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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Being Prepared - Making a Fire



Being able to make a fire is a necessary survival skill. If you spend large amounts of time outdoors or you are caught in an emergency situation, you will need to have more than adequate skill in making a fire to survive, especially during the colder temperatures of winter. Getting a fire lit quickly can make the difference in whether or not you survive.
Not everyone will have the time, patience or ability to make a fire by rubbing two sticks together. If you can do this, that’s great! The average person is not going to be able to do this and should be prepared ahead of time to be able to “cheat” a little when building or making a fire.
Keep a good ignition source available and a couple of backup sources in addition to your primary means of making a fire. Plain old matches in a waterproof container along with a lighter will always come in handy. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep a firesteel or some other alternate source of making a fire available as well. Having more than one way available to you in order to make a fire will give you the best chances possible in almost any survival situation.
Don’t forget to have some tinder available to help get that fire started. A cotton ball coated with Vaseline, lint or even a simple birthday candle can make all the difference in the world in your being able to get a fire started quickly. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a little “bug repellant” can also help get a fire started, especially if your tinder or fuel source is damp or moist. Time will be your enemy and you will need that fire as soon as possible.
Fire can provide a means to keep you warm and comfortable, purify your water if necessary and cook or heat any food that may be available and next to proper shelter is a definite requirement.
While primitive fire-making skills are great to have, you will need to master them before you rely upon these types of skills in a survival situation. Don’t risk your chance of survival without insuring adequate means of starting a fire, even if you need to “cheat” in order to get that fire started!
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker