Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#167623 - 02/23/09 03:06 AM My kids started a small fire today, without me
GrilledBison Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 22
Loc: PA
My very independent kids were outside this afternoon, playing freely with whatever they could find in the backyard (sticks, pinecones, leaves, pine needles, the neighborís plastic lawn chairs) when DD, age 8, ran into the house to let DW and I know that DS, age 6, had started a fire outside. I let DW take the first alarm on this one, but DW quickly sounded my name for a second alarm.

DW found DS by a flame about 1 foot high, which he doused with a bucket of snow. DS was red-faced, crying, upset about being caught and I think he was also upset by his success, which I donít think he was expecting.

Last summer, I had spent some time here and there with DD & DS looking for kindling, trying to light a fire with different methods (BlastMatch, Lite-My-Fire fire steel, magnifying glass, Fresnel lens, and matches), both at home on the back patio or the driveway, and at a campsite fire ring. We discussed air, fuel, & heat; where to build a fire; methods of extinguishing fires (water, smothering, disbursing or removing the fuel); checking to make sure they were out. These were small fires we worked onósmall enough to stamp out with a foot. We discussed safety each time, but apparently I needed to give both DS & complicit DD a refresher about having adult supervision.

Today, after I checked to make sure there was no material burning anymore, and after DS had calmed down a bit, DD, DS and I had a discussion about the fire. I learned:

1. They were cold, but didnít want to come in to warm up, so they decided to make a fire.
2. They chose a place to start the fire, on a concrete pad (which, decades ago, housed a brick fireplace, but was now just one course of bricks). They had defined a small area where the fuel and the fire would be by circling it with pinecones. This was not where we had practiced, but was similar.
3. They had constructed a windbreak with a found cardboard box, held in place by a rock DS put inside the box, and they placed it upwind.
4. They gathered dried grass for fuel.
5. They couldnít find a source of water outside, so they filled a bucket with snow from the only place in the entire yard where the snow hadnít melted and brought it next to the fire.
6. They chose the easiest method to start the fire, matches, and found them where they know I keep them, on my grill stand.
7. DS took one match out, and closed the matchbox.
8. DS was scared so he lightly dragged the match on the striker area.
9. DS saw that was not a big deal, so he did it harder and lit the match.
10. DS put it to the grass, and it caught, so DD smothered it with snow and came in to sound the alarm.
11. DS tried it again (persistent, eh?), and had a nice 1 foot flame by the time DW arrived on scene.

I conclude that I should pay attention to my son's requests to practice making fires. I had pushed his multiple requests off, saying we'd do it when we go camping this summer. He is showing a healthy interest, and we can certainly practice before the summer. I also will make my matches less accessible and talk to them about "what if" the fire gets out of control. Your comments?


Edited by GrilledBison (02/23/09 03:25 AM)

Top
#167625 - 02/23/09 03:34 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Sounds to me like your DS has at least a little bit of pyro-fascination in him, which is also found in some on these boards and many males of the human species.

Sounds like the next time he does it without supervision and gets caught it might be time for some discipline, if not already. What and when is of course your call as a parent. Otherwise, they seem to learn fast and did a commendable job.

The key to playing with fire is to not get so out of control so as to create damage to persons or property of value. The key is to not fear it too much, and to give it a healthy respect. A fine balance.

A level of comfort around fire helped me tonight, because of a few flames which I quickly and easily extinguished. But, I've also got some pyro-fascination.


Edited by Dan_McI (02/23/09 03:49 AM)

Top
#167626 - 02/23/09 03:47 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
I like you kids. They did a lot right, just at too young of an age...

You did a good job at teaching them how to start fires, but it seems they need more experience putting OUT fires and a few lessons on how fires can get out of control real easily.

-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

Top
#167629 - 02/23/09 05:00 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Blast]
GrilledBison Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 22
Loc: PA
In our experiments with fire last summer, we always started by getting a bucket of water.

I was actually impressed with their snow solution. The snow was icy, slushy; not powdery, light. DD put out their first experimental fire, then DS put out the second fire with it. I examined the scene, removed all remaining fuel, asked them what made them think it was out, and how they felt they could be sure. They had good answers. We also had rain earlier in the day, and everything around was wet.

I will continue to debrief DS. I think the "what if" method is best for getting him thinking about how things can get out of control; showing him the limitations of what he or I could do if it does; knowing how to keep it in control (limit fuel and air; put it out); and other ways to solve the initial problem of wanting to stay outside, but be warm, like KEEPING YOUR HAT ON!

I've also decided to de-emphasize fire fascination by spending some serious time with them doing other (non flame) experiments as well as working on map & compass skills; knots; and perhaps shelter building.




Top
#167631 - 02/23/09 05:38 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Now they need the lessons in fire extinguishing and to be given the job of camp fire marshal.
The fire department here puts on a good course.

Nothing cures fascination like familiarity and responsibility.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

Top
#167639 - 02/23/09 11:44 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: GrilledBison
I've also decided to de-emphasize fire fascination by spending some serious time with them doing other (non flame) experiments as well as working on map & compass skills; knots; and perhaps shelter building.


Once the fascination is there, it's tough to get rid of it. However, I think the shelter building may be a good idea. It will give them a place to go out of wind, so it might help them stay warmer. Also, there's not much that kids like more than their own club or fort. If you can build one or more with them, they'll love it.

What about some simple chemistry experiments? The combination of vinegar and baking soda once brought me joy. Thirty-plus years later, I can recall a small Anacin bottle the top of which became a projectile.

