Archive for the ‘fire’ Category
Whilst in Sweden studying under Preben Mortenson he showed us the method of making a Swedish torch with a chainsaw. I don’t know about you but I never carry a chainsaw in my daysack. So I when I came upon a different method of making a Swedish torch on Youtube I thought I’d give it a go. You will need straight dead standing branches a couple of inches in diameter and green whippy sticks. Make two small hoops with the whippy sticks, think Christmas wreath here. Now cut the branches all the same length bar one which is half size. Next arrange the branches so the hoops fit over them. The half size one goes in the centre of the bundle, this aids airflow. Getting it to stand can be tricky so I made a wooden stake and pushed that into the ground and pushed the centre of the torch on to it. Stuff the top with twigs and birch bark and light it up. It’s a method for a quick brew or cook up on wet ground or if you don’t want to leave a mess.
Here is an informative and entertaining video which was recently sent in by ROBwithaB showing you how to strike a spark and light a fire using an Opinel folding knife and a piece of quartz.
Rob has a ‘unique’ style of presentation but, he certainly gets the message across loud and clear. I hope you enjoy.
Any fire can give you feelings of warmth. However, knowing how different fires direct and produce differing amounts of heat can help you choose which fire to make for your needs and circumstances. The “science” of a fire is based on three elements: fuel, oxygen and heat. The fuel is the material that will start and then keep the fire burning. In order to burn it must have oxygen. The oxygen combines with the gases emitted from the fuel as its consumed – that gas is released by heat applied to the fuel. Eventually the fuel is consumed, the energy is released in light and heat and the process is sustained by adding more fuel.
The key to any good fire is a quick start, sometimes with only one or two chances to do so. Good tinder – small dry shavings or strands or globs or drippings of quickly combustible material used to start a fire – is critical. Practice with what ever fire igniter you prefer and practice lighting the myriad varieties of tinder you can find outdoors: cattail fluff, birch bark, shredded dry leaves, small blades and stalks of grass, lint from you pockets – practicing what lights quickly and produces enough heat to start your tinder burning is a key skill in becoming a competent fire starter. Tinder is the base of your fire. Most any larger fire will usually be started from a tiny, burning pile of tinder (unless you happen to go the shortcut route and use Boy Scout Juice – lantern fuel!)
Well it’s not the title of an Olivia Newton John song from way back.
Amadou is a fantastic natural tinder. It’s made from the Horse’s Hoof Fungus, which has a fine, velvety layer resembling suede leather. This suede-like layer is sandwiched between a tough nut-like, outer layer, called the Cuticle and the pores, which are thousands of tiny tubes all packed together. The Horse’s Hoof Fungus is mainly found on dead trees such as the Birch and Beech, and it resembles a horse’s hoof – hence its common name.
No matter how spectacular the scenery, meals around the campfire are often the highlight of the camper’s day.
Modern camp stoves and specialized cookware make the cook’s job easier, but nothing beats the taste and appeal of a meal cooked over the campfire. Success at campfire cooking will encourage you to go camping more often.
Learning to control fire was perhaps man’s greatest achievement. It allowed him to live in places formerly uninhabitable, to cook his food, change his landscape, and make weapons. The ability to create fire whenever and wherever it was needed was essential to the advancement of technology, and it could be argued that the invention of matches marked the birth of modern society.
A Simple Effective Fail Safe Tinder…
There are many different natural tinder’s available to the outdoorsman. Birch bark, clematis, old man’s beard… the list is almost endless. All are readily available as long as you know where to look for them and how to prepare them.
I just got the new designed larger fire kit knife in today…perfect timing as it has been raining for three days now…seemed as good a day as any to test it out.
So…say you’re in the woods, or at least many of the woods in the Eastern U.S., Western Europe that I am sure of, it’s been raining for days on end and you need a fire but only have a small knife and a firesteel….
A little known survival aid related to wilderness fire making skills is the Dakota fire hole, also known as the Dakota fire pit. This handy device is easy to construct and has marked advantages over other types of campfire constructs. Once you make a Dakota fire hole and try it out, you may choose to use this method on a regular basis.
Making a Dakota Fire Hole is initially more labor intensive than simply building a fire on the surface of the ground. However the outlay in energy required to make a Dakota fire hole is more than offset by its efficient consumption of fuel; it greatly reduces the amount of firewood required to cook meals, treat water to destroy pathogens or warm your body.
The following is basically a variation of how I usually do a one match fire. However if you really need a fire and you have a match…or a lighter…use it. It will speed things up a good bit.
Since I’m using sparks instead of a match the first thing I did was whittle into the dryer part of a pine limb and laid it in the sun so in a few minutes I could make shavings for tinder.