I occasionally watch some of the survival shows on television. Most of them are more drama than survival, but occasionally I will get an idea. I recently watched the new show Alone. This is one in which 10 men were dropped off in the rain forests of northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia with 10 items of their choice, not counting clothing. All ten are suppose to have some survival knowledge. Right from the start, most of them were in trouble because they lacked the ability to make fire under adverse conditions. They all had Ferro rods.
Now there were in an area where everything is wet and the humidity approaches 100%. Fire making is critical. On the first episode it appeared only one was able to start a fire. One of the ten quite after only one night because of his fear of bears, even though there is a half million dollar prize for the one who stays the longest. I don’t know where the show will go from here, but the first episode was interesting because so many lacked the ability to start a fire.
After talking to several people with no real training, I think that the average person considers themselves to be Daniel Boone when it comes to making a fire. In reality, I think that most would have very little success making fire under adverse conditions.
Learning to make fire under adverse conditions is a skill that you absolutely need to master if you intent to survive off the land. Now I am talking about going outside on the coldest nastiest, wettest day of the year and practicing fire starting. You need to learn how to find dry wood even in the cold and rain. Learn the fire starting methods that work best for you. Don’t just depend on one method learn as many as you can. In a real emergency knowing how to make fire under adverse conditions may be the difference fo dying from hypothermia or surviving.