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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    As a little girl I used to go outside after a good hard rain and see if I could find dry materials to start a fire. At the time I was using stick matches and I only allowed myself 3 matches or I would consider myself failed. I got really GOOD at this. And no, I never set the woods on fire. You need to practice but it's not hard. If I had a lighter I have really never failed. There's "always" dry material to be found if you are actually in the woods.
    When I was in the Boy Scouts, we were allowed 2 matches to get a fire started. We were expected to properly prep the wood before we tried to light it. If we had to use a second match, we were unmercifully razzed!

    I used to sneak a can of Boy Scout Water, (aka: Ronson Lighter Fluid), into my day pack. It wasn't much of a secret. One day, the scoutmaster asked to borrow to get a fire going!
    " A good proofreader/editor, if they are doing their job properly, will really annoy an author!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post

    Attachment 46916
    Or this kind of idiocy---having your camp fire up against a rock right on the trail.
    I think that is one way they teach in Boy Scouts to light a fire during windy nights.

  3. #43

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    In dry but otherwise safe conditions,my overall favorite method is to make a twig tepee with the rest stacked in place such that you have just enough space to stick a birthday candle in the ground and light it.Those candles are light in weight and give off plenty enough btu's to get good ignition.Wet conditions are just too much time and effort for me so I would personally be better off to heat something to eat/drink and get under the quilts.

    I'm with Tipi Walter on the survival candles though if you want some heat though but extreme caution is advised.Campfires Always leave me cold on one side.......and they can damage expensive gear with cinders too.

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    I've been reading all these tips. We don't build fires often, because they're so much work, and it's easier to just get in some dry clothes and snuggle in some down.

    Of course, if your clothes and your down are wet, maybe you NEED a fire. So please clarify for me, all these tips tricks and techniques, are they any good if it's still raining? I can't imagine that a fire is possible in a downpour. Am I wrong?

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    It's alot of work sometimes, other times there's wood everywhere.
    I've gotten pretty good if it's been raining all day and I get into camp and it stops or just a lil drizzle. But downpour no ma'am I'll get into my down and my tent.

    Five Tango, you need to spin around sometimes to warm your backside.

    Colorado Rob, all good brother!
    Last edited by JNI64; 11-17-2020 at 01:52.

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    I wonder what the thread starter thinks of all this?

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    Exclamation The purpose of these postings

    are they any good if it's still raining?
    Most of them are.
    I can't imagine that a fire is possible in a downpour. Am I wrong?
    If you get some degree of covering between a fire and a downpour -- a bush, a large trash bag, an emergency blanket,
    https://survivaldispatch.com/wp-cont...reflection.jpg
    even yourself -- you can keep a fire going *IF* you prepare properly. And that's the whole point of this discussion: what is the proper gear and preparation for starting a fire in an emergency situation.

    This can be a blizzard in August
    https://www.weather.gov/media/wrh/on...TAs/ta9419.pdf
    your slipping and falling into a stream, sweating so much that you start to shiver at dusk (happened to me late in the day, in June in North Carolina), or just stupidity on your part
    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/entry.p...-the-Year-quot

    Knowing what to do AHEAD of time helps prevent an annoyance from becoming a life threatening event. Thus, we're all sharing ideas on how to start a fire when doing so becomes (literally) a matter of life or death.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 11-16-2020 at 18:21.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    Most of them are.
    If you get some degree of covering between a fire and a downpour -- a bush, an emergency blanket,
    https://survivaldispatch.com/wp-cont...reflection.jpg
    even yourself -- you can keep a fire going *IF* you prepare properly. And that's the whole point of this discussion: what is the proper gear and preparation for starting a fire in an emergency situation.

