Old 12-18-2004, 17:11   #16
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:30   #17
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heat tabs.

I would always carry a few of them, and then root around for dry tinder.

The best fire was always pyramidal, built into a small pit, with a channel for air flow. Then you either built or situated it so you had a fire wall to reflect heat back onto you. An amazing amount of heat could be reaped from a relatively small fire.

My favorite fire of all time was this one time (not in Band Camp), I was doing Troy Trek. It was, in fact, the first night, just after the land nav course. The enlisted guys were done, and just we officers were out solo, on our long range legs.

I was so smoked....after I made my final leg of the land nav course, I sat in the sun until I got my coordinates for my first Troy Trek point, then took off. I went a few klicks....sat down in a remote little clearing in the sun, just to take a break, and drink some water...and promptly z'd out, drooling on my shirt. When I snapped out of it, the sun was already deep in the west, and I needed to put some terrain behind me.

So I kicked it.

I made it to my dog leg, by water, and decided that I would hole up there until next light. I was really smoked, and I did not want to stumble around in the dark, fall into a hole and break an ankle. A man has got to know his limitations. I was old by then, around 30 years old, not a cherry anymore, and I knew when it was time to rest, if possible. It was. So I did.

I found a nice fold in the ground, good and deep, and tucked myself into a thick little area. I dropped my gear, crept down to water, and filled up. Then I went back, dug my fire pit, cleared a buffer area around it, got my fire going, built a firewall, and sat down to some franks and beans. I z'd out again, hard. When I woke up, a couple of hours later, it was very, very light...and I was hot.

It had been wet out....it had been raining...and even though I had cleared a nice buffer area around my pit, and around my fire wall, a spark had flown from the embers and hit the firewall, which had gotten nicely dried by the fire's heat. The fire wall went up, and when I woke up, flames were rising about six feet into the air.

Whoo!

The only thing that saved me from burning down half the damned forest was the fact that I had cleared a good buffer area around my pit and the wall. I was able to kick the wall down into the pit, and stomp it down a bit, where it burned itself down. It scared the shit out of me, though. I was glad that I was deep in the woods, in low ground, well away from the roads. It would have been very embarrassing if someone had driven by and seen the light of my fire silhouetted against the trees.

I covered the embers up, and then slept on the dirt. It was nice and warm.

When I woke up, I felt like a new man. I think that I hit...what? Three points that next day. Yeah. Three points. Lots of miles.

I pulled up again the next night, and repeated the process. Slept like a baby, had some good chow. At my last point that night, I asked one of the cadre if I should just go for it and hump it on in. He told me, "T, you got like 48 hours....and just one more point to go, plus a little further to the extraction." Of course, he really did not tell me this. And I would deny it to the death if anyone ever claimed that anything of the kind happened. Maybe I hallucinated the whole thing. Yeah. That's the ticket. Never happened.

So I holed up, slept good, and the next day, got up at a leisurely pace, humped to my last point, checked in, went through the song and dance about going to the next point (under the illusion that there would be an infinite number beyond it, see), and went a little ways until the trucks were in sight, and I was told to get aboard. And that was it.

I was the second to the last guy in. The last guy was a Filipino who got lost. The cadre had to go out and find him. My classmates...were thrashed, totally thrashed. They had all beaten me in by several hours...the last one had come in early that morning, after humping non-stop for two solid days. They had humped like their hair was on fire, and their feet were torn up....they were limping around, many could not wear their boots. They looked like zombies.

I was fine. I was even clean. I had washed up in a stream. I could have continued at that pace for days, maybe weeks.

It taught me a lesson.

It took my classmates days to recover.

Anyway, that is my favorite memory about a fire.


Last edited by magician; 12-20-2004 at 01:33.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:46   #18
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Other methods

Hello,

I'm not sure about the policy of resurecting old threads, but in the spirit of exchanging ideas and learning new techniques (as in the Survive! thread), here are a couple fire starting methods that weren't in this thread. I don't know if you folks know these as I'm just a civi and haven't gone to your schools. Right then, to the methods:

Steel wool/9-volt battery: Bridge the battery terminals with extra fine steel wool (the kind used to sand between coats of paint, forgot the number). The juice will overload the wool and cause it to burn without flame (like char cloth but faster). Transfer the wool to your tinder bundle and light as you would any other ember. This is an almost foolproof way of getting an ignition source. edit: Rust will degrade the performance of this method. Also, I wonder if this method works with twist ties or any of the silly looking military batteris.

