Showing posts with label Firelighting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Firelighting. Show all posts

Nov 11, 2013

HOW TO: Waterproof, strike-anywhere! matches

HOW TO: Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches


Build a FireBuilding a fire is the most important task when dealing with survival in the wilderness. Be sure to build yours in a sandy or rocky area or near a supply of sand and water as to avoid forest fires. The most common mistakes made by those attempting to build a fire are: choosing poor tinder, failing to shield precious matches from the wind and smothering the flames with too large pieces of fuel. The four most important factors when starting a fire are spark - tinder - fuel - oxygen.

The most common ways to create spark are:

1. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches are your best bet. Matches may be water-proofed by dipping them in nail polish. Store your matches in a waterproof container.

2. A cigarette lighter is also a good way to produce a spark, with or without fuel.

3. The flint and steel method is one of the oldest and most reliable methods in fire starting. Aim the sparks at a pile of dry tinder to produce a fire.

4. The electric spark produced from a battery will ignite a gasoline dampened rag.

5. Remove half of the powder from a bullet and pour it into the tinder. Next place a rag in the cartridge case of the gun and fire. The rag should ignite and then may be placed into the tinder.

6. Allow the suns rays to pass through a magnifying glass onto the tinder.

Dry grass, paper or cloth lint, gasoline-soaked rags and dry bark are all forms of tinder. Place your tinder in a small pile resembling a tepee with the driest pieces at the bottom. Use a fire starter or strip of pitch if it is available.

It is important to keep in mind that smaller pieces of kindling such as, twigs, bark, shavings and gasoline, are necessary when trying to ignite larger pieces of fuel. Gather fuel before attempting to start your fire. Obviously dry wood burns better and wet or pitchy wood will create more smoke. Dense, dry wood will burn slow and hot. A well ventilated fire will burn best.

Build a ShelterA small shelter which is insulated from the bottom, protected from wind and snow and contains a fire is extremely important in wilderness survival. Before building your shelter be sure that the surrounding area provides the materials needed to build a good fire, a good water source and shelter from the wind.

Wilderness shelters may include:

1. Natural shelters such as caves and overhanging cliffs. When exploring a possible shelter tie a piece of string to the outer mouth of the cave to ensure you will be able to find your way out. Keep in mind that these caves may already be occupied. If you do use a cave for shelter, build your fire near its mouth to prevent animals from entering.

2. Enlarge the natural pit under a fallen tree and line it with bark or tree boughs.

3. Near a rocky coastal area, build a rock shelter in the shape of a U, covering the roof with driftwood and a tarp or even seaweed for protection.

4. A lean-to made with poles or fallen trees and a covering of plastic, boughs, thick grasses or bark is effective to shelter you from wind, rain and snow.

5. A wigwam may be constructed using three long poles. Tie the tops of the poles together and upright them in an appropriate spot. Cover the sides with a tarp, boughs, raingear or other suitable materials. Build a fire in the center of the wigwam, making a draft channel in the wall and a small hole in the top to allow smoke to escape.

6. If you find yourself in open terrain, a snow cave will provide good shelter. Find a drift and burrow a tunnel into the side for about 60 cm (24 in) then build your chamber. The entrance of the tunnel should lead to the lowest level of you chamber where the cooking and storage of equipment will be. A minimum of two ventilating holes are necessary, preferably one in the roof and one in the door.