6 Life Saving Things You Need When Lost In The Forest While Hunting Deer

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It is often said that hunting is man’s most exhilarating sport and that statement is pretty much on the money. The adrenaline pumping through the veins mixed with the intensity of focusing on a live animal is heart stopping. Deer is one of the most hunted animals and also one of the most difficult to shoot. The slightest of movements or the faintest of sounds could be the difference between a clean shot and fruitless hunt.

But ever too often, unprepared hunters are caught unawares of their surroundings and find themselves lost in the forest or woods. Although their instincts play a vital role in getting out safely, there are some other tools that could make the great escape a lot easier. Let’s take a look at what to use when you are lost in the forest while hunting deer.

Water Filtration Device

Humans can live without food for a couple of weeks, but without water, their chances of survival begin to dwindle down rapidly. While there are plenty of water sources in the forest, it is important to filter it before drinking as it could contain dirt, dead insects, animal dropping, and other impurities.

One of the easiest filtration systems you could use is a piece of cloth. Just wrap the cloth around the mouth of a container and slowly fill it. The tiny fibers in the cloth will keep out most impurities and leave you with water suitable for drinking.

If you can’t use cloth, find a piece of bamboo or a hollow log and let the water sit for a couple of hours till all the dirt settles at the bottom. To get fresh water, you could even soak up the morning dew on plants and grass using a cloth and drink that directly.

Food Source

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One might think that with so much greenery around, finding food would be as easy as pluck and eat, but that could lead to some serious problems. Mother nature has a way of hiding our weaknesses in the most inconspicuous of places. Like the Oleander plant and its beautiful flowers.

One bite of this deadly flower and you could end up in a coma. It’s always best to trust the trees and plants you know like fruits and vegetables. Many berry plants are poisonous, but if you find one that you are certain is safe to eat, store as much as you can. It is the same with flowers and fruits. If the forest you are hunting in has a stream running through it, set a trap for fish and other aquatic animals.

Fire Making Skills And Tools

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Ever since the Neanderthals mastered fire making, it has been an integral part of any survival routine. Not only does it provide heat, light, and protection from wildlife, it is used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. It is also a great way to get rid of any harmful impurities in the collected water by boiling it.

If you find yourself stranded in a forest, the art of preparing a fire could give you that hope to make it through the night and look for civilization in the morning. Collect as much wood as you can to ensure the fire lasts through the night.

Look for dry stones and will help you create a spark needed to start the fire. Or if you have perfected the twig-on-twig method, keep a lot of dry grass or hay to hold the ember and light the fire.

Warm Dry Clothes

The importance of having proper protection in the form of warm clothing out in the wilderness could not be stressed more. Insulated clothing ensure that even when a fire is not available, your body temperature remains at a normal level.

A heavy, waterproof jacket is a must, along with other clothing beneath it. If there is a situation that requires you swimming through cold water, remove and store all your inner wear in a water resistant backpack and immediately put them back on once on the other side.

Useable Tools

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It is important to carry a number of different tools that could help get you out of a sticky situation in the forest.

A Swiss Army Knife and its plethora of attachments is a classic tool that can be used for things like cutting, clipping, digging, and even picking out last lunch from your teeth.

For bigger situations, a hunting knife or dagger work wonders. Whether it’s to cut away vines and branches or to prepare your freshly caught dinner, a knife goes a long way in helping you survive the wild.
Out in the wild, insects are in abundance and they can be extremely harmful is not prepared. Carrying repellent is vital, but if forgotten, there are plenty of plants that can be used. Crushing leaves of certain plants and smothering yourself with it could keep away ants, mosquitoes, ticks, and other harmful bugs.

A rangefinder for hunting purposes is useful for determining the distance between you and the animal you’re after and getting a good shot off. But it can also come in handy when checking the distance to a nearby mountain or a cabin in the distance.

Going hand in hand with a rangefinder is a compass. Not only do you need to know the distance of an object, but also its direction.

