Fire up your survival skills now, not later!


Hello my friend and welcome back!  Today we are going to discuss the need to fire up your survival skills now not later and why it is so important.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat.

As Preppers, most of us have made a priority to learn as many survival skills as we can.  Unfortunately however, many of us read about how to do something, like building a fire, yet never follow-up by actually practicing the skill. It’s easy to become complacent and allow yourself to think that you know how to do something even though you have never done it.  Now don’t miss understand me, reading about how to perform a survival skill is better than nothing, but not by much.  You need to practice what you have learned, to set it in your memory and to be sure you understand it correctly.  I mean, it would suck to think you can do something and then find out that you really don’t, when you need it the most.

Let us start by looking at something like building a fire.  The concepts seem simple, but the implementation can drive you crazy.  Let’s say that it has all gone wrong and you have been running for your life.  You finely find a place to hunker down for a while, and you want to build a fire.  You search your clothes and come up empty, now what will you do?  If you have read up on how to build a fire by rubbing two sticks together, but haven’t practiced it, you are sure to be in for a big disappointment.  Creating fire by rubbing sticks together can be maddening at times because it is nowhere near as easy as it seems.  Take the time now to learn how to do it and become good at doing it because one day your life may just depend on it.

Now let’s try something different.  Same scenario as above, but this time you have a Ferrocerium rod and knife with you. You bought it and the instructions see to be pretty simple so you threw it in your bag and didn’t think about it again.  You take it out of your pocket and get out your knife.  You gather a few old limbs lying around the area and stack them.  Then you grab some smaller limbs and place them at the bottom.  Taking your knife, you begin to scrape it against you rod, but nothing happens.  You keep trying it and finely you start to get it produce a few sparks.  The only trouble is that nothing is catching on fire.

“OK” you think to yourself, “I need some smaller pieces of limbs.” Having never tried it before, you really have no idea what you need, so you just keep trying different things until you find something that works.  Here are a couple of hints.  If it is summer or winter, look for Cattail down (The white cotton looking stuff on Cattail plants once they have bloomed). It lights very easily as does cotton and other thin dried material.

You see, the Ferrocerium rod is great for creating a spark, but needs a really good kindling source for it to work properly when starting a fire.  Another thing many of us carry is a little plastic bag with a few cotton balls covered in Vaseline.  They are cheap and easy to make and when it comes to starting a fire, they are second to none.  They are easy to light and burn a long time as well.  Keep a few of them with you at all times just in case.   Once you have found a good source of kindling, your fire should be easy to start and get going.

OK, here is one that trips up some people.  Same scenario as above with the exception that it is raining and has been for several hours and everything is wet.  Now what do you do for wood and kindling?  The answer is something called “Batonning” and it simply means splitting a piece of wood by using a fixed blade knife and a solid piece of limb.  While the outside of the wood may be wet, the inside is most likely dry.  Once you split a few dead limbs in half, and stripped out the dried wood inside, you have the wood for your fire.

Just remember to start small and build from there.  This is why I say you need to practice starting and building a campfire now and not wait until you have to do it.  Knowing how to do something is great, but being able to actually do it is way better, so start practicing now and when the time comes, you will be ready to face the challenges that face you!

Well I guess that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared.  God Bless America!

-The Sargent-

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