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The Importance of Making Fire to Survival

As you’re beginning your foray into the world of learning survival skills, you’ll become familiar with tasks like building a shelter, performing first aid in the field and mastering navigation. Along with these skills is one that’s essential to survival in a variety of ways -- building a fire.

What is it about building a fire that’s so important for survival when you’re trapped in an emergency situation?



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Now that we’ve established why building a fire is important, what do you need to have build to build one?

  • A location. Pick a spot blocked off from strong wind and other elements to begin building your fire.

  • Tinder & fuel. You’ll need tinder to get your fire started -- either a packaged tinder, a Fire Starting Tinder that you bring along, or other materials like birch bark, tree moss or pocket lint. The wood fuel you’ll use to build your fire should be small pieces of dry, dead wood from trees and shrubbery; if possible, avoid chopping or splitting to help conserve your energy. Make sure you have twice as much of all these materials as you think you’ll need. Note: If you’re building a fire on top of snow, build up a raised “platform” from green wood to keep the fire you start away from direct moisture.

  • A spark. To spark that flame, you’ll need a tool to start your fire like a water-resistant and wind-proof lighter, weather-proof matches or flint and steel. Carry a combination of these items in different places on your person to ensure that you’ll have a working option if you need it.

Once your fire is started, be sure to closely monitor it and have means to put it out -- water and moist dirt or sand -- just in case. As Smokey Bear says "Only you can prevent forest fires."