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Thread: Firestarting Help!

  1. #1
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    Default Firestarting Help!

    I learned a couple of things on a recent primitive overnight camping trip. The first was that I need help making fires. I've mastered the art of one match fires and I'm ready to move on to more primitive methods. I bought a ferro rod on ebay, I was excited to use it, and decided that this would be a good opportunity to do so. I bird-nested some jute twine, wiped some pine sap into the wad of fluff, and used the back of my knife to spark the ferro rod. I got a shower of sparks into the bundle, but it didn't go. I tried, and tried, and tried. Nothing. Does anybody have anybody advice?

    Another thing I need help with is natural tinder selection. I think I found some fatwood, but I'm not sure. Does anybody have ant advice for finding it, as well as other natural tinder?


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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Take a look through the videos listed in this thread. http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...rs-And-Tinders
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    Mmmm.... Zack... I share your pain.

    I tried for 2 hours to get a fire started in a light rain... to all fail. I was running a spark rod and no brought from home tinder.

    Spark a dry cotton ball, it goes up right away and burns just long enough to get small kindling started.

    Remember the rule of wood:


    Kindling:
    Thick as pencil lead
    Thick as pencil
    Thick as thumb

    Firewood:
    Thick as your wrist
    Thick as your calve

    If you get it going strong, thick as your quad


    If you can find fatwood, great! Take a decent knife and SHAVE it into a big bundle, spark it a few times, it "should" catch. Ive done it at home, Im sure Ill fail in the field! HA HA!


    I had planned on doing a video on this subject. (kindling, etc... etc...)

    Ive been in the military for almost 2 decades, Infantry... Been outdoors a LOT. Nothing humbles an ego than to fail at getting a fire started, most people have no idea it is an art not just a skill!

    Practice your art at home, so when you get in the woods you have the skills.

    And, as an emergency backup friend, it would be foolish to not have a modern tool (Bic lighter) as a backup in the event your art & skills fail you but you are in a true to life emergency situation, but you didnt bring any... because your ego got in the way of common sense (Think borderline hypotherm).

    Hell, Ill admit... tucked in the bottom of my ruck is a road flare... because no matter what (wet, rain, wind), when you MUST have fire, ROAD FLARE. :-)

    EB
    Last edited by ElevenBravo; 12-28-2014 at 07:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevenBravo View Post
    Mmmm.... Zack... I share your pain.

    I tried for 2 hours to get a fire started in a light rain... to all fail. I was running a spark rod and no brought from home tinder.

    Spark a dry cotton ball, it goes up right away and burns just long enough to get small kindling started.

    Remember the rule of wood:


    Kindling:
    Thick as pencil lead
    Thick as pencil
    Thick as thumb

    Firewood:
    Thick as your wrist
    Thick as your calve

    If you get it going strong, thick as your quad


    If you can find fatwood, great! Take a decent knife and SHAVE it into a big bundle, spark it a few times, it "should" catch. Ive done it at home, Im sure Ill fail in the field! HA HA!


    I had planned on doing a video on this subject. (kindling, etc... etc...)

    Ive been in the military for almost 2 decades, Infantry... Been outdoors a LOT. Nothing humbles an ego than to fail at getting a fire started, most people have no idea it is an art not just a skill!

    Practice your art at home, so when you get in the woods you have the skills.

    And, as an emergency backup friend, it would be foolish to not have a modern tool (Bic lighter) as a backup in the event your art & skills fail you but you are in a true to life emergency situation, but you didnt bring any... because your ego got in the way of common sense (Think borderline hypotherm).

    Hell, Ill admit... tucked in the bottom of my ruck is a road flare... because no matter what (wet, rain, wind), when you MUST have fire, ROAD FLARE. :-)

    EB
    In my daypack, I keep the ferro rod as an experimental tool (experimental tool sounds better than toy, but you get the picture). Also, I like to keep matches and lighters in my kit. I also keep some tinder (wetfire, dryer lint, jute twine, etc.). I appreciate the fatwood idea, I didn't quite know how to use it. I received a box of Duraflame fatwood for Christmas, I'll be sure to toss some in my kits. Never wanted to have to use a flare for fire-starting, I guess nobody should.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Dryer lint?....You don't have any dogs do you?
    Around here dryer lint smells like burning dog hair........and survival use was invented by Maytag.......cotton balls are cheap and work well.

