Fire Starting

The Hate Ape

MARSOC
SOF Support
Joined
Oct 6, 2011
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612
Location
West Coast
P - Lighter, Cottonball/Vasoline + Sap'd Wood I Carry around
A - 9v Battery + steel wool
C - sunlight + strands of duct tape

E - Go The Fuck Home
 

Ranger Psych

Ranger
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Sep 6, 2008
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3,711
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Saving lives one axe swing at a time.
Would you choose magnesium over it for wet conditions?
Honestly, I would choose magnesium under all conditions. I have only had one shoddy magnesium bar lose the sparker stick in about 35 years of lighting things on fire, either accidentally or on purpose, and have yet to actually use up the magnesium portion of it.

If you keep the edge still and scrape the bar to spark, you should only need 1-3 scrapes to get ignition regardless of ambient conditions, and with the heat generated by magnesium burning, it will dry off the tinder/kindling if you make a large enough pile of it.

Big key is to make sure you do full length shavings and rotate the end away from you each time you use it, so you wear it down evenly.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
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Jan 24, 2008
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Tejas
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Well in the Army we just soaked whatever in fuel and used a Bic lighter. A ball of C4 is awesome if you have it, but honestly I didn't make a lot of fire in the Army (camp, burn barrels, etc)

Civilian side I have a soldering torch from my plumbing days. Bottle of MAPP gas and Bic lighter. I can literally set green standing trees on fire if need be. Worth its weight in gold if you ask me. As for emergency stuff, I have a ferrell rod kit, and I've made bow/drill fires while in the boy scouts. I've just never needed a back up to my torch.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
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Messages
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I still remember having to build each type of fire (tepee, lean-to, cross hatch and pyramid). The three match test, the bow drill and the magnifying glass. I still have some pretty fond memories of my scouting days, can't wait for my boy to get old enough.
 

KiloPapa

Unverified
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
51
Birch bark. Keep dry in a bag. Excellent for starting a fire in combination with a magnesium rod, matches, lighter etc. Especially the thin outermost layer of bark that sort of peels off. Catches fire almost just by looking at it.
 

Blizzard

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
1,594
If you find some good pitch, it makes an excellent firestarter aid as well.
 

Tinman6

Bio Defense
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Dec 8, 2018
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699
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Right in the middle
I carry a couple of 4" or so pieces of fatwood/ pine pitch in my kit. As well as other ways of making fire. Ferrocerium rod, magnesium rod, Bic lighter and magnifying lens. oh, I almost forgot those lifeboat matches. That burn like a freaking fusee for 30 seconds or so.
Yeah I know I carry a lot of crap to make fire... you should see the med kit I keep in the car.
 

MikeDelta

Military Police Soldier
Verified Military
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
339
P - Ohio Blue Tip Matches (waterproof match case)
A - My Zippo (more challenging to get flame under tinder)
C - Ferrous rod (large, made in DE, 18K strikes)
E - Magnifying plexi-glass I carry, or god forbid making a bow drill, socket and fire board with my knife and 550 cord.

I’m super meticulous about choosing the tinder, kindling and fuel I use; always making sure I have the right amounts of each and stacked in their respective piles in reserve before striking the match. I actually spend much, much more time preparing for the fire. The more I prep, the easier it goes. If I get lazy do not get enough tinder, kindling and duel, or let greenish or damp wood slip in, it’s always a battle to keep it going. Splitting wood and making shavings for kindling is another chore that I sometimes conduct. I use a simple Scharade belt hatchet, sometimes a Bowie to aide in batoning.

Building the fire up, placing additional wood congruent with the fires burn direction, and paying close attention to where the wind is blowing from is key. The better the fires position in relation to air supply/wind, the less huffing and puffing I need to do.

I’ll build a log cabin fire with a reflector wall for warmth and cooking for more than just myself, and a tepee fire for cooking a quick personal meal.

Searching for dry tinder and kindling in wet conditions is another thing I practice, carefully removing a top layer of fallen leaves, grabbing stuff from under pines that shield the ground from rain etc...

I love the whole ritual of preparing and managing a fire. It’s super relaxing to me, even though a fair amount of cussing occurs depending on the weather conditions.

A fun game is to keep score and see how many years you can go starting fires with one match. It really motivates you to prepare for the build.

...I know, I know, you guys can’t wait to party with me. Next thread I’ll detail my watching paint dry hobby.
 
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