 

Shelter Materials

The forest is a dangerous place to be, especially at night. Insects are the least of your worries with bears, mountain lions, wild boars, snakes, and more calling it their home. Having a place to safely stay out of the way of these creatures ensures that you don’t become somebody’s dinner.

If you know you’re in a place that doesn’t have animals like bears around, you’re safe to build a shelter on the forest floor. Gather as many branches, twigs, and dry leaves as you can and make a tent-like shelter a few feet away from the fire.

If you can find trees with large horizontal branches, you could protect yourself from bears and mountain lions by securing yourself to the trunk and branch high above the ground. Sitting up and sleeping doesn’t sound too comfortable, but it is safe.

About the Author: Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of Thebigdeer.co where I share my hunt experiences with all, about guns, showcase real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

 

10 STEPS FOR BEGINNING HUNTERS

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10 HUNTING STEPS FOR THE BEGINNERS

Hunting is an interesting and one of the most enjoyable recreational activity for most people worldwide. However, a beginning hunter must follow some steps before he or she becomes a pro in hunting.

Below are 10 most important steps and necessities for you if you are interested in hunting and would want to begin the interesting activity.

1. TAKE A SAFETY COURSE FOR HUNTERS

Hunting can involve many accidents which can be avoided. It is important that a beginner in hunting takes a safety course on hunting. This will help the hunter avoid such accidents as shooting accidents. The safety course will make hunting very enjoyable since it makes the conduct of the hunters acceptable by the public. To start off, look for hunting training centers that can be found around your place by searching them online.

2. GET A HUNTING LICENSE

For a hunter to fully enjoy the practice, he or she should have all the rights to do it. It is no doubt that a beginning hunter has just realized a new hobby. Although some hunters may decide to go the illegal way, out of desperation to enjoy hunting, by avoiding to secure a license for hunting, choose the legal way. Do not mess up your new hobby. It is simple, secure a hunting license.

 

3. GATHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT

Before beginning any activity, it is paramount that you have everything that is required for the activity in place. A hunter, therefore, who is new in the game is expected to have hunting gear before he or she starts to explore his or her new hobby. The crucial requirements for a beginner include an archery, hunting clothes, hunting boots, sling shots, hunting bags and tactical backpacks, guns and a tactical pen. Hunting equipment varies from the simple cheap ones to the sophisticated and expensive ones. It is advisable that a person interested in hunting begins with simple and cheap equipment; then he or she will advance as time goes by. This will make it all an interesting activity where the beginning hunter gets no difficulty in doing it.

 

The choice of the gear is, however, important. A prospective hunter is expected to choose the best tactical backpack among some other equipment. A backpack is designed for comprehensive packing. They, therefore, help the hunter in carrying the requirements for the hunting. Some of the best backpacks include the Tactical Rush 72 Backpack, Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger, Tactical Tailor Operator Removable Pack, Spec Ops T.H.E Ultimate Assault Pack, which is a good all-round pack, among others.

 

The hunter is also required to look for the best tactical pen. A tactical pen, for a hunter, is an important tool for self-defense in case of an attack while hunting. Some of the most popular and the best tactical penS include the Cold Steel Pocket Shark, The ProMag Archangel Defense Pen, The Schrade SCPENG Tactical, The Mid-Range, The Boker Plus Tactical Pen Cid Cal .45 among others. The hunter may look up for more good tactical pens in the market.

 

4. KNOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT GOVERN HUNTING

Each country or state has its rules that govern hunting. A beginner should familiarize himself or herself with these laws to avoid the risk of finding himself or herself on the wrong side of the law. A champion always knows all the rules of the game. Avoid making enemies with the warden.

 

5. LOOK FOR A SKILLED HUNTER

Learning hunting involves a lot of observations. Because of this, a beginner should make friends with an experienced hunter and work with them fir the start. Your learning, however, should not be an interruption on the hunter. While with him or her, watch keenly what he does. Your respectful and non-inconveniencing learning may lead him or she let you know some of his or her hunting secrets.

