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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Survival Bug Out Bag - Fire Starting Kit

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com received the following comment last week, from the post on Wilderness Survival Skills List,...."Anonymous said...What do you suggest I carry in my Bug Out bags to start fires? Just some butane lighters? Maybe a steel and magnesium stick?"

UrbanMan replies: You probably can’t have enough Survival Fire Starting Equipment in your Bug Out Bag. In my dedicated Fire Starting Kit I carry the following items: Butane Lighter, Magnesium and steel striker, Strike Anyway Storm Matches, compressed cotton tinder, and compressed roll of newspaper coated in wax. Everything but the lighter and newspaper fire starter fit into a water proof container.


Each of my Survival Bug Out Bags are set up to stand alone in case any survivor was separated they would not have to rely on another Survival Group member for anything.

I also carry a small pouch with a zip lock bag of compressed lint gathered from the clothes dryer, a box of stick matches and a butane lighter. This kit stays in my pocket, so if I am separated from my Bug Out Bag I can have the tools to start a fire.

Being able to start a fire is a primary skill. You should be able to build a fire using wet wood if that was all that was available. Keeping in mind that wet wood will smoke much more than dry wood and perhaps give away your position, but it may be necessary risk that if you are freezing or are soaking wet in very cold weather.

The Newspaper fire starter is just a tightly rolled strip of newsprint, tie up with string or with a rubber band, then dropped into a double boiler of welted liquid wax. These Survival Fire Starters are water proof. I also carry at least six more in a small plastic bag inside the Bug Out Bag. I have seen people make these by rolling up saw dust or almost pulverized tinder in side the newspaper rolls.

Dryer lint makes excellent tinder. I’ll place the lint on a dry leaf, place smaller grass or dry stems on top, then build either a teepee or a lattice work of small to bigger twigs. I can’t remember it ever failing me.

I suggest having several boxes of wooden matches and butane lighters. Usually at the checkout counter of Wal-Mart, Target and other stores you’ll see deals like six four regular sized butane lighters, get three smaller one’s free – I’ll always buy a pack. My wife thinks I have enough, but boxes of matches and butane lighters will be good barter items if you have enough of them.

Why the magnesium fire starter? Old school I guess. A friend of mine makes a kit where the magnesium rod is glued into a groove in a small section of Mule Deer or White Tail antler. Then he attaches a small section of hack saw blade on a string to the antler. The teeth side of the hack saw blade is used to shave off magnesium onto your tinder, then you use the smooth side of the hack saw blade to strike and direct sparks onto the tinder.

Hope this answers the question on Fire Starting.

3 comments:

  1. You should also consider a gun and ammo in every bug out bag.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A knife would not be bad either with a good old fashion magnifying glass for every bug out bag.

    ReplyDelete
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