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Thread: Firestarting Help!

  1. #21
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    Screw the rain, best time to play with fatwood, it doesnt mind being a little wet!

    The stronger the smell, the better it is! If the smell is faint, its not real strong, probably wont light well.

    EB


  2. #22
    Junior Member Tokwan's Avatar
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    I have a 21 year old student who comes over every two weeks and I think he is as inquisitive as Zack, can't say who is more, but at this moment, almost ....heheh..I wish I have more students like him and Zack and a few others are always welcomed over here. These are the kind of people I love to teach. The more you ask, the more you learn. When I teach, I love to adopt the Socratic Method, teaching by asking them students. It helps to trigger the mind. It makes you innovative. When I teach, I learn too...that is why I love to teach..its the best way to learn!
    Yep, Zack is polite enough and uses good English. Keep it up Zack, learn and practice. You will make a great survivalist.

    Just one word, try and practice by going somewhere nearby, and just use the what is in that area to survive. Have your back plan in case it doesn't work. I learn it that way!

    And TJWilhelm, I love your video work! Its awesome. You have that charisma of that guy who is able to teach via video, with your words and actions easily understandable. Great job Dude! I really mean this!
    I'm a Gramp who is not computer savvy, give me a slab and the rock ages tablet..I will do fine!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokwan View Post
    I have a 21 year old student who comes over every two weeks and I think he is as inquisitive as Zack, can't say who is more, but at this moment, almost ....heheh..I wish I have more students like him and Zack and a few others are always welcomed over here. These are the kind of people I love to teach. The more you ask, the more you learn. When I teach, I love to adopt the Socratic Method, teaching by asking them students. It helps to trigger the mind. It makes you innovative. When I teach, I learn too...that is why I love to teach..its the best way to learn!
    Yep, Zack is polite enough and uses good English. Keep it up Zack, learn and practice. You will make a great survivalist.

    Just one word, try and practice by going somewhere nearby, and just use the what is in that area to survive. Have your back plan in case it doesn't work. I learn it that way!

    And TJWilhelm, I love your video work! Its awesome. You have that charisma of that guy who is able to teach via video, with your words and actions easily understandable. Great job Dude! I really mean this!
    I appreciate the compliments!

  4. #24
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    I suppose I will then.
    Think of different ways you can collect dry tinder and firewood. Low, small, dead branches on a fir tree if available.......splitting dead wood that is wet to get to the dry center.......tree fungi that you find......and on and on.
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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Zack, You are an inquisitive fellow, but as others have stated it keeps us sharp by allowing us to revisit things we have learned. I know I ask what seems to some like "rookie" or "noob" questions from time to time. I little while ago I was looking at some tent options and KyRat had to set me straight on that, (Thanks, KyRat, by the way). All in all, that is how we begin to learn. We hear/or see something, we ask and educate ourselves about it, we try and accomplish the task, and then we know we have mastered it when we can teach it to someone else. In short, keep asking and we will keep helping. Especially since you are polite and willing to learn. Seems to be a rarity amongst most of the new people lately.

    Crash is spot on when it comes to gathering fire materials in wet conditions. Small and dry is key. Small dead limbs that are hanging in trees are usually pretty dry. Dead standing trees are a good source. Look under evergreen trees as well because they tend to "shelter" whatever is under them. You will also find old pine needles and pine cones are great to add to a flame and burn hot and quick. Because of that, be sure to have plenty of fuel to feed them as they do burn fast. Abandoned nests work pretty good to start a fire if you find one as well.
    ”There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.” ~Johnny Rotten

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    I appreciate the comment. I didn't think about gathering needles from under the pine trees on m trip, those went to my "mattress". I did try needles that were starting to dry, though. They weren't working. I even took a match to them. They caught the flame, then went out within three seconds. I had never thought about bird nests to start a fire. It seems like they would be too dense, doesn't it?

    Last night, I tried my ferro rod on some jute twine fluffs. One too 10-15 tries it went up, the other just didn't. I'll keep trying. Also, does anybody have advice about a striker? The size of my knife makes it kind of hard to place the rod into the bundle. I was just aiming the sparks last night, but I don't think it was useful.

  7. #27
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    Zack - It's often a good idea to gather tinder along the way if you aren't carrying it or want to use a more primitive method of fire starting. If you do that you will have your tinder with you when you decide to make camp. You won't have to spend time looking for it. You'll have one job completed already. The other thing is if it starts to rain you will already have dry tinder making your job much easier.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Zack - your experience is why most of us carry tinder with us, and as Rick said - gather it along the way. Here are a few simple ones you can carry.

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    I got the opportunity to play around with my ferro rod today. I took some of the advice and changed my striking technique. I started 8/8 jute twine bundles, and about half of them were with one strike! I'm confident in my ferro rod skills now, I appreciate all of the advice!

  10. #30
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    Awesome! Practice is key!
    ”There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.” ~Johnny Rotten

  11. #31
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    HUNTER63 - "Never underestimate the benefits of road flares.....I take them serious."
    H63, you ain't kidding!! So do I!!

    When I used to ride horses to hunt elk I carried a couple of standard road flares in my saddle bags. I also carried ½ of a road flare in my day pack, which was always with me. I still keep ½ road flare in my day pack, although no longer hunt on horseback.

    I have been in two situations where I really, really needed a fire RIGHT DAMN NOW!! Once in Colorado at about 11,000 feet altitude, and another time here in Idaho at about 7,000 feet. Both times, due to circumstances, time of day, and weather, "miserable conditions" was not an exaggeration.

    In Colorado it was later in the afternoon when I shot a bull elk. The morning temperature was a toasty -17° F. and the afternoon wasn't much warmer, plus it had been snowing steadily. There were about 12 inches of snow on the ground. I was warmly dressed, layers, but had done some sweating to get to the dead bull. I was turning cold.

    I knew I was going to be there awhile, at least after dark, cleaning the elk. My partner had heard the shot and arrived to help. He said, "What can I do to help?"

    I said, "You go get the horses. I'm going to build a fire before I freeze, then we'll dress out this bull."

    He left to get our two horses which were tied about a mile away. Although there were fallen pine trees around, the wood was wet. It was snowing harder. I gathered a bunch of squaw wood, plus larger stuff, laid it on a base of broken limbs, pulled out my ½ flare and fired it up. That squaw wood caught and the intense heat from that flare quickly caught the larger limbs on fire. By the time he returned, I had dried out my damp clothes, warmed my hands and was dressing the elk. He was more than happy that a nice warm fire awaited him, too.

    We finished with the elk, by then using our flashlights to work. We took the loins and backstrap in our saddle bags, hoisted the elk using our ropes tied to our saddle horns to get it off the ground and headed for camp which was four or five miles away. By then it was really snowing. Fortunately, the horses knew more where we were and where camp was than we did, as we could not make out any landmarks because of the darkness and snow. Got back to a warm camp safe and sound but there were a few "hairy" moments.

    The second time I used the road flare to build fire was somewhat under the same circumstances, in Idaho. Needless to say, when I need a fire RIGHT DAMN NOW!!, I do not play around or experiment with flint and steel, ferro rods and cotton balls, Bics, or strike-anywhere matches. At that moment it is my handy dandy road flare to the rescue!

    Just my opinion based on a couple experiences.

    S.M.
    "They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790),U.S. statesman, scientist, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seniorman View Post
    H63, you ain't kidding!! So do I!!

    When I used to ride horses to hunt elk I carried a couple of standard road flares in my saddle bags. I also carried ½ of a road flare in my day pack, which was always with me. I still keep ½ road flare in my day pack, although no longer hunt on horseback.

    I have been in two situations where I really, really needed a fire RIGHT DAMN NOW!! Once in Colorado at about 11,000 feet altitude, and another time here in Idaho at about 7,000 feet. Both times, due to circumstances, time of day, and weather, "miserable conditions" was not an exaggeration.

    In Colorado it was later in the afternoon when I shot a bull elk. The morning temperature was a toasty -17° F. and the afternoon wasn't much warmer, plus it had been snowing steadily. There were about 12 inches of snow on the ground. I was warmly dressed, layers, but had done some sweating to get to the dead bull. I was turning cold.

    I knew I was going to be there awhile, at least after dark, cleaning the elk. My partner had heard the shot and arrived to help. He said, "What can I do to help?"

    I said, "You go get the horses. I'm going to build a fire before I freeze, then we'll dress out this bull."

    He left to get our two horses which were tied about a mile away. Although there were fallen pine trees around, the wood was wet. It was snowing harder. I gathered a bunch of squaw wood, plus larger stuff, laid it on a base of broken limbs, pulled out my ½ flare and fired it up. That squaw wood caught and the intense heat from that flare quickly caught the larger limbs on fire. By the time he returned, I had dried out my damp clothes, warmed my hands and was dressing the elk. He was more than happy that a nice warm fire awaited him, too.

    We finished with the elk, by then using our flashlights to work. We took the loins and backstrap in our saddle bags, hoisted the elk using our ropes tied to our saddle horns to get it off the ground and headed for camp which was four or five miles away. By then it was really snowing. Fortunately, the horses knew more where we were and where camp was than we did, as we could not make out any landmarks because of the darkness and snow. Got back to a warm camp safe and sound but there were a few "hairy" moments.

    The second time I used the road flare to build fire was somewhat under the same circumstances, in Idaho. Needless to say, when I need a fire RIGHT DAMN NOW!!, I do not play around or experiment with flint and steel, ferro rods and cotton balls, Bics, or strike-anywhere matches. At that moment it is my handy dandy road flare to the rescue!

