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Starting a fire without matches / lighter in inclement weather

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by TapRackNGo, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Last Years Test:

    Spur of the moment 30 min before dark I headed for the mountains. I left my house in shorts and a sweatshirt end of November. It was raining and temps were in the high 30's. All I took with me was my ferro rod and ESEE Junglas, No headlamp, lighter, tarp. I got up to my spot about 45min later. I had about 10 min before it was pitch black. What made it spooky was the thick fog. I had enough time to check 3 or 4 stumps before I couldn't see a thing. I didn't find pitchwood before it was to dark to see, and I started to freak out a bit. The fog was really getting to me. I remembered I had tripped over a hunk of cedar a ways back. On my way back, I grabbed some thin branches, bundled them and rubbed them vigorously against a tree trunk hoping it had some residual sap. I found my way back to that spot and processed that hunk of cedar down. While crouched over using my back as a rain shield I struck my ferro rod got a small flame. I had a roaring fire within 45min and I was warming up. I stayed there until my fire was large enough I felt like I could sustain a good coal bed overnight (couple hrs). I have more tests I have done, but that was pretty spooky because of the fog.

    Anyone ever test themselves like this?
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  2. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Took a survival course with Odd Bjerke in the late 50's (pre ferro rod). He had also produced at least two excellent films, one was survival on the river I believe and the other on edible's but forgot the title. There may have been more. I wished I could view them again. Mainly to reminisce. Anyone adept on searching things like this you won't be disappointed and if available, please pass it on. likely as not though have dwindled into obscurity.
     
  3. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Trained in survival as a kid.

    Never went out an hour before dark in shorts though...

    Best lesson I learned was to keep the things you need to survive on you. I always have a knife, lighter and some paracord on me.

    If I'm traveling during the winter months and happen to be in shorts and flip flops then I make sure I have pants and boots in the trunk when I leave.
     
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  4. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    DMZ in Korea, 1968. 30* below zero + wind howling out of Siberia. We carried lighter fluid (metal cans back then) as an "in case". Rare frost bite but frost nibble was killing us!;)
    Also, I was in kind of an extreme Boy Scout group, camping in snow caves, wilderness treks, climbing Doug firs with linemans gear, etc. we had Judo lessons, knots, fire starting, etc at every meeting. It was a great troop!

    BTW: To directly answer the OP, we carried, lighters (Zippo's), a LOT of matches and were well aware of the ability to start a fire with a cartridge, bullet removed, and gently stuffed with a cotton wad. Never did it but pretty sure that technique would light the heck out of lighter fluid!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  5. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Sgt. Nambu for serving our country!
     
  6. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    For me, one of the major deal breakers is keeping my hands warm.
    After three decades of skiing, I've found my hands can become so numb as to not be able to do any fine motor skills. That would include not being able to start a fire. Especially when your body is shaking from the cold.
    The scary part is that numbness can sneak up on you before you realize it.
    One last thought...ever tried building a fire with only one hand?
    A simple fall broke my wrist so bad that I couldn't use my hand. I was glad I was close to medical help.
    Thinking about that, I bought a "blast match" that can be used with only one hand.

    Blue Skies and Stay Warm!
     
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  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sure as heck not these days! It's cool that you test yourself like this! I'm sure that you are smart enough to have serious gear for backup in your vehicle/cashed. When you do more of this type of thing post it up, interesting!
     
  8. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    First, Thank You Sgt Nambu for your service.

    I actually didn't have anything else with me, but I could have always just gotten in my vehicle and left the area. But that was the point, I already know I can do it a number of ways, and a lighter, cotton balls is not really testing anything.

    I was hoping to get the feeling of desperation, which I did experience a bit. I thought it would be hard to replicate with my vehicle there. But it wasn't. I just told myself, you're not leaving, until this fire is huge. I was pretty cold and wet. I couldn't feel my fingers hardly at all, swimming shorts / sweatshirt will do that :). Well on my way to hypothermia, but not nearly bad as REAL COLD. I just pretended my family was with me with no means out of the situation.


    I did another one last winter. I detailed that adventure here. http://www.northwestfirearms.com/th...llamook-forest-6-degrees.157153/#post-1017866
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I know, my friend, I remembered it! Thanks for the thanks! SRG
     
  10. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Found an article here, Odd Bjerke. Now that would be an experience.
     
  11. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Blast Matches break. I have seen 2 break in a class. I have actually made fire with only using one hand. It's doable in decent weather. Would be damn tough in nasty conditions, but I could do it.
     