    This can be a blizzard in August
    https://www.weather.gov/media/wrh/on...TAs/ta9419.pdf
    your slipping and falling into a stream, sweating so much that you start to shiver at dusk (happened to me late in the day, in June in North Carolina), or just stupidity on your part
    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/entry.p...-the-Year-quot

    Knowing what to do AHEAD of time helps prevent an annoyance from becoming a life threatening event. Thus, we're all sharing ideas on how to start a fire when doing so becomes (literally) a matter of life or death.
    Sometimes I'll build a small fire under a camp tarp when other people are present and it rains all day---

    TRIP 174 Pt2 020-XL.jpg

    In a "survival situation" I could care less about a fire, in fact it's a hindrance when I need to get my tent up fast and out of wet clothing in a 35F rainstorm/sleet.

    A couple years ago I was backpacking up Little Santeetlah Creek at around 10F and set up camp and wrote this crap in my trip report---

    WHY FIRES SUCK ON A BUTT COLD TRIP
    First you have a good 4 season tent set up with a subzero down bag and a 7R or 8R pad system. You also are wearing very warm down pants and a beefy subzero down parka. You're in the tent sitting on your pads and it's 0F but your feet and hands are suitably warm so cocooned by your shelter and gear. You don't want to go out and build a fire at 0F in a 20mph wind. Here's why---

    ** You have to find a level spot and clear the snow.

    ** It must be far enough from the tent to prevent burn ash holes in the tent fly from floating embers.

    ** You move the snow and go gather wood and break or cut enough, you'll also need ample kindling wood.

    ** All this prep is done in your butt cold rock hard boots, so your in-tent warm feet are now frozen.

    ** You work hard to get enough wood and get a fire going.

    ** Your backpacking winter goose down layers are getting pinholed by hot ashes because as a backpacker you cannot carry enough flame resistant clothing (wool/canvas) to be as warm as your lighter down parka and pants and down mittens.

    ** As you feed the fire and wait for the coals to build up it's dark and 0F with a moderate wind so your torso is cooling rapidly and your hands are cold because the fire doesn't yet give off enough heat to sit down and bask in the warmth.

    ** And where are you gonna sit? Definitely not on your inflatable sleeping pad---it'll get holed by a hot ash. And not on your ccf pad in your tent because it'll get wet from melting snow and also holed by hot embers. But you have to sit somewhere so you can remove your boots and thaw out your painful feet.

    ** In due time your face and chest and arms and legs are getting warm but your back and butt are still ice cold and your socked feet are barely thawing even by the fire. Don't burn your socks.

    ** Smoke chokes your lungs and eyes. Just about the time you get relaxed and comfy you have to put your rock hard boots on to get more wood.

    ** After a couple hours the hot coals aren't enough as they wither away and you start getting butt cold again and it's time to retire to the tent---where you could've been all along on top of your sleeping pads and under your -20F down bag while writing in your trip report.

    The best use of a fire in the winter is in a tipi with a woodstove (or wall tent or witu etc). Something you can feed at 10pm and by 10am the next day it still has a bed of hot coals and puts out heat all night.

    Just my opinion.

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    I agree on preferring to go without one. I had 2 on my entire AT thru hike, one because I got to planned camp early and was bored then at Baxter I failed to summit on 10/18 cause of weather and bought a shelter site at Katahdin Stream. It had a fire pit so I said why not. I always liked camp fires but not while back packing, it actually makes you colder imo (once you go away) and your burning lots of unnecessary energy. It is good to know how in an emergency though.
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    I've always wanted to try the clear plastic tarp shelter with a fire 4' or whatever away and a big rock or other 3'-4' type wall on the other side of the fire kicking the heat back to ya.
    If seen several YouTube vids on this. No matter how cold with this set up supposedly that thin plastic shelter will keep nice and toasty like a greenhouse affect.
    Of course if I try it I'll have a backup plan !
    (Take it easy tipi not so close it burns the rock up black . )
    Last edited by JNI64; 11-17-2020 at 01:19.

  11. #51

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    Sometimes good for keeping skeeters away...

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Sometimes good for keeping skeeters away...
    More smoke less fire....

  13. #53
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    And for the totally smoke free fire try the "Dakota fire" .

