Starting, maintaining, controlling, or stopping a fire in the wilderness

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15
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4answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Can I light a kerosene lamp with flint & steel or a magnifying glass?

I am planning a canoe trip, and will be bringing a kerosene lamp for light. As a backup fire lighting option I am planning on bringing flint & steel and possible a magnifying glass. Can either ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Where can I expect to find naturally occurring flint in the wild?

Where would I look if I was in a survival situation and wanted to find some rocks for fire starting? Where does flint occur naturally? What environments could you expect to find some in? I've created ...
12
votes
2answers
224 views

Are Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel truly toxic to burn in a campfire?

For a very long time now, I've believed and taught that burning Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel in a campfire will make you sick because of the toxins in these plants becoming airborne then inhaled ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Lighting a fire using a flint and steel

On the spur of the moment I bought a flint and steel. This was mainly because it seems manly and cool. My main problem is I really struggle to light a fire with the thing and normally give up and use ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What foods are unsafe to cook over an open fire?

My friends and I went camping this weekend and I bought a package of Johnsonville brats to cook over the fire. Many a person said that one should 'never bring raw brats to cook over a campfire', their ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

What foods can you cook by directly placing them into a fire?

Sometimes I do not want to bother wish dishes. The other day, I took a yellow pepper, and placed into a wood fire I had going, and left it there for a good 5 minutes while I prepared a curry. I pulled ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Rules for Carrying flammable subtances in UK

I am planning for a trek in Northern and Eastern parts of England. I am planning to cover the Hull to Liverpool section of the Trans Pennine Trail, which is roughly 290 km or 180 miles. I have ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Back-up wood and alcohol stove

I am looking for a back-up stove capable of burning wood and alcohol. Can you suggest one? I would like it to burn alcohol and wood (most important) be cheap be small be robust be light (least ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

What kinds of wood work well in a bow drill?

I've been working with the bow-drill, and I notice that certain types of wood may be so hard that hardly any powder forms (like african mahogany) and others may be too soft and crumbly. Pine appears ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Can heartwood be used for fire?

During a fire building process, can heartwood be used as a fuel for the fire? Assuming you are working with less than perfect materials, there is always a danger that your fire will go out at the ...
7
votes
5answers
879 views

How to make a fire without burning the ground

I was wondering if there was a way to make a fire pit and start a fire in it, and have a way to protect the ground beneith it as much as possible. I don't really know how I could manage to do that, ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

How to prepare for and survive wildfire?

In some areas, such as the western US, wildfires are common during the summer dry season. "Fire safety" advice usually centers on not starting a wildfire, e.g. extinguishing or avoiding campfires. ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

How to ignite coal on grill device without using kindling?

Today I tried to ignite coal on a grill device, without using kindling (we run out of it). I gathered a lot of small twigs and a bit medium ones. I managed to put this all on fire, but coal didn't ...
8
votes
1answer
111 views

What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?

In What do you do if the fire does get "out of control"?, someone asked a legitimate question, and @berry120 wrote detailed response, and ended with a "tl;dr" saying, " but if the proper ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Keeping smoke level in a wigwam low

I spent some time in a wigwam today, and due to the wind conditions, it was very difficult to keep the smoke out. Are there some tricks one can use in a situation like that to make the wigwam more ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

How to create campfire which will burn overnight?

I watched a documentary "Man vs Wild" which showed the TV presenter Bear Grylls collecting wood and starting a fire. He somehow always manages to keep his campfire burning until dawn. How does one ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Primitive fire starting in northeastern Brazil

I live on the coast of the northeastern part of Brazil (Rio Grande do Norte). As you go inland, the terrain becomes very arid. There are cactus and a lot of xerophilic plants that remind me a lot of ...
10
votes
5answers
886 views

Are fires in natural caves/overhangs safe?

I have heard that a fire in a cave or under an overhang can cause a rock collapse, potentially injuring the occupant. Is this a real risk?
8
votes
2answers
310 views

Which types of wood will make food taste bad?

So other than toxic burning wood, which types of wood are safe to use for cooking fires but will just make my food taste bad? I live in the Southwest, and all types of woods that I have cooked over ...
15
votes
1answer
958 views

Which wood sources produce toxic smoke?

So the title says it all. If I am scavenging wood in the wilderness, does some of it burn toxic? If so what kinds. This question is derived from this answer.
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I heat a shelter with fire?

So I built my survival shelter and I decide a nice fire would really warm things up. Is there a way I can build a fire that would heat the shelter without too much smoke? I know I could make the ...
9
votes
4answers
290 views

Cooking over a fire

Is there a way to make a wood fire that is good for cooking? Why is it better than others? Assume little to no wind. Would it make a difference if I cooking hot dogs on a stick or a steak?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Wax paper as a fire starter

One thought led to another and I started wondering how effective wax paper would be to bring along as tinder to start a fire. I've seen suggestions of using paraffin in conjunction with other ...
18
votes
2answers
584 views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

Recommended windproof matches?

I was looking for some good windproof matches - not for any specific use, but just because I considered they may come in useful in some environments. Has anyone any experience with any particular ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to choose a fire steel and use it most effectively?

Fire steels, ferrocerium rods -- oversized versions of the "flint" in a lighter or torch starter, are an apparently popular survival/backwoods fire starting method. Why would one want one of these ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

Is there a way to light a fire in the wild using rocks?

Just for fun, how would I go about lighting a fire with naturally shaped rocks by striking sparks? It might be useful if I were to camp in the far north, where there are no trees. What should I use ...
5
votes
1answer
364 views

Should I be careful to use only dry rocks while building a campfire? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to avoid exploding rocks If I build a campfire with damp rocks, is there any possibility of the rocks exploding? I had this happen once while burning trash, because ...
10
votes
4answers
751 views

How should I put out a campfire while away from civilization?

If I build a campfire, but need to move on before it goes cold, how should I put it out? I wouldn't want to use my drinking water. Should I bring a covering to smother it with?
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it legal to light bonfires on UK beaches?

Assuming a lack of signage indicating the legalities, is it legal to light a bonfire on a beach in the UK? I haven't been able to find an authoritative source on this either way, hence the question. ...
8
votes
2answers
150 views

Are there any specific techniques that should be used when starting a fire in the rain?

Starting a fire can sometimes be hard enough when it's dry, let alone when it's tipping it down. But when it is, what steps should you follow to try to ensure the fire gets going successfully? I'm ...
10
votes
1answer
930 views

Is it legal to collect firewood (to take away) from woods and forests in the UK?

I've seen lots of people do this, and unless it was clearly stealing en-masse for profit I doubt there'd be a problem, but is it legal to pick up dead logs, kindling etc. and take them away to use ...
31
votes
2answers
21k views

How to avoid exploding rocks

It seems that every tutorial I read and show I watch shows people using rocks for everything from a cooking surface to boiling water. However, I have had rocks crack in half on me, and I've always ...
12
votes
2answers
475 views

How to make a signal fire that can be seen miles away

If I were lost in the North American woods, how could I make a signal fire that would attract attention many miles away ?
7
votes
4answers
169 views

How can I avoid putting cinder burn holes in my clothing?

This is especially problematic if you dress up in layers, the last one being, for example, a raincoat. Putting a burn hole through your rain coat let's the rain in... Are there some tricks in ...
8
votes
4answers
566 views

Gas or liquid fuel lighter?

My backpack of course has a rechargeable gas lighter. I am considering buying a good Zippo, as I feel it more resistant, and it does not need to be kept with your hands to stay on. Would you suggest ...
18
votes
4answers
25k views

How can I start a fire by rubbing two sticks together?

When trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, what does one need to consider? I am assuming I can't just grab any two sticks and start rubbing... Should they be dead or green? Hard ...
17
votes
4answers
483 views

How can I be absolutely sure my fire is safely extinguished?

One great problem with fire in the wild is that it may not be completely out. What is the recommended procedure to prevent accidental forest fire?
12
votes
4answers
882 views

What are the most effective ways to start a fire in the cold?

I frequently hike and camp in the forests of the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, etc). Considering this climate can get quite cold in the Fall & Winter, what are the best strategies to starting ...