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#26549 - 10/11/04 12:27 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!

Well here are my fire starting experiences:

Back in the English summer of 2002 I fancied myself as getting ?average? at creating fire with my Swedish Fire Steel. I had it proudly attached to my knife sheath so where my knife was fire was too.

While scouting up the hill towards my local pad of trees is I gathered pieces of straw of the land and seeds of nettles bushes. Once between the trees I?d put the nettle seeds on top of the straw and would get my rod out. Only two or sometimes three strikes were needed to ignite the seeds (how can Ray Mear only do it with one?). The underlying straw would be picked up by my hands and cupped so that the straw would cover the top of the burning seeds and off it went?

I was proud it didn?t need any supplements from my PSK, only materials used.

Average was not the word that came to mind when I practised my fire making skills in the Scottish hills during the late summer of 2004. Unable to find straw or seeds I was looking for natural alternatives. The best I could come up with was dead bramble sticks which were still of the ground and using my knife to create slithers. Also created feather sticks in as kindling. This didn?t work even though it is softwood (it grows fast). Also had a newspaper with me in case with which I couldn?t even light it! Nor with candle from PSK or with lighter TERRIBLE! <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Lesson learned: learn to use a range of different materials.

When I go out camping I have a small fire lighting kit packed into a small waterproof container (old British army NBC container which held eye washing fluids). It contains a candle, rubber strips, hexamine fuel (excellent fire starter!), BIC lighter, some wax and three fireworks (create loud bangs more as a signalling device than fire starter).

In addition to this I carry a few long dry sticks of fire wood where I can take shavings of to use as tinder and the sticks itself as kindling. Once the fire is going I can split new sticks, lay it to the heat source and have dry kindling for the next fire.

Now even though the Zippo has had some negative publicity on this forum (not this thread) I am still contemplating owning one.


#26550 - 10/11/04 02:34 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
goon Offline

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 37
I have found greased cotton balls to be as close to fool proof as it gets for me.

#26551 - 10/11/04 02:47 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
brian Offline

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
My favorite commercial tinder is Tinder Quick. Recently I have been trying to carry less gear so I carry lots of stuff with multiple uses and I have no redundancy. With that in mind what I have found to work really well from even a small spark is the little 1"x1" alcohol pads that come in most first aid kits and can be bought at the drug store in boxes of 100 or more. They burn plenty long enough for me to light a fire with under almost any conditions and the are also effective for cleaning cuts and scrapes.
Learn to improvise everything.

#26552 - 10/11/04 03:47 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Burncycle Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 559
I keep 2 spare flints in my zippo for just such emergencies <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Just put them in that place you squirt fuel (I usually remove them while fueling, then put them back after)

#26553 - 10/11/04 06:12 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA

I don't know what type of filler material is in your Zippo, but mine has what appears to be cotton batting with a compressed formed cotton cover over the batting with a hole in it for clearing the flint tube. I put my flints (5) under that cover so it is between the batting filler and the cover and in that way, I do not have to remove or worry about the flints getting lost when I refill with fluid.


#26554 - 10/11/04 08:48 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Burncycle Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 559
That's what I mean, I guess I just worded it poorly <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#26555 - 10/12/04 12:39 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!

Tuck'em under the cotton pad, between the pad and wadding, and you don't have to worry about losing them when you refuel, they'll just ride there 'till you need 'em.


#26556 - 10/12/04 12:59 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
TRex Offline

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Alaska
At the USAF survival school one of the training revolutions was to build and maintain a fire in very wet conditions and do it in the quickest possible time. It had been raining and snowing for over a week, everything appeard to be soaked. The instructors took us over to some trees and proceeded to remove dead dry branches from the lowest portions of the tree. There were bunches of the stuff. We all had great fires in no time flat.
[color:"black"] [/color] <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

#26557 - 10/12/04 01:10 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!

I learned that little trick in the Scouts (Boy, not Sealous), evergreens work REALLY well, the green outer needles will even burn wet, and the dry inner twigs/branches will go up like gasoline.


#26558 - 10/12/04 02:41 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
dBu24 Offline
new member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 81
Loc: IL
Oh well....... but again, under such conditions, lighting a fire is of little use.

NOW, a tip: I was a heavy smoker for some 30 years (quit now for 3 years) and believe me, there's nothing easier to ignite/ difficult to extinguish than a good cigarrette. And a skilled smoker sure knows how to light a smoke.

Once I showed some colleagues how to lit once on a speeding open jeep. Hold the upper end of the cig together with the head of a match (any cheap ordinary match) and strike them together on the matchbox. Usually one attempt is enough. Now, we all know that a cigarrette can set in fire a whole forest.....

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