  14. #54
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    Practice at home and hone your fire making skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Portie View Post
    Preparation is important. Have your wood ready--tiny pieces, medium pieces, larger pieces.
    Gather 2-3 times what you think you will need, particular the smaller pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by atraildreamer View Post
    When I was in the Boy Scouts, we were allowed 2 matches to get a fire started. We were expected to properly prep the wood before we tried to light it. If we had to use a second match, we were unmercifully razzed!
    My wife was stunned when I started a fire with one(1) match. Her family was from the lighter fluid, newspaper, and Bic lighter fire pit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    ...My wife was stunned when I started a fire with one(1) match. Her family was from the lighter fluid, newspaper, and Bic lighter fire pit.
    When I read that the BS were allowed 2 matches, I was wondering, What's the second one for?

    To be honest, I do sometimes use more than 1, but that's kinda rare.

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    Everything I know comes from this guy:

    Fire and Rain
    by
    Dr. André F. Bourbeau


    Quote:
    In my opinion, knowing how to start a fire and how to keep it going in a drenching downpour is one of the absolutely essential survival skills. No one is going to make ME believe that I can go out there in freezing rain at about 0 degrees Celsius, after it's been raining for days, pile up some half frozen and sogging wet debris for hours to make a debris hut, crawl in with non-waterproof clothes on, and not fall victim to hypothermia in very short order. Been there, done it - just doesn't work! I speak from experience. I've slept out with no gear whatsoever in that precise kind of weather, at the very least, 100 times in the past 25 years.
    When the going gets rough, and days of freezing rain, sometimes followed by -35 degrees is just about as rough as it gets, the only thing that will save your life is fire. Noted survival expert, Tom Elpel, just came back from a 4 day walkabout. How did he spend each night? By a fire. I do the same, and any experienced outdoorsman will also do the same.
    Fire, fire, fire - you've got to become a pyromaniac. It's the only way to survive! Freezing rain is worse than deep cold, because you can't even build a snow cave or snow shelter...
    If there's material for a debris hut, that means there are trees, and if there are trees, there is firewood, and if there is firewood, there is fire. And if there are no trees, and everything is soaking wet and freezing cold, and you have no rain gear or shelter, sorry folks, but your luck has just run out.
    Just like bough beds - make me laugh! Just try lying on one of those soggy soaking wet beds made from dripping evergreen branches. You won't last 2 hours in really cold weather, I guarantee it.
    So, if you want to survive, learn how to make a fire in the rain. Sorry, that just can't be learned by reading, you have to practice. Why practice when it's nice out? You don't need a fire then! It's when it's miserable and soggy and soaking wet and all your clothes are drenched that you need a nice big bright beautiful fire to dry you out and keep you warm. Please practice this skill during the worst thunderstorms you can find, close to camp. THIS is one skill which WILL save your life- even without shelter.
    Out of 32 students who sign up for my bachelor's degree in outdoor adventure pursuits in their first year at the University of Quebec, on average, only 1 or 2 can successfully start a fire in the rain - and they all have experience. Imagine beginners... No wonder so many people die from hypothermia.
    The problem is that everyone has learned to make a fire by picking out small twigs from conifers, then putting them on the fire one by one, then bigger ones, then bigger ones still - as if size of wood and leaving enough air were the only factors to consider when making fire. It isn't as simple as that. There is a lot more to this skill than meets the eye.
    Of all the skills I teach, starting fire in the worst downpours (at least with matches, BIC lighters and a magnesium match) is on the very top of my list of priorities. I cannot EVER stress this enough. If you want to survive, LEARN THIS SKILL!
    Best wishes for dry weather in the meantime.

    Read entire comentary here http://www.equipped.org/andre.htm
    Here is more information from the same site and I quote:

    Quote:
    Sparks
    The most reliable way to start a fire, though not the easiest for those with little or no experience, is with a commercially prepared (artificial) flint and steel (your knife will do for the steel, though some such fire starters come with their own). This is a practically unlimited resource that won't run out and that works in any weather.

