Jul 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm #1237757
Companion forum thread to:Jul 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm #1513899
Nice video; I like the demonstration on the fire-starting tools. I'd love to see more videos demonstrating reviews, techniques and trips.
I would like to see more fire starting with natural materials i.e. what to do if your fire-starting products fail. Knowledge weighs nothing.
Also, the close-ups are a little too close.Jul 14, 2009 at 6:29 pm #1513909
@beepLocale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
Discerning forum watchers want to know…where are the cheeseburgers? ;-)
Nice video, Sam! The biggest challenge I usually face isn't fuel or starter but coping with too much wind (that blows out my baby fire before it grows up). I'd love to see some creative solutions for that!Jul 14, 2009 at 8:06 pm #1513923
I suck at starting fires, so I need all the help I can get, short of butane or oil.Jul 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm #1513928
Matt, you probably already know about the fire bow, but this video is pretty good. All natural materials.
This video is part of a series on friction fire methods, so be sure to check the others out if you're interested.Jul 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm #1513932
Dave: I was more referring to building a fire, especially the tinder ball, using natural materials and not relying on commercial firestarters as tinder. I'd be more worried about soaking my Tinderquiks than losing my flint/steel combo. In Minnesota, we have pine sap, pine needles (dried) and paper birch bark, among others, as excellent natural fire-starting materials.
As for all-natural fire building, I have read through Tom Brown's survival text many times and conceptually understand how to do a bow-drill. I have never really sat down and worked at it. Perhaps it is something I should take a weekend (or two, three or more) to work at.
Nice video: one thing that is not explained is how to make the various pieces.Jul 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm #1513934
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Excellent video, and a great thing to present.
I got pretty good at a bowdrill working a wilderness therapy program years ago, and it's a whole art form in itself. Getting the right wood for the spindle and fireboard is crucial.Jul 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm #1513937
>>I was more referring to building a fire, especially the tinder ball, using natural materials and not relying on commercial firestarters as tinder.
Ah. Well, that's dependent upon the area you're in to a certain extent. In the 'Dacks I know to use birch bark as tinder. Works like a charm and smells really good. I always pick some up and carry it around with me.
When I was in Montana, I used a lot of that fluffy Old Man's Beard stuff for tinder.
One natural tinder/firestarter that I've always wanted to get better at finding are those tinder fungi. You break them off a tree and mash the insides just a bit with your knife, then they catch a spark. You can use them as hand warmers if you're carefulJul 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm #1513938
Oh, and knowing how to make char cloth is handy too. Though not really a natural tinder.Jul 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm #1513943
@disco-1Locale: Rocky Mountains
Sam H, you're a regular Les Stroud! Nice vid.Jul 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm #1513948
@creachenLocale: East Bay
A great fundamental to backpacking-cool stuff!!!
-JayJul 14, 2009 at 11:26 pm #1513963
Great video Sam! More like this in both format and down to earth topics please (no professional video crew required). Although the intro and conclusion closeups were a little bit Blair Witch Project! :)Jul 15, 2009 at 4:41 am #1513981
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
thanks Sam, a great refresher…Jul 15, 2009 at 5:51 am #1513989
@surnailzLocale: White Mountains
I really liked that video. Well done! What I would like to see, and I'm not sure if this exists already, is a fire starting video that is taken in the rain, after many days of it, and perhaps while it's dark too. These challenging conditions are exactly when you need a fire the most and I would like to see how others cope with these challenges.
-jimJul 15, 2009 at 6:40 am #1513994
Definitely, I agree, the techniques were interesting but lighting a fire in dry weather – come on, anyone can do that!Jul 15, 2009 at 7:34 am #1513997
@cmcrookerLocale: Desert Southwest, USA
Great video Sam! Nice to see one of those Sparkies in action.Jul 15, 2009 at 7:36 am #1513998
That fungus I was thinking of is called Daldinia concentrica (i.e. cramp balls). Check them out in this video:
Also, regarding firestarting in wet conditions, I think the unfortunate reality is that is cannot be done reliably if you are hiking in an ultralight style and don't have the sorts of artificial fire starters that Sam was demonstrating.
If you have a full tang knife for batoning into wood (to get to the dry center) and for making feather sticks, you'll probably be able to do okay.
EDIT: Also, here's a good place to learn about how to start a fire with the traditional (and ultraheavy) flint and steel method.
You can also buy steel strikers from this guy (handmade no less) and buy Mora knives on the cheap.Jul 15, 2009 at 7:39 am #1513999
I'm happy to see all the positive comments so far – thanks! This video was quick and covers only the absolute basics of using a few different tools to get a spark going.
I should probably revisit the topic and go into the art of turning a spark into a fire as well as using only natural materials rather than Tinderquik and Wetfire.
Personally I always carry a fire starter into the backcountry so I've not taught myself bow drill or friction techniques although I respect those who practice it in the utmost.Jul 15, 2009 at 9:08 am #1514010
Great video, I've always had a hard time starting a fire in wet conditions! Thanks for the tips!Jul 15, 2009 at 9:21 am #1514014
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
The small dead branches at the bottom of pines that the video shows also have very small branches or tiny twigs that can be bunched up into a baseball size loose fitting ball. A trick is to get your match at the bottom of this ball of twigs. Just with your fingers dig a small trench and then a small platform with bigger twigs, so the lighted match can fit directly under the pile. In wet weather, split thumb sized dead sticks with a knife into small pieces which will be dry in their center. You can also carve these sticks along the edges to create dry chips. You can split the wood with a large single blade knife. Place the knife on top of the stick you want to split. With one hand on the handle take a large stick and pound the blade down through the center of the wood piece you are splitting. Imagine that you are splitting large pieces of wood for your fireplace or wood stove at home.
I learned this from reading Cody Lundin's book 98.6 Degrees, The Art of Keeping Your A__ Alive. Google "Cody Lundin"
Here are some photos of the above method:Jul 15, 2009 at 9:46 am #1514018
Although they weren't featured in the video (presumably because BPL doesn't sell them) Fire Fixins make great natural tinder should you be interested in that.
I think they're made and sold by a father and his son here in the US, so that might be appealing to some.Jul 15, 2009 at 10:08 am #1514026
There are literally thousands of ways to start fires so I only featured those things that I had on hand. I've never heard of Fire Fixins and will have to check them out.Jul 15, 2009 at 10:23 am #1514031
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
To be fair, BPL doesn't sell dryer lint either (or maybe it's just not currently in stock…just kidding, glad to see many items restocked!).
TomJul 15, 2009 at 10:28 am #1514033
No BPL doesn't sell lint. But they sell everything else that was featured in the video.
So, to be fair, the video was basically an infomercial.
Nothing personal, Sam. It's not even that I mind infomercials. I just don't like framing a video that's meant to sell products as an educational piece.
Maybe it was an accident. I'm just saying…it's tacky.Jul 15, 2009 at 11:52 am #1514054
I chose to showcase some of the best commercially available fire starters in the video. I also happen to choose to sell some of the best commercially available fire starters in the BPL store. It's no coincidence that there was overlap in this video ; )
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