Pop can and Hershy's: Using the foil wrapper, pollish the bottom of the pop can with using the chocolate as a fine abrassive until you can get a crisp reflection. With enough elbow grease you can make a parabolic reflector. Hold something easily ignitable (I used char cloth as its black, but the brown wrapper works fairly well) with your Leathermans or a couple of sticks about 4-6 inches from the bottom of the can. The light should focus to a point like using a magnifying glass. This one is a pain in the butt to do, but it works. Just don't eat the chocolate after using as pollish. The Al is toxic.

Pine Pitch: Hopefully you folks already know this one, but many of the civi's that I have contact with don't. As mentioned earlier in the thread, conifirs are very flamable. That's mainly due to the sap, which is the basis for turpentine. Find or make a wound in a conifir, and coat/wrap the pitch around your mach. Be careful to leave the match head bare. The pitch will produce a larger flame and increase the burn time of the match. I use this method all he time. It seems that jellied alcohol (hand sanitizer, mentioned in this thread) might work the same way.

Back to the original post, I carry a mini Bic lighter (pocket or pack) and matches (matchsafe around neck) in the field for practicle purposes, and a flint/steel set for fun.

How many ways can I start a fire in the field? Well you guys have all of the fun stuff! No pyro, tracers, etc. Including the two methods above, at least 5 methods. I've read about making a lense out of ice and using it like a magnifying glass, but it looks very time consuming, not to mention getting wet in freezing tempuratures. That's the next method I'll try.

As always, feel free to tell me if I've stepped out of line.

Cheers,
Bill D.

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Old 08-31-2006, 13:36   #19
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Parachute Silk from the rigger shed burns well for tinder
and its a real hot blob of nylon you can poke and move around with a stick.

Feild lighter is Helios Butane from Brunton.

Few MRE matchs in waterproof container
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Old 08-31-2006, 13:54   #20
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Originally Posted by 7624U
...and its a real hot blob of nylon you can poke and move around with a stick.
And once you get it stuck to the stick, it makes a really cool 'zipping" noise as it drips off in flames. Kinda like noisy napalm.

Seriously- I carry strike alls dipped in wax, in the butt of one of my field knives, and a ziplock with the same wax dipped matches. Parachute cord is a must for making a fire drill, and if you carry the brass polish that's wadding with petroleum, almost any spark will catch it on fire - it also comes in a nicely sealed/resealable tin. In most piney areas, lighter knot is available, or even just fallen pine branches have enough turpentine in them to be a great tinder source. My zippo is ususally with me, and/or a butane 'crack' lighter (great for searing the ends of freshly cut lines, or heating shrink wrap sleeves).
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Old 08-31-2006, 14:25   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumblyguts
Hello,

I'm not sure about the policy of resurecting old threads, but in the spirit of exchanging ideas and learning new techniques (as in the Survive! thread), here are a couple fire starting methods that weren't in this thread. I don't know if you folks know these as I'm just a civi and haven't gone to your schools. Right then, to the methods:

Steel wool/9-volt battery: Bridge the battery terminals with extra fine steel wool (the kind used to sand between coats of paint, forgot the number). The juice will overload the wool and cause it to burn without flame (like char cloth but faster). Transfer the wool to your tinder bundle and light as you would any other ember. This is an almost foolproof way of getting an ignition source. edit: Rust will degrade the performance of this method. Also, I wonder if this method works with twist ties or any of the silly looking military batteris.

Pop can and Hershy's: Using the foil wrapper, pollish the bottom of the pop can with using the chocolate as a fine abrassive until you can get a crisp reflection. With enough elbow grease you can make a parabolic reflector. Hold something easily ignitable (I used char cloth as its black, but the brown wrapper works fairly well) with your Leathermans or a couple of sticks about 4-6 inches from the bottom of the can. The light should focus to a point like using a magnifying glass. This one is a pain in the butt to do, but it works. Just don't eat the chocolate after using as pollish. The Al is toxic.

