Application is an Eye Opener: Fire Making
I have a reputation among my neighbors as the fire guy. Always have one going in the fire pit out front. Everyone thinks I just stare at wood and it burns.
We have recently had a lot of rain...a lot. It helped me discover something. Starting a fire is hard! Try it some time with wet wood, wet kindling, not enough tinder, no accelerants, and just a couple of matches.
I found myself in this situation recently and tried to start a fire the hard way and failed miserably. What I discovered:
1) There is not enough tinder material around my property to start anything more than a sheet of notebook paper on fire.
2) Wet shavings from a "dry" log won't burn without a lot of heat.
3) Oak (red or white) makes crappy kindling, especially when it's damp.
4) Saw dust won't hold a flame for more than a second or two.
5) When it is cold and windy you want to get warm fast, but fire making doesn't work that way. without accelerants, it takes time and patience, during which time you will get really, really cold.
I'm so glad I tested myself on this and plan to continue to do so using fire steel and some of the recommended tinders (e.g. cotton balls and Vaseline, dryer lint, etc.). After all, I have a rep to protect.
What have you discovered that is really tough, that you thought would be easy before you tried it?