Truly mastering the art of fire making can be both a life saving and enjoyable skill. There are a number of different a ways to get a fire going. This is what we will be exploring in this article.
If you have spent any amount of time as a causal camper or just enjoyed a bonfire in your own backyard odds are you have used the simple lighter fluid and a a match technique. I know during my year I have built up my share of stories using this method. Sure it’s the simplest way to spark a flame. However do you know how to get that fire going if you don’t have a bottle of lighter fluid within arms reach?
When setting out to start a fire starting out small is most successful game plan. There are three things that need to accounted for in building that fire. First you need an ignition source. Then you need fuel and air. For this article we will start with the fuel or what is called tinder. Tinder is made out of a small pile of dry combustible things that can be found within your environment.
Normally this is will end up including dry leaves, grass, and small twigs. As you are compiling and building you tinder bundle it is a good idea to also round up a number of sticks and twigs that can be used later on to feed and maintain your fire. When you are preparing your tinder bundle you will want to picture a birds nest of sorts. Keeping things tightly together in order to allow your spark to ignite your bundle. While allowing for air flow throughout the bundle. This will give your young fire the ability to accelerate and grow.
With your tinder bundle prepared and ready to go the the next step will be to add a spark. There are countless methods to harness the life giving spark to bring your fire to life. For this article we will focus on the trusty magnesium fire starts you can pick up in the outdoor section of any store. These are really pretty dependable and offer the smallest learning curve. They way they work is by striking the rod across the magnesium to create spark. As the sparking magnesium flies off it burns around fifty six thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Which is more than enough to give your tinder bundle the spark of life it needs. The biggest thing you will need to keep in mind is that magnesium sparks burn out quickly. The art of transferring the spark with success will take a little bit of practice.
Now that you have transferred your spark and your tinder bundle has begun to take the flame. Before you begin to smother your young fire with all of the wood you have collected for the night. You have to nurse your baby fire into that of a mature fire that can handle all of that fuel you have at the ready. To do this you will want to breath into the fire. You are going to be using your breath to gently push air into that ember. While breathing into your young fire you can now slowly begin to feed in a few small twigs. During this part of the process you are now truly playing with fire, adding twigs and other small items you will now start to reap the rewards of your time and effort. As your flames begin to grow you can increase the size until you have a nice steady fire to enjoy.
To build a fire with out match and lighter fluid does take time, practice, and patience. Still as an outdoors man or woman it is right up there with the most important skills you can. It is something that you can practice even at home. Next time you light your charcoal grill or before relaxing by at the fire at home.
Here are a few extra tips for preparing for your next adventure:
Every back pack that I own and use is always packed with two forms of ignition – one is just a plain old Bic lighter and the other is a Titan Survival fire kit.
For tinder I keep a small dry pouch filled with old dryer lint in all of my packs.