Think About Your Next Fire

IMG_1117Knowing how to create fire with primitive methods is a great skill set but going to the woods with only limited techniques is irresponsible. I teach ferro rod as the primary method to get a fire going, but I still keep waterproof matches and a couple of lighters buried deep in my ruck in case I need them or in the case I’m hurt and have a buddy with me that needs get a fire going and doesn’t know how to use a firesteel. I still use my ferro rod as my primary means to get a fire going, but I always have a few back ups.

You need to always think about the next fire you are going to make before you are in a case where you have to make it. Obviously keeping up on your skills, learning new techniques, and experimenting with various situations such as wind, rain, darkness, or even one-handed or off-handed fires are important for when you need to get a fire going. The physical and mental act of prepping for the next fire is just as important. Keeping your combustion kit fresh and up-to-date is a must. When walking through the back country I make it a habit to pick up items to help me get a fire going if I need it. Finding a birds nest, pocketing some pine needles, or throwing strips of Old Man’s Beard in my pack means that I’m ready to make fire without having to dig into the component’s of my combustion kit. IT also means that I’m using available materials and saving my fire kit for when I really need it. Every time I start a fire with my ferro rod means I have another match in the pack. When I create a fire using an abandoned bird nest equals cotton balls or Wet Fire for a true emergency. The same holds true when I use something such as char cloth from my kit. If I chose to use char cloth to get a small tinder bundle going, I need to create new char- perhaps natural char.

Learn to make different fire starters to put in your kit- always thinking about your next fire

Learn to make different fire starters to put in your kit- always thinking about your next fire

Stay in the habit of thinking about the next fire. Do this in your practice sessions in Ft Backyard as well. Practice various techniques. Cross pollinate your techniques such as starting fires with cotton rounds and petroleum jelly, experimenting with natural chars in your own yard, try different woods to split and light- including lighting just the wood shavings without any other tinder catcher. Speaking of split-wood fires, try different kinds of wood so you know how each lights and burns.

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