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Bushcraft and Firestarting

One measure of a true survival expert or wilderness guru is the mastery of bushcraft and firestarting. While some may argue bushcraft is firestarting, the two are arguably separate branches of the same tree. In a typical survival situation firestarting will help you get warm, but bushcraft will help nourish and sustain you.

Firestarting

The method above relies upon cotton balls smeared in petroleum jelly, doing this gives the fuel material a much longer burn-time. Another method for if you are caught unawares in the wilderness is to use what is around you.

In a survival situation you should have at a minimum a knife and steel or a piece of flint. Strike the flint of a rock and you have your sparks, likewise with the knife off steel. Other alternatives include a fire-piston, flint-steel-magnesium block. In the video above the latter is shown in use.

Your next step is to gather your wood materials for fuel. Other materials can include paper and gasoline, yet typically unless you are in certain urban environments wood is predominantly the best fuel. Coal is also excellent but is difficult to start from scratch unless the combustion temperature is raised considerably. Wooden logs, branches and kindling are required. When your firestarter equipment ignites / smolders the kindling it's time to work quickly. Before the kindling burns out quickly feed small sticks and branches in more to get it hot then feed branches over time which feed the kindling-flame. Logs are added last to fuel the fire.

Fire-making

Making a fire is slightly different to starting one. Fire-making involves constructing your fire materials so they all start easily in sequence or even as a semi-permanent fixture. Examples of this include:

  • A Dakota Firepit
  • A

 

 

   
 
 

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