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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/20/2012 3:52:28 PM EST
I am new to bushcraft and primitive camping. I am looking for advice on fire steels,fire starting techniques, tools and any other advice.
I know we have an area for this but I wanted advice form people who are familiar with our climate and terrain.
Thanks

Current tools
Several types of axes
Several types of machete
CS Trail Hawk
Becker BK2
Becker BK11
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:02:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 4:03:43 PM EST by gajeep94yj]
Get a Bic, much easier.......

Everything else is just for fun. I like the fire piston and A blast match. If you ever get a chance to come to the north side, check out goinggear.com they have lots of fun ways to start fire.

But in all seriousness a lighter is the way to go. The rest is just to compete with others in fire starting while sitting around a camp fire.


ETA, cotton balls and Vaseline are a perfect combo
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:28:51 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:34:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 4:36:12 PM EST by GeorgiaBII]
Old non Styrofoam egg carton
Drier lint
Paraffin or candle wax

Pack the egg carton voids with dryer lint
Melt paraffin or candle wax and soak the lint completely

Cut the carton up into sections. Toss in a plastic baggy.


The absolute best fire starter you can make. Will burn in anything but gale force winds and dead cheap.

ETA:

Go to a second hand book store and get an old copy of the Boy Scout manual. Everything you ever wanted to know. tried and tested right there.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:38:53 PM EST
a good well made bow drill with a supply of char cloth is definitely the best primitive fire making set I can think of........I can't stress how much you want to make and keep a supply of char cloth for primitive fire making...it makes flint and steel and any primitive fire making method much easier......

Fire piston and char cloth work well too.......
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:43:40 PM EST
Other ways:
Ice and bone
Coke and chocolate
Condom and water
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:54:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 4:56:43 PM EST by Mad-Machinist]
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
Other ways:
Ice and bone
Coke and chocolate
Condom and water


Care to elaborate.....? I'm guessing making a lense with the ice....and a lense with the condom and water.....but coke and chocolate????????
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:59:44 PM EST
Coke and chocolate is the absolute easiest method.

1. Dangle the chocolate as a prize for the wife/girlfriend when she makes the fire

2. Drink the coke while she sweats.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 5:30:36 PM EST
Use the chocolate to polish the bottom of the can into a shiny mirror. Use it like a lense.

Take a block of ice use the round inside of the bone to make a ball. Use it like a lense.

Full condom with water, use like Lense.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 1:05:01 AM EST
Bushcraft is cool stuff and i have a interest in it as well. But think about what your goal is. If you are at all mobile you could carry about 50 lighters for the weight of one small hatchet and still have a machete and all the other tools you mention. My advice is to spend a few nights in the woods back packing or something. It becomes clear really quick that less is more and simple is better. The concept of bushcraft is not about tools but about skill and knowledge. Which brings us back to what you are asking. I would love to be good at starting a fire without a lighter. But have never been with out a lighter. I keep my lighters dry and several of them because i know they are the most important piece of gear i have along with my compass and knife. That being said i would like to be better skilled at fire starting with out one, a bow looks like the way to go.

But my advice is to get out in the woods and start camping or backpacking. My GF finished the AT a while back and did a lot of it with her. The AT is hardly remote wilderness but you are still on your own with just what you are carrying. We got caught in a spring snow storm in Northern VA with only summer gear. You get creative and innovative really fast when you are cold and wet. To me that is what it is all about, problem solving. The problem might be needing fire, getting dry or even fixing blisters on your feet. The little things can add up and cause problems. For example if you plan on covering 20 miles a day and then get bad blisters, diarrhea or a minor injury you might only cover 10 miles. In three days you are 30 miles further from your destination than planed and could be tired cold and running low on food if you only planned for a 3 day hike.

My advice is to get out in the woods and start spending time out there. You will enjoy yourself and learn what works and does not real fast.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 1:09:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
Other ways:
Ice and bone
Coke and chocolate
Condom and water


I like to hike with my girlfriend. So i will carry a lighter and then use your items accordingly.

Drink Coke with ice while relaxing.
Make fire with lighter.
Bribe GF with chocolate.
Use condom
Drink water after "exercise"


Link Posted: 11/21/2012 2:37:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By dana:
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
Other ways:
Ice and bone
Coke and chocolate
Condom and water


I like to hike with my girlfriend. So i will carry a lighter and then use your items accordingly.

Drink Coke with ice while relaxing.
Make fire with lighter.
Bribe GF with chocolate.
Use condom
Drink water after "exercise"




Funny!

You forgot to make use if the "bone" though.....oh wait NM!

Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:06:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 3:10:47 AM EST by BuckeyeSam]
A really good firestarter that can be found in our neck of the woods is fat wood. It works beter than homemade stuff. Burns hot and fast. Easy to start. Roots of old fallen pine trees and the lower portions of then have a heavy resin of pine tar. Smells like turpitine or pine oil. If you need some I got a bunch of it. I always manage to find some when i go hunting camping or just trekking around. Once you know what you are looking for you will be surprised how easy it is to find.

For bushcraft you don't need a big ass knife. 4 to 5 inch blade. Get the mentality of bigger is better out of your mind. If you are a fantasy prepper or wana be Bushman then by all means get that big ass knife. The smaller 4 to 5 incher will do the best. Small hatchet or machete will perform the tasks for a chopper or small forest axe. I like a machete beter a majority of time over a hatchet. I find I can control it beter. Just find what you are most comfortable with. If I am going on the extended camp out when it's cold the small forest axe goes with me. You don't want to be trying to get a bunch of firewood together using a machete or hatchet. You will expend a lot of time an energy using them. You want to be able to relax and enjoy your time in the woods.

Make sure what ever knife you get it's sharp as hell and can be sharpened easily. A dull knife causes more injuries than a sharp one. Same goes for your hatchet. I have seen plenty of people get seriously hurt with dull hatchets and axes. They have a tendency to bounce or glance off of what they are trying to chop. When it's sharp it will grad hold of what you are chopping.

Get a few good books and read up on bushcraft and go over to bushcraftusa web site. Lots of good info there.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:08:37 AM EST
The fire piston is a really cool thing....
I have one of the aluminum ones and it works perfect.

But matches or lighter are easier.

Also you need to make some char cloth. Makes all the primitive methods easier for catching the spark.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 3:25:18 AM EST
I've gotten good enough with a firesteel that my lighter is secondary. cotton balls with vaseline in a pill bottle make for many fires with little space taken, and also you have vaseline for dry skin or bear attacks.

I've worked on this for years and it just takes effort and time to learn what to use and what to replace. You don't need a hatchet or machete. A camp knife is more than enough. I break more wood than I chop. I use my camp knife for splitting and pommeling.

For firesteels, the LIght My Fire one is good and sparks easy. I just bought a thicker one from United I think. It is harder to spark, but the sparks burn for seconds, not instants. Easy to catch.

I've wanted to make a machined fire piston for some time.

The skill part is having a good fire bundle ready, with the right materials, and the right kindling to keep it going and the right first wood to get initial coals.

I wanted to have a meet up in the mountains to share some of these skills, but it fell apart. The point of it was to share knowledge of what works and what doesn't, what tools are good and what are crap. Sort of a modern day rendezvous.

Link Posted: 11/21/2012 5:45:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 5:47:11 AM EST by ASH556]
As an Eagle Scout who grew up in Georgia, I can tell you that most of the "survival" stuff you read about and get now is marketing. Fire is not very hard to start. What is harder is to build the fire correctly so that it keeps burning and so it burns the way you want it to (fast/slow/more smoke/less smoke/flames/coals).

This is what I use for flint/steel:



I have two sets and have started hundreds of fires with them. I keep mine in a sandwich ziplock stuffed with dryer lint. No better ignition source for a spark in my experience. The trick mentioned above about putting the lint in an egg crate with parrafin is a good way to keep it waterproof, but I've never had a problem with a ziplock stuffed in the outside pouch of my pack.

Get yourself a good, locking blade, folding knife for skinning game, fish, and general cutting use. I think the Buck 110 is a good way to go and they're easily found under $40:

Buy a good stone to keep your knife sharp! Simpler is better. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one!

I've found that the slightly longer handle of a boy's axe makes it more useful than a hatchet, but still fairly compact.

A quality folding saw, or honestly, just a blade from a bow-saw wrapped in some rubber garden hose.

Rope is an often overlooked survival tool. Get 100ft of 550 cord and 50 ft of a good 3/8" to 1/2" braid.

Get an OLDER (2 or 3 versions ago) Boy Scout Handbook. It will teach you everything you need to know.

Then, go out and do it. That will teach you the best.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 8:36:29 PM EST
My son and I are heavily involved in scouting and we also go on about half a dozen backpack camping trips per year for four or five days at a time with lots of hiking. I personally like a firesteel for fire lighting because I've been caught in the rain with nothing but a wet lighter that won't light.

You always want to carry sure flame with you which means that you are not stuck having to find dry tender when everything is wet. I make my own (after having used commercial stuff and getting tired of spending money on it) from jute twine which has been immersed in gulf wax. Gulf wax is a good grade was sold at grocery stores. I cut the twine into 4" lengths, immerse the lengths into the wax, pull them out, and set aside to dry. If you fuzz one up a little by crunching it around, it will light with one strike from a fire steel and burn for around two minutes. You can carry dozens for almost no weight.

Also in my experience, the BSA firesteel is too small to use comfortably. I like the "Swedish" fire steel by light my fire. The striker is very well designed. I also here very good things about the gobspark from firesteel.com.

To echo what other posters have said, don't even think about carrying a huge knife around all the time, waste of energy. Get a good 4" knife, and then my preferred tool is a folding pocket saw. I like Fiskars. I can get more done with that combo then anyone with a large knife can and the package weighs less. I have gone for seven days with no other knife than a $10 Mora and never felt like I needed more knife. Nowadays I carry a nicer knife (falkniven F1) but I could make due with a Mora just fine.

Water filtration is something you can't go out without. You're just taking a chance you don't need to if you don't filter your drinking water. I love my old reliable Katadyn Hiker. Affordable, user serviceable, moderate weight/size, has lasted me more than a decade with zero trouble, what's not to love.

Unless you're going to be doing winter camping in higher elevations, go with hammock camping, it's sooo much more comfortable and requires much less site prep than tent camping. It does have its own little set of quirks though. I went with eno double nest with a hennesee over tarp and eno slap straps. The whole setup is less than three pounds. Can't beat that. I can be set up in about five minutes with bag out and everything.

I went old school for cooking and have a trangia alcohol stove. If we fish, I build a grill from green branches to grill the fish. I like stainless pots because I don't trust the coatings on aluminum cookware to last very long.

That's about all the quick tips I have right now. Feel free to IM me with any specific questions or location suggestions. Good luck!
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:41:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By jcoffman55:
My son and I are heavily involved in scouting and we also go on about half a dozen backpack camping trips per year for four or five days at a time with lots of hiking. I personally like a firesteel for fire lighting because I've been caught in the rain with nothing but a wet lighter that won't light.

You always want to carry sure flame with you which means that you are not stuck having to find dry tender when everything is wet. I make my own (after having used commercial stuff and getting tired of spending money on it) from jute twine which has been immersed in gulf wax. Gulf wax is a good grade was sold at grocery stores. I cut the twine into 4" lengths, immerse the lengths into the wax, pull them out, and set aside to dry. If you fuzz one up a little by crunching it around, it will light with one strike from a fire steel and burn for around two minutes. You can carry dozens for almost no weight.

Also in my experience, the BSA firesteel is too small to use comfortably. I like the "Swedish" fire steel by light my fire. The striker is very well designed. I also here very good things about the gobspark from firesteel.com.

To echo what other posters have said, don't even think about carrying a huge knife around all the time, waste of energy. Get a good 4" knife, and then my preferred tool is a folding pocket saw. I like Fiskars. I can get more done with that combo then anyone with a large knife can and the package weighs less. I have gone for seven days with no other knife than a $10 Mora and never felt like I needed more knife. Nowadays I carry a nicer knife (falkniven F1) but I could make due with a Mora just fine.
I generally dont agree with a lot of the stuff i see the scouts teaching. But you are dead right about a lot of stuff in this post. The biggest knife i have ever needed was a Mora, great knife. I drilled a hole in the handle because i like lanyards.
Water filtration is something you can't go out without. You're just taking a chance you don't need to if you don't filter your drinking water. I love my old reliable Katadyn Hiker. Affordable, user serviceable, moderate weight/size, has lasted me more than a decade with zero trouble, what's not to love.
I have used used several water filters and most work OK. They all have their pros and cons. Just find one that works for you and know how to keep it working. I agree that water purification is a must, even if you only have chemicals. We used Aquamira a lot and had very good luck with it. One good thing about chemicals is that they dont "break" or clog. We had a filter out of commission after about 5 liters of water when i as around Mt Rainer. There is a in same amount of fine "dirt" in the water from the glacier. Even back flowing the filter wouldnt unclog it.

Unless you're going to be doing winter camping in higher elevations, go with hammock camping, it's sooo much more comfortable and requires much less site prep than tent camping. It does have its own little set of quirks though. I went with eno double nest with a hennesee over tarp and eno slap straps. The whole setup is less than three pounds. Can't beat that. I can be set up in about five minutes with bag out and everything.
I have not used any of the hammocks but they look great. I camped with a lot of people using them when on the AT. They are really popular for fast light hiking. Some people did say they could get a little cold in cooler ether because the air is circulating all around you. Your body weight compresses the loft of your bag where you are laying in the hammock. A few people solved this buy using their sleeping pad in the hammock.

I went old school for cooking and have a trangia alcohol stove. If we fish, I build a grill from green branches to grill the fish. I like stainless pots because I don't trust the coatings on aluminum cookware to last very long.
My GF bought this stupid little $12 alcohol stove that has to weigh about 2oz and it is one of the best pieces of gear we own. I really could not believe how well it worked and how efficient it as. We only carried about 1oz of alcohol each a day for cooking.

That's about all the quick tips I have right now. Feel free to IM me with any specific questions or location suggestions. Good luck!

Good advice.



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