Fire is one natural phenomenon that shaped human culture like no other. By taming this genie, our ancestors had at least some amount of power over nature.
But even today, without the fire-making devices such as matches and lighters that man has since developed, we are no better off than those who lived centuries ago. When stranded in the wild, the ability to start a fire can make the difference between life and death.
Before you attempt to start a fire, gather the following in different piles:
- Tinder: This is dry, easily flammable material that needs only a few sparks to get ignited. You can gather thin, fibrous, plant material to be used as tinder. Fine steel wool is also a type of tinder. Even though tinder can catch fire easily, it cannot sustain it.
- Kindling: Kindling is slightly bulkier organic material that can be used to feed the fire you start with the tinder. Dry wood chips, thin twigs and dry grass stalks make good kindling.
- Firewood: Larger twigs and logs take longer to reach their kindling point, but once ignited, they sustain the fire longer, too.
With the basics down, let’s examine 7 fire-starting methods to add to your survival skills:
Let’s start with the simplest method. That said, this happens to be the most labor-intensive way to start a fire, but the upside is that you don’t need any special objects or chemicals.
You need a sturdy piece of hardwood as a fireboard. Make a notch in this with a knife or pointed rock. You need a two-foot-long stick to fit into the notch. Rolling this stick, or spindle, between your palms should turn it in the notch, generating heat through friction. Eventually, it’ll get hot enough to start smoking and then form tiny embers.
As you catch the embers in the tinder, blow on it to encourage the fire. Introduce bits of kindling. Build it further by adding increasingly larger pieces of firewood.