Winter Firebuilding Techniques (Video)
- This topic is empty.
Feb 20, 2013 at 12:50 am #1299484Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Companion forum thread to:Feb 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm #1956714
You can actually scrape off shavings from a ferro rod in the same way as a mag bar. You can get a nice little pile and a burst of flame.Feb 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm #1956716Karl KerschnerBPL Member
@ Brian UL, your point that small belt axes are much more dangerous than full size axes is very important. More skill is required.
Kochanski demonstrates using five or so wooden wedges of varying lengths to split a larger diameter round of wood, using a baton. He talks about reusing them until they wear out.Feb 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm #1956720Luke SchmidtBPL Member
I make mine slightly different. I gather enough thin sticks to make a small log cabin. built it sort of like a bridge between two thicker pieces of fuel. I fill the "cabin" with either pine nettles or shavings of wood I've made and I light it from the bottom (usually with a cotton ball on the end of a stick).
I've found a sturdy pocket knife to be invaluable in starting fires in the east even in summer. Things tend to be moister then out west and finding good tinder is tough. Often its quicker to split sticks up.
Ken mentioned fires in a downpour. I did that once using generous amounts of alcohol. I built a big pyramid of fuel on top of everything so the fire was somewhat covered as it was starting. A friend of mine had his campers hold a piece of cardboard over a fire while he started it. I suppose you could have someone hold a sleeping pad over the fireplace while you lit things up (I wouldn't us a Neo Air though).Feb 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm #1956724
Here is a GREAT video of Terry Barney making a fire in the rain using only a non locking folding knife and a firesteel.Feb 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm #1956725Joshua BillingsBPL Member
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Totally cheating. Love it. Nice hatchet, too.Feb 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm #1956728Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Good find Justin. Thanks.Feb 21, 2013 at 7:02 am #1956793Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
That just makes no sense – if it's raining, get in tent
And that video is worth less – let's see him keep the fire going for several hours.
Maybe if you could rig up a tarp or find a sheltered spot to keep the rain off you and the fire.
I usually make a fire, but it's just for entertainment.Feb 21, 2013 at 11:20 am #1956922
That video is worthless? Really?
In the beginning of the video he shows that he is under a tarp. Being able to get a nice fire going in the cold and wet while laying under a tarp is amazing. It can warm you up after a cold day and help to dry out some of your clothing. After being soaking wet and cold all day, it can be hard to warm yourself up with just your body heat.
Yeah, he could keep that fire going for hours but it was just a demonstration. If you put wet wood on the fire carefully, the heat will dry it out to where it can catch. The rain wont put a fire out unless it's a torrential downpour. Even with a torrential downpour, if you place the fire under heavy tree cover it will block enough of the rain.Feb 21, 2013 at 11:43 am #1956935Jim ColtenBPL Member
Rain or no rain, This how you start a fire!
Of course, LOX isn't UL.Feb 21, 2013 at 11:53 am #1956944Confused NewbieSpectator
@confusedLocale: Northern CO
Thanks for the post Ryan. I'd love to see more videos, especially about winter or shoulder season backpacking.Feb 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm #1956987Kevin CaronBPL Member
You are doing a good job for bpl thx you so much!Feb 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm #1957008Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"That video is worthless? Really?"
No, I said worth less, not worthless : ) And there are some good ideas in both videos I have filed away in my memory bank, thanks.
A lot of times when I build a fire in marginal conditions, I can get it to burn for a while, but then it sort of fizzles out. You need an hour and at least 10 times as much wood before you really know you've got it going.
If a fire is big enough, like a bonfire, it won't make any difference if it's raining.
And if it's raining hard, there's no way you'll dry out as fast as new water is getting you wet.
If you can find a sheltered spot, like under a tarp, but not melt the tarp from the fire, then you could make a fire and get warm and dry. A tree maybe, but after a while most trees start dripping.
