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Making fire: Nothing like lots of practice.

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posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:06 AM
It was 33 degrees in Central Fla. last night. At about 9pm I sent my 13 year old son out in the backyard with some fire steel and told him to start a fire. He looked at me like I was crazy and came up with all kinds of excuses why he shouldn't have to do it. I told him that this was a drill and he needed to practice making fire under less than ideal circumstances. He told my wife who also thought it was a bad idea.
Nevertheless, I insisted that he try.

He grumbled and went out with a flashlight. I repressed the urge to go out and talk him through it. After about 20 minutes he came back in with a huge smile on his face and a fire going in the fire pit. He said the hardest part was finding the correct tinder. He tried a few things but realized that his tender was too big. After a little trial and error he ended us using some hay from the rabbit cages and some crushed up old palm fronds. After he got his first little flame he realized that he hadn't gathered enough larger tender to get a good fire burning, his flame went out and he had to start all over again. He finally got it right and got a good fire going. We ended up sitting around his fire and talking about our next camping trip.

I was proud of the fact that he did it in the dark and in the cold. Granted, 33 degrees is not cold for a lot of you, but it's pretty cold for us Florida Crackers.

I plan on devising some other drills to put him through to build up his skills. It's one thing to read a book or watch a video on how to start a fire, it's a whole other thing to actually put yourself to the test.

Don't underestimate the value of practice.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:24 AM
Nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment a youngster feels after an exercise like you gave your son.

You done good Daddy...

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:33 AM
That makes me think that I should try at least once to start a fire with my fire stick thing. I guess I assumed it would just be easy. I guess maybe not if it's cold or there are zombies on the other side of the fence.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:34 AM
Now make him do it with sticks.
Anyways I think it's good that people learn these skills, I do think perhaps there will be a time when it is crucial to know these things. If your looking for some good videos on self reliance, there are good videos on youtube like this guy - I think if the shtf, this guy would be living exactly the same..
edit on 5-1-2012 by Freezer because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:40 AM
Love it! I remember my first time making a fire out of two stones. All it took was to see the spark the first time with the two rocks and I was hooked on starting fires in the back yard for like a week until my parents caught me haha.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by Destinyone

My son loves to learn new skills but his mom keeps him on a pretty tight leash. I want him to gain the confidence that comes from being self sufficient.

I had to learn the hard way.
I about froze to death when I was his age and got lost while deer hunting in Tennessee. It was so cold I couldn't climb back up into my deer stand; my hands were so stiff I could not get a grip. I wandered around looking for my Dad and ended up going the wrong way. I spooked a deer and followed him for a while, in the process getting myself completely lost.

Fortunately, after being lost for a whole day, I eventually found a road and followed it. It led me right back to my Grandfather's car where the search party had gathered.

Maybe the next skill will involve compass reading and navigation.
edit on 1/5/2012 by Sparky63 because: Spelling...always spelling! *&^&%$#%$@

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:45 AM

Originally posted by randomthoughts12
Love it! I remember my first time making a fire out of two stones. All it took was to see the spark the first time with the two rocks and I was hooked on starting fires in the back yard for like a week until my parents caught me haha.

This is giving away my age for sure....remember, if you can...those tiny magnifying glasses they used to put as toys in Cracker Jacks...well, I had one of those.

I spent countless hours sitting in the back yard, starting tiny little fires with a dried leaf and Mr Sun. Those were the days.

I have 2 lab quality magnifying lenses included in my survival supplies....
edit on 5-1-2012 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by Freezer

Good idea.
That's a skill I still need to learn to do well. I have done it once or twice a long time ago. I learned that it was a lot harder than it looked.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 11:05 AM
reply to post by Destinyone

The world has a lot less ants thanks to kids with magnifying glasses. I have one in a ammo can that I keep in my truck along with some other supplies.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 11:14 AM
for you dad , not many will teach the kids basic skills, now teach him how to catch food for that fire , snares and traps, rabbits and such no need to go to the extreme cook what you catch.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by WickettheRabbit

It's is not easy finding the right combination of wood. The vertical part of the setup (stick or dowel) has to be harder than the base. If you manage to get a good setup that works, hang on to it. Making a fire like this is not easy even in the best conditions. If you need a fire in hurry, I suggest some other method.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 12:14 PM
Took me forever, not to mention cracked knuckles and more than my share of angry moments, to get my first fire from bow-drill...

Worked through more then a few anger-management sessions with teens on my caseload, through the same means. Fantastic teaching moments! Lol...

Well done, to your son. It's an accomplishment, he should feel great about sticking it out.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:19 PM
My son only had experience making fires with cotton balls, drier lint and char cloth. Up to this point he had never tried to make a fire with materials he might have to find in nature. I think the same thing goes for a lot of the people who only have skills based on youtube videos. Starting a fire with a battery and steel wool is cool, fun and good to know but not likely to be of much use when your in a situation when you really need to build a fire.

I think the next skill will be making cordage and some basic navigation skills. I'm sure I will learn a few things too.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Sparky63

Another great skill to hone while in the woods is how to identify and harvest fatwood. It's easier than you think and makes fast work out of building a solid fire. I bought a box of it years ago to use in the backyard and in the fireplace. A little goes a long way. Since then I have learned to ID it and have begun to collect my own when the opportunity arises. I always keep slivers of it in my fire kit.

Here is the article I read a couple of years ago.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 02:34 PM
reply to post by jibeho

Nice I just learned something useful, thank you. I am very good at starting fires form just about anything with matches or a lighter, but i don't have much experience with less sophisticated methods of ignition, I think it's time for me to work on those. And OP I was pretty happy wen it got above 30 today but 33 is still cold enough to present challenges.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 03:16 PM
reply to post by Destinyone

Yea the magnifying glasses I did not really ever have one around when I was younger. Gramps specs though would be good enough to burn up some ants or something. I tried a couple times but never had the patience to start a fire with the specs. Also when cd's came out I found out about their reflecting ability.

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by JDBlack

I used to think that as cheap as matches and disposable lighters are there was no real need to learn how to start a fire by any other method. But I have come to realize that even though these are sure fire tools for lighting fires indoors they are not so reliable in an outdoor or survival situation. It is a good idea to be versatile and confident that you have the ability to start a fire without modern conveniences. The "Bushcraft" series of videos by Ray Mears are an excellent way to get familiar with being self sufficient. Watching them is educating and entertaining but the real pleasure comes from getting out and doing them.


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