Fire Starting Skills Save Lives   

Fire Starting Skills Save Lives  

  Last month, 77-year-old Paul Meiling from Utah was driving on a snowy side road in an isolated area of Idaho when his truck became stuck.  Temperatures were well below freezing while he was stranded for days, but Meiling was able to survive by taking shelter in an abandoned farmhouse nearby and starting a fire.  When he was able, he walked to an area that had cell service and called his son.  He was tired, hungry, and dehydrated, but Paul Meiling was alive at the end of his ordeal.  Here are some lessons that we can learn from this incident […]

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Fire Starting Rocks

Fire Starting Rocks

Modern fire starting devices utilize chemical accelerants, while primitive fire starting methods tend to rely mainly on friction.  But there is a method that bridges the gap, used by people with no modern technology, and yet also incorporated into modern fire-starting methods, such as the butane lighter.  This method is that of using the impact from metal and rocks to produce sparks that are tiny pieces of molten metal, which ignites tinder, or in the case of the lighter, butane gas.  And this method can be put to reliable use in wilderness survival to get a fire going when other methods are […]

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How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

Given that these days you can get a paracord bracelet that has a fire rod incorporated into the design for less than $10, I don’t usually write much about primitive friction fire techniques.  However, knowing how to start a fire from only the material in the wilderness is a valuable knowledge and a skill that is worth developing, even with the market full of survival fire starting devices. You simply don’t know when you will need to survive, and you can’t guarantee that you will have your gear with you, or that it will last forever and work properly.  Of […]

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Tips for Making Feather Sticks

Tips for Making Feather Sticks

Tips for Making Feather Sticks   Feather sticks are bush craft fire starters that can be quickly manufactured on the spot using only a knife.  They are most useful in damp conditions when dry tinder is not available.  The basic premise is to use a knife to carefully create wood shavings that remain attached to the piece of wood, the result looks like a feather, hence the name.  This will give you thin pieces of wood with oxygen between them that will light easily.  But, like everything else doing it isn’t enough, if you want to start a fire in […]

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3 Tips for Fire Starting in a Wet Environment

3 Tips for Fire Starting in a Wet Environment

If things always went your way you would never need to worry about how to survive in the wilderness.  But since things don’t always go your way, you need to have a plan, and a backup plan when that doesn’t work.  It’s not enough to know how to start a fire in ideal conditions, if you want to survive, you need to know how to start a fire in all conditions, including wet condition.  Here are 3 tips on how to do it.   Gather standing wood If it has just poured down rain, all the wood laying on the […]

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Low Fuel Fire Tips

Low Fuel Fire Tips

Knowing how to start a fire and having the tools to get it going are not always going to be enough.  You might find that you don’t have very much wood available, or that the wood you do have for fuel is too wet.  Here are some tips on how to make the most out of the fuel you have to help stay alive.   Star Fire A star fire is a basic fire building technique for conserving your fuel.  Put your tinder and kindling in the center, and place the larger pieces of wood that you have around the […]

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Alternative fire starting methods

Alternative fire starting methods

If you don’t have a lighter in your pocket when you realize that you need a fire, then it’s even less likely that you remembered to bring your bow drill with you.  So what else is there that you can use as a fire starter? Steel wool and battery While this alternative might not always be the most practical, it does offer at least one advantage: it’s hard to match.  It will work in extremely wet conditions.  All that you need is steel wool (like all tinder, it will ignite quicker and burn better if you have a finer consistency) […]

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Carrying Your Fire

Carrying Your Fire

It’s getting colder this time of year, and if you find yourself stuck outside with temperatures dropping, fire could be the difference between life and death.  But starting that fire is only the beginning.  Unless you are in a situation where staying in one place is favorable, you are going to have to start a new fire after covering some ground.  One solution is to transport the fire that you already have to your next location. Why transport fire? Three benefits to transporting your fire instead of starting a new fire include: Saving time, if you are arriving late at […]

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