A fire is an important survival tool and can be used for many purposes. They can include cooking food, purifying water, signal fires, providing warmth, keeping animals and predators away, drying clothes, and keeping insects away. Fire also is a psychological factor; it can be a big morale booster.
Always have at least two, or three ways of making a fire in your bug out bag (72 hour kit) or on your person. I always have matches, a firesteel and dry tinder with me. With waterproof matches, a butane lighter, a magnesium fire starter or firesteel, you should be able to start a fire anytime and anyplace regardless of the weather conditions. Don’t forget about the cotton balls and vaseline, we discussed in an earlier post.
We all have a tendency to think we are great woodsmen and can start a fire with one match. All I have to say is if you have never done it or haven’t done it for a while go out and try it. You may be surprised at how hard it can be. When you think you are getting good, try it in the rain. Learn how to find and use pine or other resins. Knowing how to build a fire is one of the best survival skills to develop, so start practicing and become an expert.
In the future we will discuss in detail different methods of finding dry wood, resins and fire starting. This will include matches, butane lighter, firesteels, magnesium fire starters, and some of the less generic ones such as the Sparkie, Blast Match and Strike Force.
So go out in your backyard with a few matches and see how you fare. Practice and become an expert. Your ability to create a fire is the mark of an experienced survivor.