    Never underestimate the benefits of road flares.....I take them serious.

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    Hunter..u're cheating...hahahah...ok EB and Zack, this is what I would do, in light rain. I have tried this and it works.
    Firstly, get a bark or create a dry base for your tinder. I use a tree bark that has some resins.
    For tinder, its the cotton ball in petroleum jelly.
    I have also my home made para kindling, which helps to get the kindling dry.. and then catches fire (as I am in the rain forest, and all is wet..I mean the sticks and wood.).
    The para kindling is jute rope (about 6"...dipped in liquid wax and left to dry).
    Get your kindling ready. In the rain, pick twigs form branches that are covered with leaves from above, or pick twigs from dead trees. These twigs must never be or in contact with the wet ground.
    If none, split fuel wood into small sizes. Make sure you have lots of kindling...my measurement is when you put both hands, index finger meeting each hand's thumbs...that is the amount.
    My first try was with out a fire shelter..it worked, but then heavy rain came and put the fire out..I was testing how heavy a rain would you need to shield the fire.
    My second try was with a fire shelter. I made a tripod, tied some cross members and uses tall grasses as the roofing. It worked!
    Oh yes, I used the Swedish army fire steel.
    I hope you can imagine...or..see my picture in the post where I stated Tokwan is writing a book. You can see the fire shelter.
    The most important thing when starting fire in the rain is the tinder, para kindling and the kindling..make sure you have lots of kindling. Fuel wood should be from kindling sizes , gradually increased to as big as you want, but the increment should be gradual.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...Writing-A-Book

    I have never failed making fire in the rain after this. You can also use the hexamine solid fuel as a para kindling or fire accelerator. Any other thing that will burn for a long time helps. Just use your imagination!
    Last edited by Tokwan; 12-28-2014 at 10:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Dryer lint?....You don't have any dogs do you?
    Around here dryer lint smells like burning dog hair........and survival use was invented by Maytag.......cotton balls are cheap and work well.

    Never underestimate the benefits of road flares.....I take them serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    I learned a couple of things on a recent primitive overnight camping trip. The first was that I need help making fires. I've mastered the art of one match fires and I'm ready to move on to more primitive methods. I bought a ferro rod on ebay, I was excited to use it, and decided that this would be a good opportunity to do so. I bird-nested some jute twine, wiped some pine sap into the wad of fluff, and used the back of my knife to spark the ferro rod. I got a shower of sparks into the bundle, but it didn't go. I tried, and tried, and tried. Nothing. Does anybody have anybody advice?

    Another thing I need help with is natural tinder selection. I think I found some fatwood, but I'm not sure. Does anybody have ant advice for finding it, as well as other natural tinder?
    The jute twine should be fluffed and also protected from high humidity. Leave the pine resin out of you tinder bundle. You want thin fibers because being thin they heat up to combustion temps quicker. The pine resin is a fuel that takes some heating to get to combust.

    The fatwood is a pine that is heavily impregnated with pine resin. It is very dense. It can be differentiated from other wood once you learn by kicking or tapping it. If you still can't tell pick it up or if it is a stump in the ground take an edged tool and shave the outer coating off. You'll see the resin and if you smell it you'll really smell the pine resin inside.

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    To further what batch just said, the fat wood is found in pine trees in the stump (bottom foot of the trunk before entering the ground) and smaller bits can be found in the larger limbs where smaller limbs come out. Think "knots" in the limbs. For those, I have stuck the point of my knife in and wiggled it back and forth making very fine shavings, almost powder like. This will go up in flames fast, so have larger shavings and all your small kindling at the ready. I hope this helps.
    ”There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.” ~Johnny Rotten

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    Fatwood is abundant in my area. I've never failed to make a fire when using it. If it smells like turpentine, you know it is the real deal.
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

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    Cool Well, since you asked...