So much easier to wear as little as possible that gets wet, set up your tent, take off wet jacket and put on dry clothing and get into dry sleeping bag.Feb 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm #1957102Tom DealMember
@tomsbackwoodsLocale: Northern Idaho
Thanks Ryan you did a great Job! Here is my 2 cents for what its worth. I have several vids on youtube demonstrating different types of fire lays for different situations Also a few on finding natural tinder that works well I have been successful in rain snow and windy conditions.I would give the link but I thought we were not supposed to do that here.Search Tomsbackwoods if anybody cares to watch.
My experience has led me to not using small saws. For me my small axe can split chop cut everything I need under 5 inches in diameter.A light scoring around the outside of the piece and some pressure will usually break the wood with no need for a saw.Splitting is just as easy with some practice.I use a break down buck saw with a 24 inch blade for bigger wood. Batoning is a great example for getting to the dry heart wood.I use this method when I don't have an axe.
Making fire is a great skill.I practice in the rain for the fun of it and I think everybody should know at least a few ways to make fire in an emergency.
Thanks for your effort Ryan and great tutorial!Feb 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm #1957120AnonymousInactive
"Nice video. I'm glad to see it here on BPL.
One small quibble. I don't really see the need for an ax. It is the heaviest and by far the most potentially dangerous implement of the three used in the video, especially in a survival situation where you may be shaky and stressed. You can do limbing very easily with a pruning saw, without worrying about limbing yourself in the process, and save a lot of weight and bucks in the process. Other than that, an excellent tutorial well executed. Thank you, RJ!Feb 21, 2013 at 8:43 pm #1957245Randy CainBPL Member
@bagboyLocale: Fresno, CA
"Thanks for the post Ryan. I'd love to see more videos, especially about winter or shoulder season backpacking."
My thoughts exactly!!! Keep 'em coming!Feb 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm #1957258Hamish McHamishBPL Member
>And that video is worth less – let's see him keep the fire going for several hours.
Lighten up, Francis.
The technique demonstrated is fully applicable to getting a fire going when everything is soaked but it's not still raining.Feb 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm #1957282
James, he was referring to the video I posted, not the video in the main article.Feb 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm #1957525Hamish McHamishBPL Member
>James, he was referring to the video I posted, not the video in the main article.
I know. That's why I posted what I posted.Feb 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm #1957878Justin CBPL Member
@paintballr4lifeLocale: East Coast
Great video, thanks!Feb 25, 2013 at 6:50 am #1958421Peter SBPL Member
I enjoy watching your videos, you keep it fun and professional.Feb 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm #1959045Mike OxfordBPL Member
@moxfordLocale: Silicon Valley, CA
I was expecting "making a fire out of really wet stuff in slightly (or seriously) inclement conditions."
This felt more like "go find some dry wood out of the snow and then bring it back to the snow.
Use a hatchet and knife and saw and Esbit …
It's not bad advice, but it's something I would have expected from one of the more mainstream sites and not BPL.
*shrug*Feb 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm #1959058samuel smillieMember
@sam_smillieLocale: central canada
I would echo what others have said.
I like that a video on technique was provided and I think firebuilding is as good a topic as any. That being said, there are a lot of excellent video series on firebuilding easily available on youtube. It would have been nice if bpl had assessed what was already available to members for free and found a way to present something that would be uniquely beneficial to the membership.
-best tarp configurations for cooking with fire under/appropriate positioning of gear, sleeping system, fire and person under said tarp set up.
-strategies for firestarting in winter with only a knife/only UL knife typically carried by bpl members
-strategies for firestarting in damp conditions without the use of carried-in kindling/firestarters ie, no cotton balls, esbit, paper etc, only natural indigenous materialsFeb 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm #2075275Fred GerberBPL Member
I'm a K-9 guy. I'll take my buddy along. He's great withFeb 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm #2075276Fred GerberBPL Member
I'm a K-9 guy. I'll take my buddy along. He's great with me in a sleep system. I'm a believer in cotton balls and vasilene. We take very little along, but do take a good knife and cotton balls.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Our Community Posts are Moderated
Backpacking Light community posts are moderated and here to foster helpful and positive discussions about lightweight backpacking. Please be mindful of our values and boundaries and review our Community Guidelines prior to posting.