Alright Ninja peeps, as you know I love being outside! I also teach and mentor many individuals in how to survive and thrive in the outdoors. Now one of the most basic of all skills is how to build a fire to stay warm, cook and or purify water.
Now, I don’t know about you but I always keep more than one method of fire building on me at all times. It doesn’t matter if I am on the road (way too often) or just doing some logging work here around the ninja homestead, I am always prepared.
So let’s start with the basics:
- Disposable or refillable lighter. (I have a great windproof one that I use all the time.
- Strike anywhere matches. Sometimes hard to find, but when you do, put them in a small watertight bag or bottle, and place in your EDC kit.
- Flint and steel, ferrocerium rod. (my #2 carry)
- Magnifying glass
Fire building 101
- Clear the space where you are building your fire to bare earth. I like to dig a shallow hole and line it with rocks or sand if possible.
- Gather your tinder and fire making supplies (and gather 2X as much as you think you will need and you will still probably run out)
- Start with your tinder and kindling in one of several designs (teepee, log cabin etc)
- Light that tinder and slowly feed it until you have a nice fire going!
Now more advanced fire building occurs when the ground is wet, tinder is hard to find, it is dark and you are cold etc. Those are skills you need to hone through practice. As an example, I went out to the deeper woods today 15 inches of snow on the ground and practiced starting a fire with my trust old flint and steel. After about 10 mins or so I had a nice little blaze to warm up and dry off!
In ancient days, a ninja had to be prepared to survive outside in difficult conditions in all sorts of weather. Step one is build a shelter, step 2 to make yourself more comfortable learning to build a nice fire for warmth, comfort and utilitarian uses!