 

6. CHOOSE A GUN

It is quite obvious that you will get several conflicting and confusing views on which gun you should take for the start. The best option is to visit the nearest gun store to discuss the same. If you are planning to be on the big game, then a riffle is the best. However, consider a shot gun.

7. PRACTICE SHOOTING

You should also practice using a gun and learn the safety precautions when using a gun.This will help you familiarize with your gun and ensure you are safe with them. Do this on targets and posts and you will be set to go. An experienced hunter may help you on that.

 

8. KNOW THE HUNTING ENVIRONMENT WELL

It is hard to hunt in a place that you are not used to. It is, therefore, important that you familiarize yourself with that surrounding; that is the landscape and the animal behaviors of the animals before you begin the game. This will help you when you will be drawing your hunting plans and therefore making the hunting game easy and enjoyable.

 

9. LEARN TO USE OTHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE

It is very obvious that you cannot use what you are not used to. Learn to use all the equipment that you will begin with, for instance, how to use the tactical pen for defense. Know how to put on your attire and how to put your backpack in place. This will keep you ready for the start.

10. BEGIN WITH A SMALL GAME

You are advised to start the hunting game on the easy targets such as the squirrels and later, deer. This will build your confidence in the hunting and keep you safe. Beginning with bigger targets will put you at the risk of being attacked by the animals and consequently making lose interest in hunting.

 

You are now set to go hunting. Explore the new interesting hobby.

 

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously.

Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Sling-Bow

by Kayak Kid

Picture of Homemade Sling-Bow
In this DIY I will be showing you how to make your very own sling-bow.  A sling-bow is basically a slingshot that’s altered to shoot arrows.  They are pretty powerful depending on what materials you use to construct them with, and can be made on a very slim budget. So without further ado lets begin!

Step 1: What You’ll Need

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You’ll need:

  1. A sling shot
  2. A golf tee
  3. An O-ring
  4. Two medium zip ties
  5. An old beat up arrow
  6. A few strips of duck tape

Optional:

  1. Whisker biscut

Step 2: The sling shot

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The first thing you need to do is to prep the sling shot.  The first step in doing this is to take off the existing elastic bands, and discard them.  Next take your heavy duty replacement bands and trim them until there’s 1 inch of band for every 5 inches of arrow.  For example I trimmed my bands to 5 1/2 inches, and they work perfectly with my 25” arrows.  Next put your bands on and leaving a quarter inch to a half inch of extra band extending at the end.  To test pull it back to it’s max draw and have someone measure the distance from the pocket to the extra bit of band on the sling shot.  You want this number to be less than the length of the arrow by one or two inches.

Step 3: The Arrow Rest

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The arrow rest is what is going to hold the arrow before and during the release.  You want the O-ring, to be perfectly vertical, so to do that you first need to put one of the zip ties through the O-ring and then around the end tag of the elastic band like in the picture above. Don’t tighten it all the way yet, we’ll get to that later. Then next to get the ring to stand vertical you need to counter twist the other zip tie. If you are confused at this point just reference the pictures above.  Now tighten the zip ties until the ring is right in the center, and vertical.

Step 4: Optional: Whisker Biscuit

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Attaching a whisker biscuit is optional, but will help your accuracy and help preserve your arrow fletchings.  To do this put a rubber band around your O-ring using a small zip tie, like in the picture. Then slide your whisker biscuit into place.

Step 5: Arrows

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The arrows I use are just some carbon fiber arrows I out grew or some that just have bad fletchings.  First you need to remove the fletchings and knock.  The knock should pull out with a pliers, and the fletchings are easy to remove using a pocket of your hunting knife.  You should by now have an arrow striped of everything except it’s Insert.

Step 6: Fletching The Arrows

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To fletch the arrows I use duck tape.  This is the best, cheapest, way I found to do it. First rip a section of duck tape about 2-3 inches long. Next crease the duck tape in the middle leaving a little bit not stuck together at the top. Then stick that part to the arrow shaft about 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the end were the knock use to be. You will get better flight and accuracy if you angle your vane’s to make the arrow spin, but it isn’t required for good performance.

Step 7: Reapeat

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Once you have repeated this to all three to five sides you are ready to cut out the actual shape your vane/feather will be. I like to use a downsized version of the original vane’s shape, and make normally three of these.

Step 8: The Nock

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For this I found that hot gluing a golf tee into the shaft is the best way to go.  Shooting arrows with the standard nock is OK but it seem to put more stress on your fingers, and can sometimes slip out. The last thing to do after this is to screw in your point.
Now you’re all set to shoot!  I hoped you enjoyed this instructable and wish to see more in the future.

Waterproof Your Survival Gear

A big thanks to our guest-blogger OmegaMan for turning us on to this great waterproofing product. Although we don’t carry it in our line of premium survival products, it is readily available from hardware stores or Amazon Rust-Oleum NeverWet® Liquid Repelling Treatment Kit

This waterproofing system could be used in many ways on your preps, waterproof all of your survival, hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, or outdoor gear.

See OmegaMan’s video test of this product:

  • NeverWet liquid repelling treatment is easy to apply and dries to touch in 30 minutes.
  • Treated surfaces repel mud, water, ice and other liquids. The durable treatment can be used on tools and equipment, work boots and gloves to repel water and mud.
  • Protects gear and equipment from moisture and significantly reduces or eliminates clean-up. Use on surfaces indoors and out.
  • Not intended for application to electronic products
  • Sold as a two-part kit that can effectively treat from 10 to 15 square feet.

 

Note:  Works great if you know when and how to use it.

Some guidelines:

Yes, this does work. It repels water completely. However, it does leave a white haze ( and if you don’t see that haze, you probably haven’t used enough to be effective).

If you spray this on white shoes, fabrics, etc….the haze really isn’t noticeable. Works great on white athletic shoes! Also on canvas slip ons, etc.Water and other liquids roll right off. But I found that I had to reapply often on items which got heavy wear. Still, if you do this diligently, your items should look newer longer.

While product literature says not to apply to clothing, work boots are noted as acceptable. So work boots are not considered “clothing”…just in case you’d classify them that way.

So….NEVER wet? No. It does wear off and will not last forever. But while it is effective it is VERY effective. so it definitely keeps items looking newer. Just keep that milky color in mind. I wouldn’t spray it on black fabrics.

 

Available on Amazon

It’s A Trap – 6 Must Learn Traps And Snares

Whether you’re and avid outdoorsman, hiker, camper or just planning for the downfall of the modern world, these are 6 must learn traps and snares if you ever get stuck in the woods:

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Practice each one, so that when the time comes and you need to use one you’ll be ready. Small-game snares can be made from the interior strands of parachute cord, braided strands of sinew, or fishing line. [source]

 

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Make Your Own Survival Fishing Rod

HOW TO MAKE A SURVIVAL FISHING ROD

There was a lot of interest in building these, so I found these instructions. There are many ways to build something like this. I encourage you to change this design, make it better, and figure out what works best for you.

These are mostly made of PVC pipe. I picked up 10 foot lengths of 1/2 inch PVC and 3/4 inch PVC for about $1.50 each. You can make several of these fishing rods with that much PVC pipe.

First, I used a hacksaw to cut pieces of both the 1/2 inch PVC and 3/4 inch PVC that were 10 inches long. Why 10 inches? No particular reason, you can make them whatever size you want.

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I used some sandpaper to smooth the edges that I had sawed and to remove the markings from the outside of the PVC pipes.

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You’ll need a 3/4 inch slip cap, a 1/2 inch slip cap, a 3/4 to 1/2 threaded connector (female/male), and a 1/2 to 1/2 inch threaded connector (female/female). These fittings cost around $0.60 each.