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  12. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for that, it was fun to read. Our group started in a surprise 14 hour whiteout learning the blessing of properly constructed snow caves and lodge like ambiance around the base of a large cedar tree whose boughs wept to the ground. I wonder where his films are.
     
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  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Too true, on the survival show "Naked and Afraid" I've seen a few break, leaving the naked folks in the lurch!
     
  14. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I sometimes walk out in my field with my GHB and make myself build a fire and cook up some rotation freeze dried food. Use my home made fire starters, and usually my coated matches, shave off some brush twigs. Although I need make sure my flint and steel and lighter fluid method works as well. I like lighter fluid. I like it a lot.

    There are so many things you need to keep in mind about survival. I work in a 60 + year old building that will probably fall over at the slightest hint of an earthquake. I keep my jacket on a hanger by the door, my car keys in my pocket. The lap top and brief case can stay, but I am out of that building in under 20 seconds. Second set of car keys in the car, open it with the door code.

    Best training I ever had was Civil Air Patrol cadet survival encampments. Based upon the Air Force survival training, these 3 weeks of training over 2 years, at 15 and 16 years old, 42 years ago is still with me to this day.
     
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  15. NoFlinch

    NoFlinch In a van down by the river Owner of Cocaine addicted dog.

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    WOW!

    You guys are making me cold sitting here in my office....:)

    I started a fire once by shoving a rag down a gas fill tube on my car, igniting the rag by pulling a spark plug wire and cranking over the engine, and there it was...FIRE...:D

    That's the only McGiverish thing I've done that I can think of right now:)

    Thanks for this thread. I'm learning some valuable stuff:):)
     
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  16. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    I know what you think you told me. But something more like this is what I heard.


    So spur of the moment I decided to try out a new parachute I was given.
    I had a friend take me up to 10,000 ft. Then I took all my clothes off and just jumped out!
    My friend in the plain quickly circled back around. And was kind enough to throw me the parachute[ I forget it, in the sheer terror of the jump]!

    I was determined to figure out the proper way to put on the parachute. And then deploy.
    All of course, before I hit the ground.
    And since I was naked and freezing. I was hoping the parachute may provide a little warmth.

    The spooky part was going through the thick clouds. They obscured the ground from my vision. So I had no Ideal how far up I still was? Then I remembered clouds are usually way up in the sky. So I figured I must still have lots of time to work things out. Wait. What about fog?
    Finally I was able to wrestle my way into the Shute and then deploy.

    All was not OK though. In my panic, I had inadvertently put the parachute on upside down. So when I deployed. The force of the Shute spun me very quickly. So quickly in fact, my head was actually shoved up my a$$.

    Some time later when I hit the earth. And was able to pop my head out of my a$$. I thought.

    ''Hey. There must be a safer more controlled way to learn how to do this''!
     
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  17. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Lol. Funny enough, I've been skydiving 4 times. 2 of those 4 times I had chute deployment issues.. Not naked tho.;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
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  18. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Fire starters, tightly roll up newspaper until you have a roll about 2 in to 2.5 in diameter, tightly tie a string around the rolled up newspaper every 2 or 2.5 inches. With a sharp knife cut the newspaper between every string, heat wax and soak chunks in hot wax until the chucks no longer bubble. all the air has excepted. Remove from wax and let cool, store in plastic bag. I have been making these for 50 years, even soaked in water for several hours they still work.
    Strike anywhere matches, place in hot wax, remove and let cool, keep in plastic bag or water proof container.
    Another fire starter, take a egg carton and dry sawdust in each hole, melt wax and pour on top of sawdust in each hole. When cooled you can cut into individual pieces or leave in one piece. I like the newspaper starters better because you can cut the string and unroll them which makes lighting them easer.
    Rub two sticks together to make a fire??? Not in the pacific north west rain forest.
     
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  19. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've played around with quite a few ideas for making sure I have fire in the event of an unexpected outing. One is illustrated here. I love old Zippo lighters, but I've learned that the lighter fluid evaporates after a few days to a week. A dry zippo isn't of much use. My response was to use my wife's food saver and vacuum pack my freshly filled zippo into a nice evaporation proof pack. I then add a pack of extra flints and again vacuum pack the two into a nice emergency kit. I've opened a pack after a year and the lighter is still full of lighter fluid and the flint works perfectly. With one of these and a tiny shampoo bottle of lighter fluid in my bag, I have a reliable source of fire for a couple of months of regular use.

    BmMAk6.jpg
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  20. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    You can also buy Bic Lighters in bulk off Amazon. My Zippo also runs out quick, I have seen some cut a bicycle tube and slip it over the Zippo like a sleeve. Seems to extend the fuel a bit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014