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#190292 - 12/09/09 05:32 AM Keeping the first fire going
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
So you got a fire started, great! Now you need to keep it going while you do other survival activities, and you are going to want to take fire with you when you travel. How are you going to do that?

Edited by dweste (12/09/09 05:33 AM)

#190311 - 12/09/09 02:24 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: dweste]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
i'll have to go down to the basement and look thru the "2nd rate" book heap but i know i have something on a guy who got lost in Yellowstone in the 1800's and carried a flaming branch around once he got a fire going..

#190315 - 12/09/09 02:36 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: CANOEDOGS]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Out here in the forest you can keep the fire going a good four or five hours just putting bigger chunks of wood on. The embers stay good long enough to get chores done. If you were really worried about it, you could pile a heap of old fir cones on the embers and let them smolder all day, or old elk or cow droppings if you can find any.

For travel, a good leaf bundle is pretty handy. Grass will work too, but you have to bundle it tight and be able to stick an ember down in the center. Again, bovine dung also smolders along well, as do old fir cones.

I also like to collect coniferous pitch/resin from trees when out and about. It makes a handy fire aid for all kinds of things. For instance, drop an ember in a small amount of pitch, give er a blow or two, and instant flame on.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#190317 - 12/09/09 02:53 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: CANOEDOGS]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7308
Loc: southern Cal
The anthropological literature contains stories of techniques for traveling with fire, usually encasing a smoldering hardwood coal in wet banana leaves, and stopping every now and then to coax it back to life. Mostly these reflect the difficulty of starting fires in a non-match (or flint and steel) situation. I would concentrate on being sure I had a good quantity of dry fire starter and tinder before breaking camp - after being sure that my fire was dead out.

I used to give evening campfire programs in the days when they involved a real, live campfire. The ranger giving the program had to light the fire. No matter how early you arrived to light the fire, you always had an audience. So you were honor bound to do it the woodsy way - natural tinder and , of course, just one match.

One evening I had lit such a fire and turned my attention to mixing with the audience (especially the young ladies). I turned to look at my campfire - no flames, only a thin wisp of smoke - crisis!

I spent a good five minutes coaxing that fire back to life - gently blowing, tenderly feeding small bits of tender, anything I could think of to avoid the disgrace of a second match. Finally I resurrected that fire, to applause from the audience....

Your fire isn't going until the main elements are ignited and more fuel is ready to feed into the flame.

When I used a fire regularly, we would usually try to revive the fire from the previous evening's coals. Typically we were successful. On one occasion, using desert ironwood as our fuel, we did not have to do a thing except put the coffee pot on a bed of glowing coals - still perfect for cooking from the evening before.

Playing with fire is fun and useful, but it is one reason I went to a light, simple alcohol stove for SAR operations. You can get it going quickly and positively, moving on to other pressing concerns.
Geezer in Chief

#190321 - 12/09/09 03:16 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: dweste]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7308
Loc: southern Cal
Once I have a fire going, my "survival activity" consists of drinking at least one nice cup of tea. My broken arm will just have to take a number and wait.
Geezer in Chief

#190323 - 12/09/09 03:18 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: NightHiker]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Originally Posted By: NightHiker

Traveling with fire? A bic travels quite well but if I manange to break it I've got at least 2 backup methods.

Don't just survive. Thrive.

#190332 - 12/09/09 04:17 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: comms]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
I've had a fire going sense Sunday night wink Just keep adding logs to it, and when I`m away for long periods or night put on 2 big logs smile It was 65*F in my house this AM when I woke up and 19 outside, can't complain about that wink

Traveling with fire = something to throw sparks with, or a ligther if you carry one of those in your PSK.

Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

#190337 - 12/09/09 04:52 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: Todd W]
PureSurvival Offline

Registered: 02/21/09
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Add some green wood to the fire along with seasoned wood will keep your fire going. It's a bit smokey though. There is not much need to carry fire in this day and age, you will still have to collect kindling and fuel once your at your destination so you might as well start from scratch.

#190341 - 12/09/09 06:28 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: PureSurvival]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
For clarity, the thread assumes you somehow got a first fire started in a survival situation but want to avoid whatever trials you went through to start the first fire and so want to keep it going and also to somehow carry it when you travel.

#190342 - 12/09/09 06:36 PM Re: Keeping the first fire going [Re: dweste]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Horses Hoof Fungus works reasonably well if you can find any for the purpose.

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