October 28

Lighting Fire With A Fire Steel

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Lighting Fire With A Fire Steel

Whether you're a Bushcraft expert or newbie, being able to start a fire is a must. For this purpose, a fire steel is your best friend - working under any condition, it's the most reliable way to produce sparks for a fire. To catch the sparks, we'll use birch bark for tinder and we'll use feather sticks to keep it going... I hope

Finding the Ideal Wood

I'm back in the woods, looking for the right wood to start our fire. For this experiment, I want to use birch bark for tinder to catch light. Birch bark has natural oils that not only keep moisture out, but also serve as fuel, making it an ideal fire starter. I'll walk you through some simple ways to identify and extract it. 

  • 00:21 - Some useful tips for finding dry wood for kindling. 
  • 01:00 - How to identify and remove birch tree bark for tinder, with minimal harm to the tree.
  • 01:58 - Finding the ideal wood for feather sticks - dead "standing" wood.

Making Feather Sticks

Feather sticks are really useful when very dry wood isn't available. They can take some effort and skill to make, but when made properly, they allow you to kill two birds with one stone: the concentrated curled shavings on one end serve as initial kindling and the thick baton on the other end is your larger source of fuel. 

  • 03:05 - Cutting rounds out of our timber with a saw. 
  • 03:50 - Carefully splitting the wood rounds with a knife, using the batoning technique.
  • 05:45 - Using knife to shave thin curls on our feather sticks.

Man Make Fire!... and Coffee

Finally, after gathering the different fuel sizes, I use a fire steel to ignite it. With a little bit of bushcraft improv, I made a makeshift coffee filter to enjoy a hot drink by the fire... And Monty makes a guest appearance! 

  • 07:09 - Arranging the fire lay with our tinder, kindling and larger fuel. 
  • 07:40 - Lighting the fire with a fire steel. Top Tip - place base of rod in the tinder and strike firmly down the rod, directing sparks towards the bark shavings so it catches light. 
  • 08:50 - Impromptu bushcraft coffee filter!
  • 09:24 - The cutest dog in the world:)

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  • Thank you. I have a question. What if you were walking in the woods without any tools and ran from a bear and got lost? You need a fire. What would you do to start one without tools?

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