64 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

A healthy set of firelighters and some woodworking tools. An axe and saw are a must along with your pocket knife. Failing that, a knife and hand axe. With fire lighters, you will struggle to light ...
Smeato's user avatar
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39 votes
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Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Bring skills. Skills are by far the lightest and most useful thing to carry. They are, however, also rather difficult and time-consuming to acquire (as compared to, say, some tools that you can simply ...
fgysin's user avatar
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21 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

I have always found it easy to just carry a few tea lights. PUt them under a wet teepee of small kindling, and it will light, eventually. Size up slowly, remembering that the wood needs to dry and ...
coteyr's user avatar
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19 votes

Are there any modern advantages of a fire piston?

I'll caveat this answer with the fact I've heard of them but never used them. That being said: Would a fire piston have any advantages over the more modern ways of starting a fire such as matches ...
berry120's user avatar
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17 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

What I have always carried is cotton balls mixed with petroleum jelly stored in a film canister. It's small and light, the cotton makes it easy to light and the petroleum jelly gives it quite a bit of ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
14 votes
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Are there any techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in snow?

Aside from what is mentioned in the answers to this question (How to light a fire with wet firewood?) the things you need to be concerned about in winter are the cold, frozen wood, and your fire being ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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12 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

In addition to the other fine answers here, I'd like to add another skill I recently learned about to help with wet weather fire building. It's called the upside down fire. You can view how-to videos ...
Noah Goodrich's user avatar
12 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Locally one of the forms of firestarter our hardware store sells amounts to coarse sawdust mixed with candle wax. Break a piece in half to get a rough edge to start. You can make your own from old ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
11 votes

Eye safety when starting a fire with a magnifying glass

Use your finger. Equally to using your finger to cover the sun when trying to spot something in the sky you can use the principle to cover the bright spot. You will be closing one eye and putting ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
11 votes
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Can you start a wood fire with a Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter?

The technical answer is simply: yes. But that answer would be deceiving, so... Can it be done? Yes. It throws out some decent sparks. The device works by scraping a tiny piece of flint over steel. ...
Loduwijk's user avatar
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11 votes
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Are there any modern advantages of a fire piston?

would a fire piston have any advantages over the more modern ways of starting a fire such as matches or a lighter? Yes. There are many combinations of factors that affect the answer. In some ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar
10 votes
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Starting a Fire with a Battery - what are the fundamental guidelines for safety and efficacy?

As principle behind this think about your old light bulb. One emergency method of lighting a fire used to be to break the glass of the light bulb in your flashlight and burn the filament, no more no ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
10 votes
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Camp fire starting for the novice?

As mentioned in an earlier post, there are three critical components: fuel, oxygen, and heat. Understanding how these interact is critical to successfully creating a fire. The oxygen is the easy ...
Jeff W's user avatar
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10 votes
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Start a fire with key fob battery?

With just the right equipment in a laboratory setting, you can use the energy in a key fob battery to cause a spark. You can then use that to start a fire under the right conditions. However, that's ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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9 votes

Are there any techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in snow?

Just to add to what others have said, snow can be pretty useful for managing wind. You can use it to build a wall if there is too much wind. You can then make a hole in that wall to let wind in. Then ...
Shawn's user avatar
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9 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

A couple of additional thoughts: A metal pencil sharpener with a large hole (often only available as a two-hole sharpener). Great for turning twigs into shavings. More surface area should mean they ...
AdamV's user avatar
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9 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

A lot has been covered already, I'll add the thing I find most of use. Knowledge about flora and geography where you hike. Someone answered "Skills" which is fundament, of course - but they won't ...
Stian's user avatar
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8 votes

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

Yes you will need a special kind of rock. The spark is a tiny bit of burning iron struck off the source of iron by a really hard rock. So if you are only using rocks then you will need 1 iron rich ...
Restless Adventurer's user avatar
8 votes

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

Identification Wikihow has a decent enough page on identifying flint if you are lucky enough to find yourself in an area where it occurs naturally. Occurrence But flint is a natural resource. As ...
fgysin's user avatar
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8 votes
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Does any Household Object Function as a Passable Fire Steel?

The most important thing for a firesteel striker is that it is hard and has a 'crisp', although not necessarily sharp edge. Stainless steel knives tend not to work quite so well as plain carbon steel ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
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8 votes
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Eye safety when starting a fire with a magnifying glass

I would just use eclipse glasses. As they are safe to look directly at the sun with, then they should be fine to look at the bright spot caused by the magnifying glass. Just make certain that they ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes
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Is a tepee, log cabin, or lean-to configuration most effective for starting a fire?

All are perfectly valid, which works best depends on the circumstances. In my experience a log cabin stack is good when you have short square sticks, for example what you would get from splitting ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
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6 votes
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Method to test if wood is suitable to start a friction fire

The most critical consideration is that it is absolutely bone dry which can be a challenge in temperate climates. Usually the best bet is to look for dead wood which is standing or at least off the ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
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6 votes
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Should I add holes to my fire pit/bowl?

It looks like you clean out and store your metal fire pit someplace after each use; there are no ashes in it, you don't have a hole to drain rain water, and the grass under it is green. Drilling ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
6 votes

Camp fire starting for the novice?

Others have focused on materials and structure. This answer just tries to supplement that info by focusing a bit on fire building as a process. Others have mentioned that your initial source (e.g. a ...
Drew's user avatar
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6 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

I'm suprised nobody has mentioned "Feather Sticks". As described above, split some smaller branches by "batoning" but then on the exposed (dryer) internal corner, carefully shave down at varying ...
Tirinoarim's user avatar
5 votes

Camp fire starting for the novice?

There is really no magic in starting a fire. Even moist wood will ignite if you do it right. First you want to forget about paper or any fluids as they won't do you any good, then you need some ...
Jani Hyytiäinen's user avatar
5 votes

Is it possible to use a flint and steel with wet tinder?

No Well, it's probably not impossible depending on how wet, but I can pretty much guarantee you're going to spend more time striking your steel trying to get the wetter stuff lit than if you were to ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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