A bugging-out scenario can catch you off guard, forcing you and your relatives to leave the comfort of your home and leave all your comforts behind. The urge to leave as soon as possible to reach your bug-out location safely can have dramatic effects.
When disaster strikes, there’s little time to think about which are the best strategies to employ. It all resumes to your previous preparedness plan, especially if your bug-out location is set somewhere in the woods.
A secluded place surely has a lot of pros. Unreachable, remote, far from others’ eyes and reach. The wilderness may accept you – if you know how to deal with it.
On the other side, it may reject you and your family, making your outdoor living an insurmountable experience. The wilderness may show no mercy when it comes to living for a considerable amount of time off-grid.
Are you prepared for that?
Are your skills good enough?
Are your kits reliable, tough, and durable?
Above all… Are you fit for that life? Because it can turn out to be the only possible life in a post-apocalyptic scenario.
This article will cover one of the essential aspects of outdoor living: fire and how to make it by relying on a good fire kit.
Everyone can make fire, or not?
“Fire is a natural symbol of life and passion, though it is the one element in which nothing can actually live.”
Besides the psychological facet of fire, the mere presence or absence of it makes a huge difference between life and death. I mean, in any kind of environment.
Fire is essential to warm, to cook, to disinfect, to purify. Just to name the most important cluster of actions connected to it.
It makes no surprise that survival schools all around the world has dedicated to the art of making in-depth fire classes often layered into different levels.
Stop giving value only to Ferrocerium Flints!
There are actually several other ways to make a fire once you find yourself in the great outdoors. And it makes perfect sense to opt-out for the simplest and easiest one if you are caught up in a bad situation.
In particular, if you are experiencing miserable weather, you will surely have more chances to start a fire with a lighter (and the proper tinder) instead of going for a primitive fire-making method that employs friction.
Keeping things easy always pays off. In the same manner, learning how to start (and maintain) a fire by taking advantage of different approaches and methods will definitely save you when circumstances require it.
As Master Survival Instructor Dave Canterbury wrote in his manual “Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival“:
“The man, who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.”
This is consistent with your abilities in fire-making and the knowledge of your fire kit and all its components.
Your experience, as well as your expertise, actually lay the foundation for your success. That being said, the more methods you are familiar with, the more successful you will be.
A sharp-minded, well-preserved, and functional fire kit is exactly what you need the most when you get into a bugging-out scenario.
An all-season bug out fire kit
“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.”
― L. Frank Baum
Bear in mind that knowledge is power.
- with awful weather conditions
- when you have very little tinder
- when you have little time available
- when you are in poor physical and mental conditions
- when you – or one of your relatives – are injured
- when an abrupt change of climate catches up with you
- when you find yourself in an area, you aren’t familiar with
- when you have lost part of the tools inside of your Fire Kit
The chances are you may experience one of these cases in the great outdoors.
Keep in mind that you don’t actually need a huge fire kit. A normal size pouch will be more than enough.
What does make the real difference in your fire kit is the variety of the single items, as we will see in the next paragraph.
Fire Kit – My personal selection
It goes without saying that it took me years to fix my fire kit. In fact, I improved it several times, according to Survival Classes I attended, friends’ tips and recommendations, books and field manuals I read, and obviously… some valuable videos on YouTube I carefully watched.
Allow me to make a shout-out to Waypoint Survival, as I learned a lot from his channel, including some… “tricks of the trade.”
With no further ado, let me share with you my ultimate fire kit.
All its components are stored inside the Navtel Pouch by Helikon – Tex. I can easily attach it to my belt thanks to the molle attach, and due to its narrowness, it is the perfect solution in terms of comfort, load, weight, and bulkiness.
Hands down: this pouch is absolutely perfect for keeping all my Fire stuff together.
- Three Ferrocerium Flint – a straight one and two more “artistically shaped.”
- Several flints I keep inside a tin box, wax treated thin rope
- A round shape Uber Fire tin with treated cotton
- Waterproof matches
- Cotton swabs soaked treated with wax
- A “tinder” tin box which contains tampons, birch bark, fatwood, cotton, and three black rubber bands
- two Bic Lighters
A recent addition to my Fire Kit is a guitar pick, wrapped by some gorilla tape all around the bigger lighter. I have to admit that, once again, I gained this knowledge from Waypoint Survival.
As a matter of fact, I can actually use the guitar pick to start a fire by burning it with the lighter. The flame it creates is absolutely nice and… even shining!
Having a bunch of them is a nice thing. They weigh nothing inside your fire kit or pockets. In addition, you can create a hole and fix them in your key holder or keeping them on your necklace along with a folding knife.
Save space for some small sticks of fatwood. Fatwood is indeed one of the most brilliant and costless resources you may resort to.
When you have the chance, collect it and process the bigger pieces into smaller ones. They do not only smell good, but they are really useful when it comes to making fires. They come in handy, especially when you have to deal with poor weather conditions.
Having a stockpile of tinder in your Fire Kit is absolutely mandatory. Half of your Fire Kit should be dedicated to that.
“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”
― Anais Nin
Needless to say that everyone can set and improve their fire kit according to his/her skills and knowledge previously gained.
If you are a beginner, you can surely check out some websites, and see how it works. A reasonable example is provided by Master Survival Instructors’ channels or websites.
They usually spend quite some time explaining and describing each element in their fire kits, how they work, and the multiple tasks they can accomplish with a single piece.
Then, you can try your own kit and see all its pros and cons. Don’t forget to test all the individual components of your kit and identify which ones fit best in your hands (since the hands of people have various sizes), your needings, and your level of expertise.
Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t start a fire from your first try, even if you’re using a lighter.
First times – and, consequentially, first failures! – happen to everybody. Just keep on trying with confidence, respect, patience, and perseverance.
Making fire, and maintaining it, is one of the most miraculous things you may experience on earth. It deals with our primitive inner soul, and it will surprise you with the feeling you get after making it.
Satisfaction. Joy. Pureness. Power. You name it.
But a first-time should be paired with countless ones. As in any other discipline, the more you dedicate yourself to it, the better you will become. And the sooner!
As in all the other activities, involve your family. Being able to make a fire should be a skill all your family members should possess.
Kyt Lyn Walken has written this article for Prepper’s Will.