

    Default

    Alright so what I meant by harsh .
    Tinder is wet
    Its raining
    Verry humid conditions

    Thanks for all the inputs !!

  10. #10
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SE/SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    26,866

    Default

    I don't think there is any perfect, works every time, in any conditions fire starter.

    Ferro rods are the most popular on throwing a large amount of sparks (hot burning metal) on to spark catcher,(cotton balls/PJ being popular) which catch the spark, starts an ember that is put into tinder bundle of fine grass, shavings or dry sticks that will catch fire.

    As has been brought, having the dry tinder, and wood before you start is important, and the toughest part.
    Sheltering the fire will help with what ever conditions you happen to be in.....

    You should try several kinds or fire starters, find the one that works for you.
    Then looking into as many ways to make fire as you can think of, gather the tools and components, then practice.

    Some examples:
    Matches.....several kinds , stick, book, strike anywhere, storm matches.....
    Lighters, Bic style and Zippo
    Ferro rods and Ferro rod Magnesium bars.....many, many, different kinds and will start an argument (discussion?) on the "Best"
    Flint (rock) and steel
    Burning glass, magnifying glass fusel lens, parabolic mirror, eye glasses
    Steel wool and battery...or prison lighter (paper clip and battery)

    BTW I do carry most all this stuff some where on me or in a carry pack, or vehicle

    Natural found materials....

    Bow drill,
    hand drill
    fire plow
    Pyrite rock

    Look for, try and practice till it works on any and all ways....and you will have a fire....Most of the time.

    When all else fails........Road flares.
    Last edited by hunter63; 10-21-2014 at 11:37 AM. Reason: splin.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  11. #11
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    58,826

    Default

    You can collect tinder on the under side of birch limbs, at the base of large decidious trees and beneath thick evergreens. It will usually be drier there. You can also use a horseshoe fungus even if wet. That's assuming, of course, you don't have any kind of tinder on you like toilet paper, pocket lint or better stuff like pj cotton balls. Remember, the wood is wet on the outside so splitting it can usually garner drier wood as Tokwan pointed out. I've even used strips of cedar bark off dead trees for tinder. Protecting the fire, as others have said, is paramount if you want to keep it burning in wet weather.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •