Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fire talk...

Happy New Year!

Fixated on fire? Well now let's see, without it, we would pretty well all still be just animals, living perhaps in cold, wet and very dark caves. :-( Your best friend in the bush is FIRE. Without it, you could, should and would easily die. Non-smokers beware! If you don't smoke, then please make sure you bring a lighter with you if you EVER go into the bush. It would be a real drag having to die for lack of a dollar store lighter or a box of freakin' matches, for that matter.

Lately I've been depending on a fire-stick and either my good old fashioned carbon steel folding pocket knife or a short piece of old hacksaw blade on my key chain to produce the sparks with, to get my fires going. What you must know with this method is that the tinder that catches your sparks, is VERY important. You could and should even, bring some from home, in your pockets somewhere. Good dry wild woods tinder can sometimes be hard to find, especially after a rainy day or night. The best stuff from home is pure cotton balls that you can get anywhere. Works like magic! Dryer lint and char-cloth is awesome too. If you don't bring ANY of this kool tinder stuff, then you had better know what to look for in the bush. Many things will work but any and all of it will have to be totally beat up and made really soft and thin and or powdery even. You could beat it on a rock or tear it up and crumple it and rub it between your hands to get it real fine. My favorites are in no particular order, Red Cedar bark, Dry Mullin leaves, scraped and shredded White Birch bark, certain tree fungus, Cattail down, Bull Thistle and Milkweed fluff. There are lots more to be sure and the more of them you know, the better off you'll be. When things get wet, you really have to make sure that whatever it is you use for tinder, is absolutely dry or you are NOT going to have an easy time if it.

Always bring some fire stuff along if you ever intend to step off the pavement. You could even carry some in your car or truck. You never know when you will need it, either for yourself or to help someone else. Here's a pic or two of some of my fire stuff...


If you are just new to this whole, roughing it in the woods thing, then a candle and some waterproof matches as well as a Bic lighter should be in your kit, no matter how big or small your kit is. Always! :-)


After we cover the life sustaining power of our fire, then good ol' shelter is the other BIG thing, that I'm going to yak about in here. Now anyone and I mean anyone, can make it through a night or two in the bush, even in the winter, if they have the brains to carry a little life-saving, modern-day shelter, like this in their packs or pockets. Slick Survival Shelters...Watch for it.


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