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I didn’t need to use any adhesive to get the pieces to stick together. You’ll want to be able to remove the slip caps later on anyway, since you’ll be putting you’re fishing tackle into the handles.

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I drilled 3 holes all the way through the 1/2 inch PVC pipe with a 3/32 inch drill bit.

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I used pieces from medium sized binder clips to make the eyelets of the fishing rod.

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Remove the silver parts and use pliers to bend them until they look like the one on the right.

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Then, clip it into the holes that you drilled through the 1/2 inch PVC. You’ll need to do this three times.

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We opted to use a premade ice fishing reel because it would have been difficult for our kids to build an improvised reel. However, I’ll show you a quick way to make one after I show you how we attached these. We paid $2.96 each for the reels.

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We disassembled the reels and used the white plastic piece on the left as a guide for where to drill the holes into the 3/4 inch PVC pipe.

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I used the same 3/32 inch drill bit from before to make the holes and then screwed the white plastic piece into the 3/4 inch PVC.

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Then, you simply screw the two pieces together and you’ve got yourself a fishing rod! Don’t forget that the slip caps come off of each end, leaving you with plenty of room for storage in both sides.

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This improvised reel is made from a spool of fishing line and a few pieces of hardware. I drilled a hole into the 3/4 inch PVC with a 7/64 inch drill bit. To secure it to the rod, I simply put a screw through the center of the spool and used a washer to make it more stable. Be sure not to tighten things too much or the reel won’t spin.

I put an eye screw into the 1/2 inch PVC to act as a guide for the fishing line and threaded a bolt into the plastic part of the spool to act as a handle for the reel.

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The improvised reel works okay, but the action is not as smooth as the premade one. However, it is a little bit smaller and doesn’t cost as much.

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It breaks down nicely for storage. I cut some pieces from an old bike tire inner tube to band the two halves together.

All of the external pieces are removable and can be stored inside the handle with exception of the reel itself.

So, there you have it! Go have some fun and let me know how it turns out.

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[source]

 

Why It’s Important To Add A First Aid Kit To Your Survival Preps

Best-First-Aid-Kits-YearZeroSurvival

You would think that everyone would understand the obvious, adding a first aid kit to your survival planning and preps. But like many things this is one survival item often overlooked.

Whether it’s a natural disaster, car crash or a zombie outbreak, medical treatment will always be needed in an emergency situation.

We suggest that you consider having at least 3 different types of first aid kits:

While kit contents will vary, your basic kit should include at least the following:

  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze pads
  • Iodine or similar prep pads
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Aspirin and/or non-aspirin pain relievers

 

The intermediate kit will include more of each of the above items, plus the following:

  • Larger adhesive bandages
  • Smelling salts or ammonia inhalants
  • Ace-type bandages for strains and sprains
  • Several sizes of sterile pads
  • Rolls of gauze
  • Antiseptic towlets
  • Thermometer
  • Snake bite poison extractor
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Moleskin
  • Rubber (latex) gloves
  • Burn medication
  • Anti-itch treatment
  • Sun screen
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Eye drops
  • Basic first aid instructions

 

Your more extensive deluxe medical kit can be expected to include not only the above, but some or all of the following:

  • Special bandages, such as conforming, trauma and field dressings
  • Rubbing alcohol for sterilization
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Betadine
  • Scissors
  • Forceps
  • Scalpels
  • Hemostats
  • Sterile sutures, in several sizes
  • Wound probe
  • Mouth-to-mouth shield
  • Instant hot pack
  • Instant cold pack
  • Prep pads
  • Eye pads
  • Sponges
  • Cotton balls
  • Burn treatments
  • Dental tools
  • Splint materials
  • In-depth first aid/surgical guide
  • Cold medication
  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • Colloidal silver

If you need access to prescription medicines, you should consider stocking up on them now and adding these:

  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Antibiotics for sinus infections, strep throat and other common “flu” ailments
  • Pain killers
  • Super Glue –  a way to deal with lacerations (a fairly common injury) other than just “band-aids.”
  •  Surgical stapler
  • Tampons and maxi pads as a way to apply pressure and control bleeding from a more serious injury.
  • Duct tape

Also, adding a medical encyclopedia with detail and instructions for basic surgical and other medical procedures would be good to have on hand. You might even invest in taking a First Aid training course at your local Junior College or continuing education center.

