Saturday, June 18, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

How to Make a Survival Fire Starter

When surviving in the bush one of the most important rules is to keep dry and warm. A fire is the best solution for that. However, to get a fire you need to be able to start one. This was only one of the many things we learned during the bushcraft course with Nick.

In the wilderness, matches can get wet and normal lighters will be unexpectedly empty the moment you need them. So what we used was cotton, Vaseline, and a fero-serium rod, all available for a low price in either a dollarstore or outdoor stores. The cotton pads have to be 100% cotton otherwise it would contain rayon which would just melt. First, you fluff the pad up to create more surface area for the oxygen which is one of the three parts you need to create a fire. The other two would be fuel and heat. Nick then went on to ask us how long we think the pad will burn. Some said a few seconds, others guessed one or two minutes. In the end it burnt for about ten minutes, which is pretty impressive. The Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is put on the fluffed up cotton. This will serve as your fuel. The fero rod will be the heat as it creates sparks. The rod will never be empty nor will it get wet and stop working. Other more traditional lighters would be flint and steel or quartz. The best way of using the rod is to put the fero-serium part onto the pad, so that the sparks will be as close as possible to the cotton to catch on fire. Nick can start the fire within seconds, others needed a few more tries which is totally normal for the first time. The pad is put under a pile of small twigs called the first gear just like in a car. As the moisture evaporates out of the first pile, we put the second pile on. The sizes of the first four piles are toothpick, pencil, finger and thumb and it grows until the fire is big enough. This way a fire can successfully be started when in the bush.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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