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Old 03-01-2009, 12:50 AM   #1
sleuth
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Default fumbling in the woods

hi, anyone been out learning basic survival skills recently? anyone learn any tips they could pass on!?
lighting a fire is hard even with a lighter! let alone a spark scraper thing (which i aint got yet). i'm trying to build a small knockdown den in some woods near my home to practice. knockdown (take to pieces) because i dont have too much time! so i can take down the bits of wood you need for a fire and stuff and stash them.
just build it up as i go along. my short term goal is to be able to light a fire and make a cup of tea while i walk the dog for a couple of hours! then i'll think of something else slightly more challenging! (which could be a long term goal looking at my success so far!)
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:36 AM   #2
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I have lit a fire using the magnesium fire scraper (the grey block thingy) and newspaper - takes some time and effort! I'm going to get some Swedish army firesteels - I've read they're much better.

I found the lighter is easier - without wind blowing around ofcourse.

Next step is to try on some 'natural' kindling.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
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cotton balls soaked with vaseline are a good way to get the fire going.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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Not to blow my own trumpet (I cant reach down far enough anyway) but I'm a bit of an expert at firelighting using various methods.There is a science to firelighting and also when it's lit.
How are you trying to light it/what materials?
With a firesteel,most people do things the wrong way round. You should hold the striker on the tinder and then quickly draw the steel up and away so the the spark goes directly on to the tinder while the striker stay where it is instead of the other way which couses the sparks to disperse over the tinder. This method means you have a concentrated mass of heat immediately connecting with the tinder.
Easy to demonstrate but hard to describe.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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Why don't we just buy a shed load of lighters and stash them somewhere, and anyway, matches stay waterproofed if you cover their heads in candle wax, so get a load of swan vestas and wax em and stash em !
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by academylin View Post
Why don't we just buy a shed load of lighters and stash them somewhere, and anyway, matches stay waterproofed if you cover their heads in candle wax, so get a load of swan vestas and wax em and stash em !
Becouse lighters have a habit of going out even in a mild breeze and dont work when wet. A firesteel will work in a gale after its been dropped in a river.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the itinerant shrubber View Post
Not to blow my own trumpet (I cant reach down far enough anyway) but I'm a bit of an expert at firelighting using various methods.There is a science to firelighting and also when it's lit.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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Hi all......I just found a couple of videos about fire starters I thought you might be interested in.



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Old 06-01-2009, 09:27 PM   #9
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i've only tried once to light a fire but i'll keep trying! thanks for the help!
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleuth View Post
i've only tried once to light a fire but i'll keep trying! thanks for the help!
Consider a fire-piston too, these have been used even in the olden times and are pretty cool too

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:10 AM   #11
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Im just getting into foraging - im hoping to incorporate wild foods as a significant part of my diet, and perhaps one day be freed from the shops completely.

Its mind-boggling to think there could be food riots in britain.. when were literally surrounded by forgotten foods that kept us healthy for aeons
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Old 14-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #12
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I've made loads of fires with a fire steel. My tinder is char cloth on a bed of silver birch bark (the thin, curly bits that you can peel off the trunk, these still work if wet and it's hacking it down) supplimented with fat pine (which is collected from pine, you smash off dead branches to get the part that is closest to the trunk, this has a high resin content and flammable. Cut slivers off with a sharp knife and add to the birch bark). Birch twigs make good kindling and you can burn birch whilst green. You shouldn't pick your wood from the ground, take stuff that is standing on end or has fallen into neighbouring branches. If you have accessto a hazel copse, there should be loads of dead standing wood that is dry and a great source of kindling and intermediate logs.

For dog walking though, I sometimes carry a beer can burner and meths, it takes a while but there is no smoke so you don't give the game away. Fire is more fun and my next project is to try a fire bow.

