Fire Starters: Part 1

Fire and fire starters

Fire can be used to signal, cook food, purify water and improve your environment. Fire also provides psychological comfort. People do not feel so lonely with a fire. It makes the night less frightening, and while there are few large animals dangerous to people in North American deserts, fire will keep them at bay. It is important to know how to start a fire under severe conditions with means other than matches.

Fire Starters Sparkers:

* Flint
* Matches
* fire piston
* Lighter
* Battery: Steel wool, car battery
* Friction

Igniting Tinder:
Learn which tinders work even when wet. Birch bark, for example, will burn when wet, and so will sap from pines and spruces. You may have only minutes before your fingers get too cold to function, so speed is of the essence. :

* Lint
o Dryer lint ignites easily with a flint and knife. It is very lite to carry.
* cotton balls
o Cotton balls covered with vasoline will ignite with a spark from a knife and a flint.
* petroleum jelly/ hand sanitizer
* pine cones
* candles
* char cloth
* emergency candles
* pine needles
* wood skewers soaked in alcohol
* pencil sharpener: wood shavings maker

Start practicing now in your yard with your desired starter and tinder. Try to start that fire with one match. Also try it the next time it’s raining. Get in the habit of collecting dry tinder before the rain comes. Learn what things burn even when wet, like birch bark and pine sap.

To learn more go to or

By Josh Ketcham
Mountain Survival Inc. / Survival Inc.


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