Our ancestors survived even before matchsticks were created. This means that we are equipped with primitive ways to make fire in tough situations such as wilderness to counteract cold and wet conditions. These lessons are passed on from generation to generation. For those who did not experience living without other means to create fire, it can be too tricky. During harsh conditions of heavy rain or snow, it will be difficult to create fire with wet wood and tinder. You need gasoline in order to do this. But what if gasoline is not present? You will die helplessly due to cold. Here you will learn how to survive wilderness by knowing how to start a fire regardless of how harsh the condition is.
- Tinder fungus
Tinder fungi are found on birch trees. They are easily obtained under the bark of the birch tree. It has a corky texture underneath that will deteriorate into fine powder. To ignite tinder fungus, you need to spark it by striking a carbon blade with a stone chip when matchstick is unavailable. Once your tinder started to glow, put it together with dried grasses and other fine kindling to create a bigger fire.
- Tree bark
Bark scrapings from birch tree will ignite even when wet. This is how effective a tree bark is in starting a fire. Make sure you don’t get cottonwood or cedar barks for they don’t ignite easily. Shaved wood will readily ignite fire so you can use it too. Create fine twigs out of the bark and ignite it by creating friction between two objects such as a pair of stones by continuously rubbing them together. You can use spindle sticks and let it spin in a fireboard with your bark scrapings. Make sure that the sticks that you use are dry, otherwise they won’t start a fire.
- Pine needles
Pine needles from pine trees remain dry even after it has rained or snowed. Bind the twig-like branches by bending the tips creating a knot or cut them about 8 inches long. Make sure the needles have enough space for better air circulation. Ignite the branch tips and move it back and forth until the entire bundle gets flame.
Driftwood that is usually found on shores for weeks can keep the fire burning for hours. It provides fuel to your fire to keep you warm. The only problem with driftwood is that if it is soaked in water, it won’t ignite. So when you find a driftwood that is completely wet, dry it by placing it near fire to remove the moisture inside. You can easily tell that the driftwood is wet because it is heavier than the dry one.
Resin from conifers are one of the best tinder you will ever find in the forest. You can usually obtain resin from tree barks where branches have fallen off or where the tree has been damaged. If you want to use resin to start fire, put it together with a twig bundle and ignite it by either using spindle sticks or rubbing stones together to create fire. It may take a while to ignite it but once it is inflamed, it will burn for a long period of time.