    Just my opinion based on a couple experiences.

    S.M.
    Are they safe? There'd have to be fumes, so could you cook with a fire you started with one?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    Are they safe? There'd have to be fumes, so could you cook with a fire you started with one?
    Any fire has fumes........I guess I wouldn't cook a hot dog over a flare.....but the fire it started..... should be fine.

    .....and If I had to use a flare....fumes would not be at the top of my list of stuff to worry about.

    Great experience story, SM....have to be there to understand the "NEED RIGHT DAMN NOW" situation.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Any fire has fumes........I guess I wouldn't cook a hot dog over a flare.....but the fire it started..... should be fine.

    .....and If I had to use a flare....fumes would not be at the top of my list of stuff to worry about.

    Great experience story, SM....have to be there to understand the "NEED RIGHT DAMN NOW" situation.
    Good points. Are there any brands you like over the others? Orion makes them, don't they?

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    "...I guess I wouldn't cook a hot dog over a flare.....but the fire it started..... should be fine.

    .....and If I had to use a flare....fumes would not be at the top of my list of stuff to worry about.

    Great experience story, SM....have to be there to understand the "NEED RIGHT DAMN NOW" situation.
    Yep.

    Zack, the road flare is to start a fire when conditions are wet, cold, and warmth is absolutely necessary immediately. My half a road flare burns intensely for seven or eight minutes and will most assuredly ignite damp or even wet wood, so long as you've done a bit of prep to the wood. I suppose if you put a flare under a bunch of wet logs it would not work... but if you've prepared your wood correctly -- small, medium, larger wood -- you'll have a good fire soon.

    As for cooking over a flare, I don't see any need for that because by the time the flare has burned out, you'll have fire and coals to warm up your canteen cup or frying pan, or hotdog on a stick.

    As for carrying a half flare which cuts down on a bit of weight in your pack, or jacket pocket, here is how to make one.

    Take a standard size road flare, place on a solid surface and using a sharp, thinner blade knife, cut right through the flare at the half way point.

    Then take some Elmer's Glue or Gorilla Glue and put a thin coating on the cut end. Let it dry completely and then apply another thin coating. When dry, put it in a Zip Lok bag, place it in your pack or jacket pocket and you're ready for emergency fire lighting in wet, cold conditions.

    S.M.
    "They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790),U.S. statesman, scientist, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

  16. #36
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    Good points. Are there any brands you like over the others? Orion makes them, don't they?
    I think that Orion kinda has the biggest market share......at least I trust those....
    Haven't really seen any other brands.....but I'll bet others are made in China.
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    Zach, just for fun and giggles... strike on a cotton ball... its an eye opening experience!

    No need for pet. jelly or wax, just strike a plain ol' regular cotton ball.

    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevenBravo View Post
    Zach, just for fun and giggles... strike on a cotton ball... its an eye opening experience!

    No need for pet. jelly or wax, just strike a plain ol' regular cotton ball.

    EB
    I'll try it for myself. I've seen Crash's video and he had good luck with it.

  19. #39
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    Default Flares for signals and heat/fire

    Seniorman that was a very good real life story of when a flare is important to have in your pack.

    It reminded me of that "Somebody's Gotta Do It: The Real Survivor" Episode #4 where Mike Rowe is not afraid to air video of himself being taught and making several mistakes on how to use signal flares. I could not find the video of it online, it may be available if you have Video On Demand from your provider, look under CNN. But here is a link to the transcript:

    http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1410/29/se.01.html

    Bottom line: as with all tools its a good idea to practice how to use them. Good way to start a signal fire or smoke very quickly when search aircraft are heard or seen coming or you need to get warm and dry quickly. Rubbing sticks deep under a forest canopy while a plane flies overhead would be discouraging, especially if that search pattern was not repeated for days. Or not being able to figure out how to light a flare or where you dropped the striker like Mike Rowe did. He covers serious issues in an entertaining way, and some silly things as well, but even then there is a real issue hidden under there.

  20. #40
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I gonna just throw this out there.......Candle ends.
    We use candle lanterns at rendezvous ........and use bees wax candles....I always save the ends about 1" to 1-1/4" long.
    Tuck one in your pocket, and when it's damp wood or dark and flashlight is out light the candle.

    Make you little tipi of small sticks set the candle on a piece of bark or something fairly level and light it up.

    I gonna guess that every jacket, bag, tool box, tackle box has a few candle ends in it.

    Bees wax also good for drossing off lead impurities when making bullets.

    NOTE..... does not need to be bees wax...... any candle end, birthday candle.........I think that tea candles have been mentioned....brought it up as the ends usually get tossed in the fire.
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