Sunday, June 7, 2009

Emergency Preparedness: Start a Fire without Matches


I remember spending a couple of frustrating hours at girl's camp trying to light a fire with flint and steel and wet tinder (it was a rainy week) to complete my certification. Afterwards, my was face covered in soot and my eyes watered from the smoke, but I was pleased that I had accomplished my goal. Hopefully, you'll never have to start a fire without matches but just in case of a real emergency, here are a few tried and true methods that will provide a warm fire if you're ever in need of one.

BEFORE YOU EVEN START A FIRE, YOU MUST HAVE TINDER READY

Get a variety of tinder--wood shavings, dried grass, lint and small twigs. No matter what method you choose for making a fire, you will always need to start with tinder. Ball the tinder up loosely to allow plenty of air flow and shape it into a bird's nest. Have plenty of bigger sticks to add once the fire starts.

USING SPARKS

Use a little magnesium and flint block: Scrape a pile of magnesium shavings on your tinder and strike a spark off the flint. The magnesium will ignite and hopefully start flame in your tinder. Once it begins to smoke, hold the tinder in your hands to allow oxygen in through the bottom and blow gently from underneath.

USING SOLAR ENERGY

Use a magnifying glass on a sunny day Angle the magnifying glass in the sun over the tinder so that the focal point is directly on the pile. Once it begins to smoke, you can encourage the flame by blowing gently on the tinder from the bottom. Broken glass, bottles or eyeglasses can also work if their focal point is bright enough.

USING CHEMICAL ENERGY

Use a 6 volt battery and steel wool Tear the wool into a loose mass and touch it to both charges on the battery. Doing so will connect the circuit, cause a spark and cause the steel wool to glow. Once it's hot enough, you can place it on the tinder until it catches.

USING BULLETS

Remove a bullet from its cartridge and pour half the powder on your tinder. Put the half-empty cartridge back in the gun (without a bullet) and fire it at the tinder. Be certain that your tinder is at the base of a tree or in an enclosed area because the gunfire will likely blow the tinder away and might put out the same flame it creates.

USING FRICTION

Place the point of a straight stick into a groove in a piece of bark or flat wood. Ideally, both of these pieces contain no sap or moisture. Rub the stick vigorously between your hands, while the point creates friction against the other piece of wood. Eventually the wood will heat until it creates a small ember which you can drop into the tinder nest.

7 comments:

Ann Marie said...

I remember those girl camp days very well also...

Great post Thanks!

Lorrie said...

Thanks for the info. I was never very good at starting the campfire.

preparednesspro said...

Excellent post! Dryer lint is a great tinder as well. I have a bag in my laundry room that I store this dryer lint in for emergency preparedness purposes.

http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com

Connie said...

We could have used this on Sunday when our gas grill wouldn't work! We did have matches though.

Great facts. Thanks for posting.

Prepared In TN said...

We also save our dryer lint and package it in the used little toilet paper rolls. We then put them in a zip baggie and store them with our 72-hour kits, in our car kits, etc.

Safety Kit Store said...

great tips although I have never tried the one that involves using a bullet.

Darlene said...

Uhmmm, you may not want to start a fire at the base of a tree! You can set the roots on fire as well as the tree itself. If the roots catch fire, no one may notice it and especially out west, you can have a fine forest fire going in no time. Also, if you remove the end from a bullet, you must use care. You can cause it to fire and you or someone else can get hurt.

Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball


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