So this week we have taken a good look at some of the basics of getting a tinder bundle built and on fire. Today we wanted to add to that tinder bundle what we refer to as second-tier of fire building, fire sticks.
Fire sticks are incredibly easy to make because all you need is a knife and a dry stick. Actually you could use a piece of knapped flint as a knife too in place of the knife. The purpose of making firesticks is to be the intermediary between a fairly significant fire and the tinder bundle which quickly burns out.
In this video we show you how to make firesticks, which is incredibly easy process.
Remember the key is to create as many ‘edges’ as you can for flames to come in contact with. You can also do this by adding a bunch of sticks rather than one feathered stick. However, by doing that you run the risk of suffocating your fire. So a few firesticks will provide several good edges for the flames to come in contact with.
The question always arises as to how many of these should I make. I would recommend beginners that you have 7-10 before you even light the tinder bundle. This way you have several pieces that can connect with the tinder bundle and get the larger fire going. As with all fire building, make sure that you have all your materials ready before you start to light the fire. The last thing you need to be doing as your beginning fire gets going, is to be running around getting more sticks. The beginning of the fire is so vital that you need to stay near it so you can nurture it.
I often think of a fire as raising a child. Very early on in the life of the fire, it needs a lot of nurturing and help. As it grows it needs less and less help and starts to catch most everything on fire as you put it into the fire lay and it mostly takes care of itself. All you need to is to resupply it from time to time with more fuel.
So there you have the beginnings of a good fire from making a tinder bundle to adding fire sticks. I am sure we will write many, many more blogs and videos on the subject of fire. It is incredibly important in many ways.
Until then, I hope to see you on, or off the trail!