Top
#167641 - 02/23/09 12:26 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Dan_McI]
Mike_H Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Impressive that they were prepared to put the fire out. That definitely shows a good sign. But, yeah, discipline for starting the fire without supervision.

If it was a life threatening survival situation, it would be different.

Sounds like you did the right thing with them.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#167653 - 02/23/09 01:57 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 390
Loc: CT
Until I was old enough to not need it, the rule regarding firearms was that Dad and I would get them out, whenever I wanted (unless the request conflicted with chores, dinner, etc), but if he were not around, the guns were off-limits. That might be an approach for you two and fire.
_________________________
Improvise,
Utilize,
Realize.

Top
#167656 - 02/23/09 02:35 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: GrilledBison]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
If I were you I'd be mighty proud. Sounds like your little ones have shown a lot more insight than most adults these days when it comes to making a fire. They took all the necessary safety precautions. Even though they might not be quite old enough to start a fire without supervision it's pretty obvious they understood what they were doing.

Looks like your kids may well grow up into avid outdoorsmen/women. No need to criticize or even punish them for what they did. Just let them know they should not play with fire on their own yet and teach them the little tricks of the trade to stimulate their interest.

Top
#167690 - 02/23/09 10:38 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Tom_L]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
As long as they're capable of doing it, they need to be doing it under supervision. That 'just say no' crap doesn't work with not slamming the door all summer, so why think 'no' to firestarting will be any different.

Maybe you can have them start a fire every day. Eventually, it may lose its fascination. "Aw, Dad, do we HAVE to start another stupid fire?"

Sue

Top
#167698 - 02/24/09 12:28 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Susan]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Sue, that is like letting an addict loose in a poppy field. I'm sure Blast will attest to that. *laughs*

Absolutely they should be supervised. But they got it right, so I wouldn't be too hard on them. Something like a soft lecture and no dessert tonight. But I think that you can also use fire starting as a reward for other lessons, like navigation and rope craft.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

Top
#167707 - 02/24/09 01:00 AM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: ironraven]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Quote:
But I think that you can also use fire starting as a reward for other lessons, like navigation and rope craft.


Both our girls were potty trained by lettng them light and then blow out a candle whenever they successfully used the toilet. grin We'd light the match and direct there hand to the candle.

-Blast, starting them young
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

Top
#167753 - 02/24/09 01:57 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Blast]
Mike_H Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: Blast
Both our girls were potty trained by lettng them light and then blow out a candle whenever they successfully used the toilet. grin We'd light the match and direct there hand to the candle.

-Blast, starting them young


Whew!!! Someone light a match! LOL... wink

That is great tho. Whatever it takes.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#167758 - 02/24/09 02:39 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Mike_H]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
It may very well be that you've missed the opportunity to get them started with the proper respect. My brother and I were pyros, and we lit all kinds of fires growing up, some got out of control, some we were darned lucky we survived. Had I known then what I know now about some of the things I was doing, I would never have taken such risks. My parents had the attitude that out of sight was out of mind, and so long as we didn't cause trouble, they never really cared what we did. On the occasions where we did cause trouble, we went to the woodshed, but that was never an effective deterrent. All it did was teach us not to get caught doing bad things.

What helped me keep my kids from following the same path was to engage them, to take them out shooting, and have them clean the firearms for an hour or so afterwards, and show them what a bullet can do to a watermelon, or a jug of water, or a 2 x 4 so they get some perspective. More importantly, we have a good long talk about the rules and expectations, so they have no question in their mind about what is and isn't acceptable. I also kept an eye on them when I could. Same with making fire. Show them what a cup of gas does when thrown on the fire, take away some of the fascination and turn it into more of a chore. They become proficient and respectful.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Top
#167827 - 02/24/09 10:31 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: Blast]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Blast

Both our girls were potty trained by lettng them light and then blow out a candle whenever they successfully used the toilet.


That could be hazardous as they get older... smile

Top
#167914 - 02/25/09 11:52 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: ki4buc]
jimtanker Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 61
Loc: Fort Bragg, NC
Everytime I go out into the woods with my 8 year old son we talk about something survival. Quite often we will start a fire with one method or another. We always talk about the rules and when it is ok and not ok to make one.
_________________________
19K3P4A82AN

Top
#167915 - 02/25/09 11:56 PM Re: My kids started a small fire today, without me [Re: benjammin]
jimtanker Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 61
Loc: Fort Bragg, NC
Originally Posted By: benjammin
It may very well be that you've missed the opportunity to get them started with the proper respect. My brother and I were pyros, and we lit all kinds of fires growing up, some got out of control, some we were darned lucky we survived. Had I known then what I know now about some of the things I was doing, I would never have taken such risks.


My tool of choice for being stupid when I was a kid was my dad's black powder. Always a fun time with that stuff. I should have been dead a few times.
_________________________
19K3P4A82AN

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, chaosmagnet, cliff 
April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30
Who's Online
1 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle), 102 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Explorer9, GallenR, Jeebo, NicholasMarshall, Yadav
5368 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Corny Jokes
by Jeanette_Isabelle
04/19/24 11:47 PM
People Are Not Paying Attention
by Jeanette_Isabelle
04/19/24 07:49 PM
USCG rescue fishermen frm deserted island
by brandtb
04/17/24 11:35 PM
Silver
by brandtb
04/16/24 10:32 PM
EDC Reduction
by Jeanette_Isabelle
04/16/24 03:13 PM
New York Earthquake
by chaosmagnet
04/09/24 12:27 PM
Bad review of a great backpack..
by Herman30
04/08/24 08:16 AM
Our adorable little earthquake
by Phaedrus
04/06/24 02:42 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.