Tips for Starting Survival Fire
Knowing how to make a fire is one of the most basic outdoor skills. A fire can do many things. It can keep your body dry, warm and comfortable. It can be used to cook food, clean water and sterilize bandages. It can drive away dangerous animals away and even flying insects with the smoke. Of course, you can also use it to signal for help.
Picking a Fireplace
Before beginning a fire, you have to find a good spot for it. Pick well for location is rather important. First look for a place that is sheltered and protected against the wind and has ample supply of wood and fuel.
There should be no dry vegetation nearby or anything that might catch fire. As anyone would know, the number priority is always safety. Before you start the fire, whether on a layer of stones, solid ground or a flat shale rock, remove all debris from the area. This keeps the possibility of a ground fire at bay and will make sure no traces of the fire are left, except soot stones.
Choosing Your Fire Material
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To begin a fire, you need to do slowly – that is, with small pieces of wood at the start and then moving on to bigger pieces as the fire develops.
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You need a material that will be easy to start a fire with, such as good tinder, which only requires a spark to ignite. Of course, the tinder should be totally dry. So many things can be used as tinder, including resin, leaves, bark, leaves and grass. Spruce and pine trees are sources of resin. What’s nice about resin is its ability to burn whether wet or dry.
A knife is all you need to turn dry sticks and pieces of bark into powdery tinder. Tinder is the most important part of a fire so you need to prepare it right.
If possible, cover small twigs and sticks with resin. Have enough tinder available to keep your fire going. Start collecting tinder before you actually need it, and always put it in your backpack or pocket so it’s available when you have to use it.
Kindling is highly combustible and great to add to your burning tinder. Best to use are sticks and twigs that are small and dry. They can easily light the moment you add them to a small flame.
As your fire is established, you can begin adding larger bits of firewood, but make sure they are totally dry. Dead trees are some of the best sources of dry firewood.
As mentioned, when starting a fire, safety must be a top priority. That includes never leaving camp until the fire is completely out. And definitely, it’s wise to check twice or sometimes thrice.