Year Zero Survival has a great selection of survival first aid kits for the home, car, and workplace.  Now is the time to act, be prepared.

 


 

9 Ways To Start a Fire Without Matches

Tom Hanks Starting a Fire Without Matches

There is a primal link between man and fire. Every man should know how to start one. A manly man knows how to start one without matches. It’s an essential survival skill. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need a fire, but you don’t have matches. Maybe your single engine plane goes down while you’re flying over the Alaskan wilderness, like the kid in Hatchet. Or perhaps you’re out camping and you lose your backpack in a tussle with a bear. It need not be something as dramatic at these situations-even extremely windy or wet conditions can render matches virtually uselessly. And whether or not you ever need to call upon these skills, it’s just damn cool to know you can start a fire, whenever and wherever you are.

 

Friction Based Fire Making

Friction based fire making is not for the faint of heart. It’s probably the most difficult of all the non-match based methods. There are different techniques you can use to make a fire with friction, but the most important aspect is the type of wood you use for the fire board and spindle.

The spindle is the stick you’ll use to spin in order to create the friction between it and the fireboard. If you create enough friction between the spindle and the fireboard, you can create an ember that can be used to create a fire. Cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, and walnut make the best fire board and spindle sets.

Before you can use wood to start a friction based fire, the wood must be bone dry. If the wood isn’t dry, you’ll have to dry it out first.

The Hand Drill

The hand drill method is the most primitive, the most primal, and the most difficult to do All you need is wood, tireless hands, and some gritty determination. Therefore, it’ll put more hair on your chest than any other method. Here’s how it’s done:

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.

Place bark underneath the notch. The bark will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.

Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the fireboard.

Start a fire! Once you see a glowing ember, tap the fire board to drop you ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Gently blow on it to start your flame.

Fire Plough

Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.

Rub! Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.

Start a fire. Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.

Bow Drill

Starting a fire with a bow drill

The bow drill is probably the most effective friction based method to use because it’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure you need to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll also need a socket and a bow.

Get a socket The socket is used to put pressure on the other end of the spindle as you’re rotating it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or another piece of wood. If you use another piece of wood, try to find a harder piece than what you’re using for the spindle. Wood with sap and oil are good as it creates a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.

Make your bow. The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.

Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch and create a depression adjacent to it in the fireboard. Underneath the notch, place your tinder.

String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.

Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.

Make you fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.

Flint and Steel

Flint and Steel

This is an old standby. It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Matches can get wet and be become pretty much useless, but you can still get a spark from putting steel to a good piece of flint. Bear Grylls Fire-Starter is a good set to use.

 

If you’re caught without a flint and steel set, you can always improvise by using quartzite and the steel blade of your pocket knife (You are carrying your pocket knife, aren’t you?). You’ll also need char. Char is cloth that has been turned into charcoal. Char catches a spark and keeps it smoldering without bursting into flames. If you don’t’ have char, a piece of fungus or birch will do.

Grip the rock and char cloth. Take hold of the piece of rock between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure an edge is hanging out about 2 or 3 inches. Grasp the char between your thumb and the flint.

Strike! Grasp the back of the steel striker or use the back of your knife blade. Strike the steel against the flint several times. Sparks from the steel will fly off and land on the char cloth, causing a glow.

Start a fire. Fold up your char cloth into the tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a flame.

