Application is an Eye Opener: Fire Making
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Application is an Eye Opener: Fire Making

This is a discussion on Application is an Eye Opener: Fire Making within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; 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 ...

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Thread: Application is an Eye Opener: Fire Making

  1. #1
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    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?

  2. #2
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    My suggestion is that you store wood & tinder in a way that it dont get wet when it rains. build a woodshed of some sort

    Not only is wet wood hard to start a fire with, it also gives away lots of smoke when you get the fire going. That might not be a good thing.

  3. #3
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    You're right. I couldn't start a fire with snow covered wood and a railroad flare on a backpacking trip once. The fact that I forgot my hatchet was the deal breaker.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swedishsocialist View Post
    My suggestion is that you store wood & tinder in a way that it dont get wet when it rains. build a woodshed of some sort

    Not only is wet wood hard to start a fire with, it also gives away lots of smoke when you get the fire going. That might not be a good thing.
    I spent a wonderful hour quietly cutting up wet oak kindling. Put it in the garage. Sadly, I don't think the neighbors would take too kindly to me putting up a proper woodshed on the side of the house, though that would be ideal.
    Denton likes this.

  6. #5
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    For wet weather fires you gotta learn too shave the wood to make dry tinder. Also, a otta old timers would carry around tinder in a little can, like one of those Prince Albert cans.

    Another cheat is to make your own gassified charcoal for tinder. Just put some sticks in a can, close it with just a llittle hole in the side and placve in the fire. You will see smoke come outta the hole for a while. When it stops, then remove the can from heat and inside will be gassified charcoal for your next fire. II believe that is howw you make charcoal for black powder as well.

    Personally I just dump kerosene all over a tree and light it. If I don't singe yer eyebrows then I musta done something wrong..

  7. #6
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    I keep a Ziploc baggie full of cotton balls saturated with Vaseline handy. They weigh next to nothing and will readily take a spark to ignite. The go everywhere I go along with my striker and they burn a longer that you'd think.
    Ralph Rotten likes this.
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    Here I thought you were talking about a smartphone app that could start fires.
    I carry Trioxane or the likes.
    I really want one of these!Hidden Content

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    Trioxane works, or you could just carry an old stick of deodorant*. They are composed of wax and alcohol. They burn, slowly, but they burn, and they have a pretty good shelf life.

    Sometimes you have to look for dry tinder up under ledges & such. Also, steel wool, the very fine stuff, makes awesome firestarter (the stuff you buy at the HW store usually has a protective grease coating sprayed on so it lights easily. the kitchen stuff does not.)


    *Since mosta ya don't actually use the stuff, you might as well get some use out of it

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    For wet weather fires you gotta learn too shave the wood to make dry tinder. Also, a otta old timers would carry around tinder in a little can, like one of those Prince Albert cans.

    Another cheat is to make your own gassified charcoal for tinder. Just put some sticks in a can, close it with just a llittle hole in the side and placve in the fire. You will see smoke come outta the hole for a while. When it stops, then remove the can from heat and inside will be gassified charcoal for your next fire. II believe that is howw you make charcoal for black powder as well.

    Personally I just dump kerosene all over a tree and light it. If I don't singe yer eyebrows then I musta done something wrong..
    I tried shaving wood a couple of weeks ago, Got some good shavings, but not enough to really build up a flame. And the wood was wet, so the shavings were wet, so no good. Even splitting the log and shaving the inside didn't help.

    Here is my next attempt. I have a Bermuda grass yard. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. This stuff goes dormant in the winter and burns really easily. I'll pull a bunch of dead grass and see if I get better results from that.

  11. #10
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    Cotton balls with vasaline, dryer lint, Trioxine, pine lightard, rubber tire shavings, birch bark, are some things that work.
    Course you can have a small bottle of alcohol or charcoal lighter too.
    I have Trioxine tabs that are real old that always work.

 

 
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