Pine Pitch: Hopefully you folks already know this one, but many of the civi's that I have contact with don't. As mentioned earlier in the thread, conifirs are very flamable. That's mainly due to the sap, which is the basis for turpentine. Find or make a wound in a conifir, and coat/wrap the pitch around your mach. Be careful to leave the match head bare. The pitch will produce a larger flame and increase the burn time of the match. I use this method all he time. It seems that jellied alcohol (hand sanitizer, mentioned in this thread) might work the same way.

Back to the original post, I carry a mini Bic lighter (pocket or pack) and matches (matchsafe around neck) in the field for practicle purposes, and a flint/steel set for fun.

How many ways can I start a fire in the field? Well you guys have all of the fun stuff! No pyro, tracers, etc. Including the two methods above, at least 5 methods. I've read about making a lense out of ice and using it like a magnifying glass, but it looks very time consuming, not to mention getting wet in freezing tempuratures. That's the next method I'll try.

As always, feel free to tell me if I've stepped out of line.

Cheers,
Bill D.
Yeah, I have seen Myth Busters too, and if you can start a fire with a lid from a can, I think they want to meet you.

They wasted a lot of time on it, and it never did work.

The ice lens will, with special water and molds. Not happening under natural conditions though.

I will stick with Bics and matches, and if need be, flint and steel.

TR
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Old 08-31-2006, 14:26   #22
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My girls still remember the time we went out in the back yard and collected up random stuff and started a bunch of little fires with flint and steel, a magnesium stick with striker and Swiss Army knife, magnifying glass, matches and a lighter.


The wife came home and noticed all the burn marks around the yard and knew we had been up to something. Another one of those roll eyes, shakes head moments.

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Old 08-31-2006, 17:16   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper
Yeah, I have seen Myth Busters too, and if you can start a fire with a lid from a can, I think they want to meet you.

They wasted a lot of time on it, and it never did work.

The ice lens will, with special water and molds. Not happening under natural conditions though.

I will stick with Bics and matches, and if need be, flint and steel.

TR
Yes, sir, the basics are the best, and most practicle for a military setting. The methods I mentioned are more for hobby, but are still applicable to a survival setting. As for the Mythbusters reference, actually, I've never watched the series. http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/index.html is the site where I got my informaton on the subjects. As for fire from the can, well, respectifully, I'm not sure how or if I could convince you.

Thank you for your time,
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Heading for cover
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Old 08-31-2006, 19:42   #24
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Fire

Atomic/Strategic/Tactical Nuclear Bomb......ooops sorry wrong thread
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:21   #25
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Bic/Zippo and rubber strips.
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:29   #26
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A few matches..
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File Type: jpg fire.jpg (97.7 KB, 258 views)
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:51   #27
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Bic lighter. I usually find myself burning 550 cord.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:29   #28
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I was raised in Pacific Northwest, the land of the wet. I've pulled off lint from a wool sock that works well as a starter when all is wet. I'm with those preferring the bic. I've had a magnesium starter and its a pain in the ass. I've gotten the bow drill to work only once. I usually get too frustrated with it. Vaseline impregnated cotton balls work awesome. I tried the steel wool and 9 volt when I was a youth and almost burned down a tree in my backyard. I'm going to have to try the hand sanitizer method, since I've usually got a small bottle in my ruck. I've never tried it, but I imagine you could do the same with an alcohol prep pad.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:44   #29
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I have misplaced my flint and just reordered a new Swedish Fire Steel.

They seem to work pretty well, but for the cost, I could have bought several dozen BICs.

Doug Ritter favors a one handed solution, which gives preference to automated solutions like the Spark Lite (which I have, is tiny, and works well) and the Blast Match.

Other reviews of the Blast Match found it somewhat fragile and prone to breakage. It is also expensive and bulky.

I think the ubiquitous BIC (several stashed about my person and gear) will remain the simplest, cheapest, most effective solution.

TR
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Old 07-19-2007, 14:53   #30
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One I used to start some small fires as improvised road flairs was, after building some crude tepees down the road, I got some steal wool, gas, and jumper cables, from the cars involved or that had stopped to help…. just put a hunk in the jaws of the positive and negative, hook the other end up to battery, small amount of gas on wool, rub together, poof fire, light first small tepee fire then light the rest of the sequence of small fires down the side of the road so you don’t get you’re A!@ ran over.

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