    Zack, I worry about you dude. You ask for advice on everything from BOBs, to shopping at Wal-Mart and everything in between. So here's some top-notch advice. Take your gift card to Wally World, go to the camping, sporting goods aisle, and buy a magnesium block and some "Wet Fire Tinder." The tinder blocks will light in any weather condition and the mag block works so well that the US Air Force puts them in their pilots survival kits on their planes. You simply shave some of the magnesium off the back of the block with the blade of your knie untill you have a "quarter-sized" pile of shavings. then turn it around and strike the ferro rod that's embedded in it with the back of your knife blade into the pile. You can also use the wet fire to start a blaze....
    SARGE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    Zack, I worry about you dude. You ask for advice on everything from BOBs, to shopping at Wal-Mart and everything in between. So here's some top-notch advice. Take your gift card to Wally World, go to the camping, sporting goods aisle, and buy a magnesium block and some "Wet Fire Tinder." The tinder blocks will light in any weather condition and the mag block works so well that the US Air Force puts them in their pilots survival kits on their planes. You simply shave some of the magnesium off the back of the block with the blade of your knie untill you have a "quarter-sized" pile of shavings. then turn it around and strike the ferro rod that's embedded in it with the back of your knife blade into the pile. You can also use the wet fire to start a blaze....
    There's nothing to worry about over here, I'm just curious. There are a lot of smart people on this forum! I received a package of wetfire as a birthday gift, but I was hoping to use a natural tinder. I have been carrying two cubes in my pocket lately, though. It's always nice to have a plan B. Thanks for the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    Zack, I worry about you dude. You ask for advice on everything from BOBs, to shopping at Wal-Mart and everything in between. So here's some top-notch advice. Take your gift card to Wally World, go to the camping, sporting goods aisle, and buy a magnesium block and some "Wet Fire Tinder." The tinder blocks will light in any weather condition and the mag block works so well that the US Air Force puts them in their pilots survival kits on their planes. You simply shave some of the magnesium off the back of the block with the blade of your knie untill you have a "quarter-sized" pile of shavings. then turn it around and strike the ferro rod that's embedded in it with the back of your knife blade into the pile. You can also use the wet fire to start a blaze....
    We all worry about him Sarge, but at least he is polite and uses good grammar.

    We need a newbie asking good questions about once each year just to keep us on our toes.

    And Zack, when you get home from Wallyworld go out in the back yard and practice. Don't wait until you are in the field to find out if your fire starter and sleeping gear works.

    And Hunter is not kidding about those road flares! You can get those over in the automotive department.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 12-29-2014 at 01:55 PM.
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    Zack,
    I get you. There's a satisfaction that comes with mastering the skill. And a self-assuredness, too. I always use char-cloth. If you aren't familiar with how to produce it, look it up on Youtube. I also will quite often use cedar bark. Just scrape the outer bark of a cedar tree with your knife blade held perpendicular to the tree. the resulting fluff is fantastic for the inner part of your tinder-bundle. From there I've used dead leaves, pine needles, dead/dry golden rod blossoms/tassels, milkweed fluff, almost anything dead, dry and loaded with surface area.

    To start if all off, I like to use a little char-cloth in my fire piston. Once I have the glowing ember, I drop it onto my small piece of char-cloth in my bundle and start gently blowing it into a flame. Good luck, man.

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    Here ya go, Zack! Give this a try...


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    I think I understand. There's a lot of information on this page to digest, but once it dries out over here (it's been raining off and on since Christmas Eve), I'm going to start experimenting. I doubt that they'll be as extraordinary as tjwillhelm's, but I have a feeling that I'll figure something out. Thanks for all of the responses, I really appreciate the advice.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Being able to create fire in the rain is a vital skill to have. Now sounds like the perfect time for you to practice.
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    Cool +1!

    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Being able to create fire in the rain is a vital skill to have. Now sounds like the perfect time for you to practice.
    Right on the money Crash! Survival situations are not always under optimal conditions....
    SARGE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    I think I understand. There's a lot of information on this page to digest, but once it dries out over here (it's been raining off and on since Christmas Eve), I'm going to start experimenting. I doubt that they'll be as extraordinary as tjwillhelm's, but I have a feeling that I'll figure something out. Thanks for all of the responses, I really appreciate the advice.
    Now is when you need to practice.......
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    I suppose I will then.

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