    The artificial flint used for such purposes is similar to the flints used in traditional cigarette lighters, but it is a somewhat harder alloy in order to give off hotter and more long lived sparks. It is comprised of a mixture of metals and rare earth elements, by weight approximately 20% Iron (Fe) with trace amounts, less than 3% each, of Zinc (Zn) and Magnesium (Mg) and the remainder a combination of rare earth elements, 50% of which is Cerium (Ce), the remainder primarily Lanthanum (LLa) and Neodymium (Nd) and trace amounts of some other rare earth elements. These are alloyed at high temperature and then extruded into rods of various diameters. When scraped with a hard, sharp edge a thin layer is scraped off and the resulting friction heats the scrapings up to the point of ignition, giving off an impressive shower of very hot sparks. Note that this scraper doesn't have to be steel, but the edge does have to be hard and sharp enough to scrape with. A broken piece of glass can be very effective, for example. The back edge of many knives works as well as the sharp edge, if it hasn't been eased.
    By comparison, natural flint is a very hard quartz mineral, harder than most steels, which when struck on a sharp edge by steel or iron creates small sparks by removing and heating up the softer metal. These sparks are relatively weak and few in number, so making a fire with these requires a fair amount of skill and special tinders. Natural flint is a real pain in the you-know-what to use compared to the man-made variety. Fine for those re-enacting the experiences of the Old West's Mountain Men and the like, but not very practical for us today. Some manner of man-made flint should be part of every survival kit.
    The longest lasting artificial flints are the conventional 1/2 inch diameter by 2 or 4 inch long flint rod, usually incorporating a cap or hole with a lanyard attached. Sometims there will be a steel scraper attached to the lanyard. More expensive versions may be fitted with a bone, antler or wooden handle. A bit large for anyone focused on minimum weight or size, but you'll get a massive shower of sparks with these large rods. They will last through hundreds of thousands of strikes, so for a survival situation using them up is impossible.

    See more at bplite.com

    http://bplite.com/viewtopic.php?f=51...31aaf400db3753

  17. #57

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    Most campfires are for socializing and ambiance (unless you are camped immediately downwind from a smokey fire) as opposed to being used for camp chores like cooking. They can be nice and lead to sing-alongs and ghost stories, but are the cause of a great number of uncontrolled fires over the years when people do not understand how to properly extinguish them. A lot of us have hiked into a camping area at mid morning or later to find wisps of smoke from a fire the previous night, many of these will be fires that have burned into the ground and are in slow process of subterranean combustion that left unchecked by weather or deed can ignite the understory.

    We talk a lot about starting fires. Given the serious forest fires that continue to burn throughout the US, perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss how to extinguish them to avoid disaster.

  18. #58
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    I don't have a fire the next morning .
    But I think it's a good idea to pull the remaining big pieces that didn't burn to the edges of the pit. Take a stick and separate the ashes and lots of water.
    I'll also sometimes put some rocks in the fire pit keeping the wind from blowing away any hot ashes and also kills the oxygen to any remaining hot stuff.

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    But I think it's a good idea to pull the remaining big pieces that didn't burn to the edges of the pit


    better yet, just burn all the wood.....

    with proper preparation (isnt this what this thread is all about), one can achieve this
    by only gathering small to medium or so sized branches/logs/etc.....

    be realistic about what can be burned-------a 3 foot in diameter log is not going to burn that easily
    in a normal sized campfire.....

    chop it up into small pieces and sure, it will burn....

    and then burn til everything is ash.....

    feed the fire only what is needed and don't load it down, and it's easy to get everything to burn to
    ash....

    i've seen enough fire rings that contain a huge log that is not split and only a slight
    dent of a burn in it....

  20. #60
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    Yes we try to burn all the wood but sometimes with that really hard wood like locust, walnut etc., there's leftovers remaining because they burn for so long.

    And this thread was started on how to start fires know we've evolved to putting them out. Safer to cover all bases!!

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