Lens Based Methods

Fire from a mangnifying glass

Photo by spacepleb

Using a lens to start a fire is an easy matchless method. Any boy who has melted green plastic army men with a magnifying glass will know how to do this. If you have by chance never melted green plastic army men, here’s how to do it.

Traditional Lenses

To create a fire, all you need is some sort of lens in order to focus sunlight on a specific spot. A magnifying glass, eyeglasses, or binocular lenses all work. If you add some water to the lens, you can intensify the beam. Angle the lens towards the sun in order to focus the beam into as small an area as possible. Put your tinder nest under this spot and you’ll soon have yourself a fire.

The only drawback to the lens based method is that it only works when you have sun. So if it’s night time or overcast, you won’t have any luck.

In addition to the typical lens method, there are three odd but effective lens based methods to start a fire as well.

Balloons and Condoms

By filling a balloon or condom with water, you can transform these ordinary objects into fire creating lenses.

Fill the condom or balloon with water and tie off the end. You’ll want to make it as spherical as possible. Don’t make the inflated balloon or condom too big or it will distort the sunlight’s focal point. Squeeze the balloon to find a shape that gives you a sharp circle of light. Try squeezing the condom in the middle to form two smaller lenses.

Condoms and balloons both have a shorter focal length than an ordinary lens. Hold them 1 to 2 inches from your tinder.

Fire from ice

Fire from ice isn’t just some dumb cliché used for high school prom themes. You can actually make fire from a piece of ice. All you need to do is form the ice into a lens shape and then use it as you would when starting a fire with any other lens. This method can be particularly handy for wintertime camping.

Get clear water. For this to work, the ice must be clear. If it’s cloudy or has other impurities, it’s not going to work. The best way to get a clear ice block is to fill up a bowl, cup, or a container made out of foil with clear lake or pond water or melted snow. Let it freeze until it forms ice. Your block should be about 2 inches thick for this to work.

Form your lens. Use your knife to shape the ice into a lens. Remember a lens shape is thicker in the middle and narrower near the edges.

Polish your lens. After you get the rough shape of a lens, finish the shaping of it by polishing it with your hands. The heat from your hands will melt the ice enough so you get a nice smooth surface.

Start a fire. Angle your ice lens towards the sun just as you would any other lens. Focus the light on your tinder nest and watch as you make a once stupid cliché come to life.

The Coke Can and Chocolate Bar

I saw this method in a YouTube video a while back ago and thought it was pretty damn cool. All you need is a soda can, a bar of chocolate, and a sunny day.

Polish the bottom of the soda can with the chocolate. Open up your bar of chocolate and start rubbing it on the bottom of the soda can. The chocolate acts as a polish and will make the bottom of the can shine like a mirror. If you don’t have chocolate with you, toothpaste also works.

Make your fire. After polishing the bottom of your can, what you have is essentially a parabolic mirror. Sunlight will reflect off the bottom of the can, forming a single focal point. It’s kind of like how a mirror telescope works.

Point the bottom of the can towards the sun. You’ll have created a highly focused ray of light aimed directly at your tinder. Place the tinder about an inch from the reflecting light’s focal point. In a few seconds you should have a flame.

While I can’t think of any time that I would be in the middle of nowhere with a can of Coke and chocolate bar, this method is still pretty cool.

Batteries and Steel Wool

Fire from steel wool and a battery

Like the chocolate and soda can method, it’s hard to imagine a situation where you won’t have matches, but you will have some batteries and some steel wool. But hey, you never know. And it’s quite easy and fun to try at home.

Stretch out the Steel Wool. You want it to be about 6 inches long and a ½ inch wide.

Rub the battery on the steel wool. Hold the steel wool in one hand and the battery in the other. Any battery will do, but 9 volt batteries work best. Rub the side of the battery with the “contacts” on the wool. The wool will begin to glow and burn. Gently blow on it.

Transfer the burning wool to your tinder nest. The wool’s flame will extinguish quickly, so don’t waste any time.

Sources:

Field and Stream

Primitive Ways

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