Survival Training 1: How to make fire

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Survival Training 1: How to make fire

Post by ''Correcaminos'' on 2008-08-19, 13:57

TO CREATE FIRE: You need 3 x elements - heat, fuel, & oxygen, and in sufficient quantities and correct ratios too. Because if you use too much of one and not enough of the other(s) you'll produce either (a) no fire, (b) too much fire, or (c) a smoking fire.

WHEN SELECTING A FIRE SITE: Choose a location where there's plenty of wood so you don't have to wander far to gather it. And if it's windy or raining, either select a place that'll provide protection against these elements or make a windbreaker out of rocks and/or logs. Check above to make sure there are no low hanging dead tree branches that could possible catch on fire due to flying sparks. And the exact spot where you intend to build the fire, clear the ground of flammable material (dry grass, leaves, etc) and either dig a shallow hole or make a circular wall out of rocks to help keep it under control. And if the ground is covered with snow, clear some away or make a platform out of green/wet logs so your fire won't sink and go out.

Flashlight Fire Starter - According to many "survival gurus," can be used in two ways to start a fire. Either (a) by taking out the round mirror reflector, removing the light bulb and inserting in it's place a "cigarette" and holding it in the direction of the sun, you'll be able to ignite it. Or (b) by removing the round mirror reflector & light bulb, turning on the flashlight and then taking a small "fluffed up" piece of #0000 steel wool and touching the two metal (+/-) prongs inside the flashlight, it'll ignite and burn. The Problem? No sun - no sunrays - no heat = no fire! Though this method works well in tropical and desert environments where the sun's rays are much more plentiful and powerful, it doesn't work well in most other places of the world. And if you don't smoke, where ya get the cigarette? And the steel wool, where are you suppose to get this? And if your flashlight batteries are weak or dead, then what ya do?

Magnifying Glass - Again, works great in tropical and desert environments, and in most other places of the world too. And the better "quality made" magnifying glass, like from a pair of binoculars, the smaller and sharper you'll be able to focus the beam of sunlight onto something to burn. The Problem? Again, no sun - no sunrays - no heat = no fire! And to ignite something with a magnifying glass, the material has to be very dry, very thin, and very sensitive to heat or it won't burn.

Magnesium Fire Bar - The most overrated, overpriced, and hyped up commercial product on the market, which is suppose to work by cutting or scratching off some magnesium shavings from the side of the bar and then striking the "flint rod" (along the side) with your knife to ignite it. The Problem? No doubt some pretty powerful stuff, and it produces an extremely hot flame too, but it burns "too quickly and rapidly." That is…if you can keep the magnesium shavings altogether in a small pile "on or near" whatever you're trying to burn and ignite it. And if you place the magnesium shavings on a leaf or piece of wood and then try igniting it... they'll go flying all over the place. And so the only good thing about this magnesium fire bar is the "flint rod," which if you use anything else but the magnesium shavings you'll probably have better luck in starting a fire with it.

Zippo Lighters - A long time ago I read a "three page" article in the American Survival Guide magazine written by some survival guru (or idiot) on how wonderful he thought Zippo Lighters were for starting fires. Yep, they're pretty durable all right. And yep, sure are easy to use. And yep, will start a fire in seconds too. Ya don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out, duh? The Problem? Anyone who has ever owned a Zippo will tell you the lighter fluid doesn't last very long, and so you either gotta refill it everyday or carry some around with you. (Duh!)

Butane Lighters - Probably one of the most commonly carried and used fire starter because they're small, compact, inexpensive, and will last a long time too. And they come in different colors, "orange" and "red" being the favorite and "white" and "green" being the least favorite because if they're accidentally dropped in the snow or tall grass… Problem? They must be kept warm to work, because if they get cold - they simply won't work. And so they must be carried close to the body so the liquid gas won't freeze or lock up.

Flint & Steel- No doubt an excellent fire starter, and it works by striking the flint with the piece of steel and allowing the sparks to drop onto the dry tinder. The Problem? You need to carry it inside something along with some fire starting material.

Waterproof Match Containers - If you buy the one with the "flint" on the bottom, when your matches run out you can use it as a "back up" fire starter. But before placing any matches inside the container, cover them with candle wax to (a) further waterproof'em, (b) to make'em burn longer. The Problem? A little bit bulky, not much, but it only holds about 36 x wooden matches. But if you pack it full of cotton balls and use the flint to ignite them, you'll be able to start a hellova lot more fires.Moving on, now let's talk about…

TINDER - This is the primary material used to get a fire going and consist of a very dry, thin, light, airy material that is very sensitive to heat and will ignite with the "touch of a spark." And according to other survival sites and books, can be dry grass, leaves, pine needles, shredded bark, cattails, and other weeds and plants that produce a very fine, dry, "hairy" material. And as Ranger George W. Jasper describes in his book Six Ways In & Twelve Ways Out, you make a "tinder ball" out of it. Which is nothing more then twisting, ripping, and fluffing it up until it's about the size of a tennis ball. Personally, I like to make and carry my own tinder inside of a 35mm plastic film container, which are cotton balls saturated with Vaseline. You just spread/flatten out the cotton, smear a little Vaseline in the center, fold or roll'em up and then squeeze out the excess. Then when you're ready to use'em, stretch & fluff'em up and all it takes is a spark to ignite'em and they'll burn for about 3 minutes. But if they don't ignite, it's because (a) you didn't stretch & fluff'em up enough, and or (b) you didn't squeeze out all the excess Vaseline.But if you're lazy and rich, you can buy pre-made tinder or fuel tabs from almost any military, camping, & outdoor supply store. Or if you wanna save some $$$, use cut-up short candles, the "joke type." You know, the birthday party "Magic Candles" that you can't blow out. They work terrific, and they're inexpensive too.

KINDLING - Are thin, narrow, short, pieces of wood that must be placed on or above the tinder according to thickness & size so they'll ignite and burn more easily, which the first size is "toothpick" followed by "pencil size" sticks. And once the kindling catches fire, that's when you can start adding the next size, "magic marker" and "broom handle" size sticks.

FUEL- Once the kindling begins to burn, you're ready to start adding wrist, arm, and leg size sticks. But be careful not to place too much wood on the fire or you'll choke off the oxygen and it'll start to smother and smoke. And if it does this, just remove some of the wood and gently blow on the hot coals to get it burning again, then gradually place more wood on it until you have the size of fire that you want. Remember: The smaller the fire - the less wood it takes to keep it going. The bigger the fire - the more wood and work you'll have to do to keep it going. Now we're ready to discuss the different types of "fire layouts,".

THE TEEPEE - First place your tinder ball on the ground and then carefully construct a cone shape teepee around it starting with toothpicks and then pencil size sticks. But make sure you leave a doorway open so you can get in and ignite the tinder in the center. Once the teepee fire is going, you can either continue to keep it burning like a teepee by adding more wood to it in a cone shape pattern, or you can change it into another layout such as...

THE STAR - This layout works great when you've got some long, thick, wood to burn but no way to cut them. And so what you do is place them in a star shape pattern and burn'em starting at the ends. And as they burn up, you push them further into the fire to keep it going.

THE PYRAMID - A long, lasting fire requiring very little attention once it's constructed and starts to burn. Must be built in layers with the bottom being the thickest & longest to the top being the thinnest & shortest. Must be ignited at the very top so the fire will burn downward in stages.

Number of posts : 83
Age : 25
Localización : San Juan, PR
Registration date : 2008-07-21

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