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48 votes
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I have a firestarter disk, but it won’t light. How do I use it?

It looks like a grindstone. The two halves would be different fineness. Your friend probably had this in his cooking kit to sharpen knives. This doesn't look like it has anything to do with ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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27 votes
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Is burning cow pies (dried cow manure) safe?

It is apparently not safe, among the poor today who have to use it as they have no alternatives, it leads to all sorts of health problems. It is also a worse polutant than burning wood. On the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
22 votes

Is it safe to leave a campfire unattended overnight in a campsite?

The short answer is No, never leave a fire unattended. The reasons are some of the ones you listed above, but you understated the major risk: Unattended fires can easily spread - a log rolls out or ...
bob1's user avatar
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17 votes

I have a firestarter disk, but it won’t light. How do I use it?

There are two possibilities. As Olin Lathrop states it's a grindstone, and would be used to sharpen, or "file" things. It that's the case, then you would not use it to start a fire. It's part of a ...
coteyr's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why use a Dakota fire pit?

Efficiency, mostly The fire should be able to burn very hot. Less fuel is needed (faster cooking). Produces less smoke. Less susceptible to wind. Light is shielded. Easy to cover up to extinguish. ...
14 votes
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Use 15 year old Zippo Lighter Fluid (naphtha)

Vehicle fuels have to do more than just burn. They have to ignite as expected, not clog fuel filters and not bring too much water with them; they may also have to lubricate. This means old vehicle ...
Chris H's user avatar
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13 votes
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How exactly do you cut down a tree with fire?

Unless you are building a bridge you don't. If you don't have the tools to cut it down you don't have the tools to do anything with it once it is down. You are converting it from a big living ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
13 votes

Yosemite Fire Rings - What to Expect?

May Lake is lovely. Hoffman is a great peak to bag while you're there. As I recall, the camping at May Lake is quite well developed and you should find bear boxes and legal metal fire rings there. ...
Puddles's user avatar
  • 191
11 votes
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What are the best methods to clean out a fire pits and dispose of the ash?

The practice recommended by the Forest Service here, and here is, When the ashes are COLD and DEAD OUT, the ashes can simply be scattered outside of the campsite. I would say that the more widely ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
11 votes
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How do you build a warming fire in an old barrel?

A good burning barrel needs holes near the bottom to supply air. A pick axe or a geology hammer works well for putting in the holes. Put most of them between 6 and 12 inches from the base. Used for ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
10 votes
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What are "burnable gasses"?

Wood is not a simple chemical. It releases a number of different compounds when heated. Try distilling wood some time. Put a few slivers into a test tube and heat it. Pipe the result into another ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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10 votes

How to generate white smoke in the wilderness?

You can build a so called "smoke generator" and feed it with certain material to specifically generate white smoke. It's basically a survival technique. First, make a platform from dead wood, and ...
OddDeer's user avatar
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8 votes
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Camping site suggestions

It depends on the kind of camping you want to do. The easiest type of camping to find is camping at a campground. Usually this involves paying a nightly fee (often around $20-30 per night) for a ...
csk's user avatar
  • 4,364
7 votes

What is the expected flowrate of a bucket brigade?

From what we know of back when a bucket brigades were the fire fighting method of choice, Before the mid-1800s, the most common way of fighting fires in the nations cities and towns was the bucket ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes
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Can you boil water on top of Everest?

The short answer to your question is yes you can get a stove to light and cook your egg on the top of Everest if you really wanted to do it. Backpacking stoves are pressurized All of the backpacking ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,648
7 votes
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Yosemite Fire Rings - What to Expect?

You know one when you see one when it comes to "established fire-rings", but Generally: Complies with the objective rules. Has been used for multiple seasons, with evidence of a deep bed of soot ...
crasic's user avatar
  • 1,333
7 votes

Is it safe to leave a campfire unattended overnight in a campsite?

It's the sparks/small expelled burning bits I'd worry about, they can go a long way in the wind (far more than your 10ft, and a grate doesn't keep them in), although there's not a huge amount you can ...
Chris H's user avatar
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6 votes
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I filled my Primus Powerlighter with the wrong kind of fuel. How to correct?

It's unlikely to have much fuel in it, so you've got a chance. But you're going to have to be careful. The first step is to try to push the liquid out using the butane you would normally fill it with....
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.5k
6 votes

Can you boil water on top of Everest?

For butane/isobutane/propane canisters, the stove design, affecting the temperature in the canister or liquid feed pipe, and the boiling point of the gas mixture would matter. At very low temperatures ...
nsandersen's user avatar
6 votes
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Is there a safer way to use a flare in a wooded area?

I would say that the alternatives in the the answers to the linked question would be a better idea, but if you had to use a flare then there are a couple of things that could lessen but not eliminate ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
6 votes

Yosemite Fire Rings - What to Expect?

They will be a ring of rocks around an area with ashes that has clearly been used for fires before. You can see examples of illegal ones here. Legal ones would look the same, just be already existing ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
6 votes

Yosemite Fire Rings - What to Expect?

Actually, I don't remember many fire rings at May Lake, but we always camped well above the Lake. It is the site of a High Sierra Camp, and there is thus an incentive to keep it "clean". Camping ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
6 votes

What's the smallest (and simplest) practical DIY wood-burning back-/bike-packing stove?

smallest [ ... ] practical DIY wood-burning back-/bike-packing stove? A scaled version of the "Nimble Will Little Dandy" stove: https://nimblewillnomad.com/little-dandy-stove/ For ...
GoodInTent's user avatar
5 votes
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How are canvas tents made to be fire retardant?

They are treated with chemicals to be fire retardent. Fire retardant canvas tarps are treated with substances that lessen flammability. They are not exactly resistant to flames. When fire comes in ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
5 votes
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What temperature do different parts of a wood fire produce?

Finding a clear answer to the temperatures of a wood burning fire will be difficult because each type of wood will burn at different temperatures. Softwoods are going to burn hotter than hardwoods ...
deltajuliet's user avatar
5 votes

How exactly do you cut down a tree with fire?

According to this resource one technique is to cake mud on the tree trunk at least 2 inches thick and 6 feet tall. The mud will protect the flames from spreading up the tree. Throughout the whole ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,648
5 votes

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

A vivid description of this is described in "Young Men & Fire" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Men_and_Fire Early 50's Forest service is developing smoke jumpers. At the time teams didn't ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
5 votes

Who should I contact if I want to have a campfire?

This boils down to who owns the land. To quote Liam's answer from this question: The land between the high water mark and the low water mark is owned by the crown (crown reserves) in UK law. (ref) ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k

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