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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little simple things

"Little simple things" comes from our guest contributor, Tim. Tim's from the mountains of Oregon, currently living on a five acre starter farm (with access to 1200!) in the Picayune, MS area. Tim is one accomplished individual! He's an Eagle Scout, a c-17 load master in the air force reserves who's been through the highest military survival school. He's also a Master Carpenter and a HAM radio operator. Tim says, "A couple of years ago a local gun store owner turned me onto survival blog and I have just gone from there.  I found preppers network about two weeks ago and enjoy it." I think y'all will enjoy his first post, and look forward to more.


I find that I get encouraged by reading basic how to articles, even if they are something I all ready know it’s always good to see others take on a subject.  It is also good to practice the skills that we have so that they are fresh in our minds and we can draw on them when needed.

Just this last Friday after work it had been raining all day and I didn’t have anything pressing to do. I decided that it was a good time to practice my fire starting skills. I know that most people say that it is easy to start a fire, but try to start a fire in the rain with only a knife and a Bic lighter. You will find that it can be frustrating and challenging when you are in the best of moods, so it’s a good time to learn before you truly need it.

The first thing that most people tell me when I talk about starting a fire in the rain is that all the wood is wet. Let me tell you that the only time in Earths history that all the wood was wet was after it had rained for forty days and forty nights. What you want to look for is branches that are dead but still hanging on the tree or are held off of the ground by other branches, this is called squaw wood. The bark on these branches protects them and the rain runs off so the inside stays dry. Other things to look for are freshly fallen pine needles or sap; they don’t soak up water and burn easily. Another important thing to find is a good thumping stick, this is a solid piece of wood about two inches thick and about eighteen inches long, it is used to drive the knife through the wood.

Preparations for starting a fire in the rain are the most important part of the challenge. Gather all the wood that you can before you ever try to start the first thing burning. Once you have everything together start by breaking or chopping the squaw wood into pieces about six inches long. Split the wood into kindling using the knife. The inside of this wood is dry, use a couple of pieces of this wood to make shavings for tender to get it started. As you are doing this prep work it is important to keep the rain off of what you have gotten ready. I stuff it in my jacket.

Once you have every thing ready it is as simple as putting it together and lighting it. Start by putting the tender in a pile and covering it with kindling and light, as it starts to catch add bigger and bigger pieces of wood. Once you have the flames going you can add wood that is soaked and it will catch and burn.

After about fifteen minutes I had a nice roaring fire that put out a lot of heat. My Seven year old son and I sat enjoying the glow until it was time for him to go to bed, even though it was still raining and the outside temp had fallen to the low forties the heat of the fire made it comfortable.

As preppers we spend a lot of time working on our stores of supplies, but it is good and just as important to stop and practice some of the most basic skills so that they are second nature for us when we need them.

P.S. once you have practiced it’s always fun when sitting with friends and watching it rain to bet them twenty bucks that you can go into that stand of woods over there and start a fire with just what you have in your pockets.  It’s bought my dinner a few times.(You have your pocket knife and a lighter in your pocket don’t you?)

1 comment:

Worn Out said...

Great post Tim! Keep them coming!

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