Surviving in the winter is not an easy task because the temperature and weather conditions can be unforgiving. The first thing that you need to do in any survival situation is to make a fire. However, winter makes even this normally simple task hard.
How To Start and Maintain a Fire During Winter?
Starting fires in the middle of winter in the wilderness is not easy. However, fire is necessary for you to survive since hypothermia can quickly set in, and it can be fatal.
It is recommended that you carry your ferro rod or waterproof matches with you at all times during the winter. This makes it easier to start a fire. You can also use primitive methods like the Bow Drill method, but this takes a lot of skill.
- Gather All Your Materials
While you are still warm, you should gather all the materials that you will need. This will save you a lot energy and warmth later on.
You should be aiming to have enough wood for that night and the next day. The best wood is dry wood, but if it has rained, you can still find dry wood. You will just need to smash the branch between 2 rocks. The dull grey wood inside should be dry.
You will also need a good amount of tinder. Tinder can be leaves, paper, or cattails. Pre-made charcloth is recommended because it does not weigh a lot and burns well. For most fires, you will need around two handfuls of tinder, but it is always a good idea to have extra.
- Make the Catch
Once you have all your materials, you build your catch. A catch is a small ‘tepee’ that is made from small sticks. Other items like pine needles, tree bark, pine cones, and tree sap from a pipe tree can also be used in the catch to make the fire hotter, and increase the amount of time that fire burns for.
- Add Branches and Logs
Once you have a good sized fire, you should add the branches and logs that you gathered. You should place the wood into the fire in ways that will not smother the fire. This could mean that you need to use smaller pieces until the fire grows large enough for the larger pieces. The best method is to criss-cross the wood in the flames, as this allows air into the fire.
Building a fire in winter can be a long and difficult task, but it can save your life. You may find it silly to have waterproof matches with you at all times, but you may need them to build a fire. If you know a storm is blowing in, you may want to gather more supplies and find a place to wait it out.