Getting a sustainable fire started may be a matter of life and death in certain situations. Knowing how to get that fire started in all conditions is a must. To increases your chances of survivability you need to prepare ahead of time when going into the woods hiking, backpacking or hunting. I have covered some easy ways to get a fire going in previous articles along with the items I carry in my fire kit.
Today we are going to take a look at starting a fire with damp wood. This skill is found in the new “100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition.”
No. 033: Build a Fire with Damp Wood
In this scenario it was raining pretty good, so in an effort not to waste time setting up a shelter I was able to use the natural shelter a pine tree offers. The first thing I did was to quickly gather the sticks I would need to get the initial fire going. That included small kindling that I got from both off the ground and dead standing in the tree. From there I gathered a few larger sticks for fuel.
In foul weather you NEED a method of sure fire to get started. For me that was both the fatwood and mini inferno disks. Take one of the fatwood sticks and using your knife create several curls at the end of the stick (otherwise known as a feather stick). Once that is prepped, get one of the mini inferno disks and ignite that using a bic lighter. Once the mini inferno disk is lit, go ahead and place the fatwood feather stick on top. The combination of the mini inferno disk and fatwood will give you at least 5 minutes of burn time to get other tinder and sticks on the fire. At this point you can walk away from the fire to gather more wood to fuel the fire.
Contents of my fire kit:
- Fat Wood
- Mini Inferno Disks
- Bic Lighter inside an Exotac FireSLEEVE
- StrikeForce Ferro Rod w/Gorilla Duct Tape wrapped around the ends
- Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Knife (not pictured). This is a backup knife that stays in my fire kit.
This is the kit that goes inside my pack whenever I hit the trail, even if it’s perfect weather outside. In order to become proficient in survival skills such as this one, you need to practice in adverse weather conditions to both shake out your gear and become confident in the skill yourself.