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Old 14-01-2009, 10:45 PM   #13
sleuth
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Default whats that?

whats a beer can burner?
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Old 15-01-2009, 09:01 AM   #14
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This is what we need more of on this forum-people actually getting out there and doing stuff, instead of just making endless lists of equipment that they may or may not need one day.
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Old 28-01-2009, 04:55 PM   #15
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Hi Sleuth, The plans, instructions etc. can be found here: http://wings.interfree.it/html/main.html

Meths works but we in the UK could benefit from something that burns a little hotter like the Americans. 50 - 60ml will boil 500ml of water in about 8-10 mins. Small, light and it does work.

-snowee-

P.S. I also use this wood-burning stove when I can get away with it:
http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/top...ail-stove.html

P.P.S. Sites of interest that I have posted before, both excellent: http://www.woodcraftwanderings.org/ (bandwidth exceeded at moment) and http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/directory

-snowee-

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Old 28-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowee View Post
Meths works but we in the UK could benefit from something that burns a little hotter like the Americans.

Last edited by psych641; 28-01-2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 30-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the itinerant shrubber View Post
This is what we need more of on this forum-people actually getting out there and doing stuff, instead of just making endless lists of equipment that they may or may not need one day.
Amen to that, Shrubber! It's also a whole lot easier to try things out in the back yard. Then if whatever doesn't work, you're not too far away from help.

Think about setting up your tent and camping gear in the back yard for the kids to have a "sleep-out" some Friday or Saturday night when it gets warmer (or maybe to try it out now when it's cold). This shouldn't attract unwanted attention from the neighbors and gives you and your family a great way to "tweak" things that you need when you really have to use the gear.
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Old 30-01-2009, 09:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonas parker View Post
Amen to that, Shrubber! It's also a whole lot easier to try things out in the back yard. Then if whatever doesn't work, you're not too far away from help.

Think about setting up your tent and camping gear in the back yard for the kids to have a "sleep-out" some Friday or Saturday night when it gets warmer (or maybe to try it out now when it's cold). This shouldn't attract unwanted attention from the neighbors and gives you and your family a great way to "tweak" things that you need when you really have to use the gear.
Aye. Theirs nothing wrong in practicing things in the comfort of your own home. It's better to practice firelighting techniques in the hearth of your fire place than throwing yourself in at the deep end and trying to practice with a firesteel in a howling gale in the dark. I've even practiced the fire drill method in my lounge.

Basket making,sowing,knitting,knife sharpening,net making,cooking with wild food,even trap making;it's all essential survival skills that need to be mastered and can be in warmth and comfort. Once you've learned a skill,you can do it in any situation.

We talk about survival as though we might find ourselves in a desperate situation but the truth is,for us brits at least,is that the worst that will happen is that we will go back to pre industrial technology. The old crafts that our grandparents used are what we should be teaching ourselves,not worrying about drinking water from puddles.

We should also remember where we live and learn those skill that are indigenous to us.The tools indigenous to your place on the planet have proved themselves over hundreds of years and are designed uniquely for that area.

If you live in Britain,dont buy a machette that was designed for the tropics,go to ebay and get yourself an old or antique billhook. Stick on a new handle and you got yourself a well made tool that will last a lifetime and is perfect for living in the British isles.
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Old 30-01-2009, 10:24 PM   #19
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I love the comfort zone im livin in, but i can see, and its obviously, it wont last. By the lack of it,1 in 2 humans is dying from it MO NEY.
Its the waterworld mo ney is PAPER.

While the billions and zillions are stolen from common cense WHO IS LOST?
I Honestly respect the common opinion `i dont wanne know`

I honestly feel, kind of srry 4 the kids
they didnt get a chance to change

That makes me seriously sad sometimes.
Simply understanding how sick our moneysystem is.

Bravo rich rulers 4 keepin it f#cked up.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:04 PM   #20
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bike inner tube is good for lighting fires in the wet damp conditions. tampons are also good tinder. pine ressin is a good natural accelerant you can find it weeping fom the trees.
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