Sparky’s Tip of the Week #9 – Fire Starters
Sparky has decided to write his own outdoor column called “Sparky’s Tip of the Week”. He hopes you enjoy some of his insights.
Sparky has been on a hiatus of late. He has been in rehab for some undisclosed injuries. It’s hard work being a working dog. We wish him the best. He seems to be in top form again.
Fire starters are one of the essential pieces of equipment you should always carry when venturing out into the great outdoors. If you get lost (which will be covered in a future Tip of the Week) or injured and unable to walk out, making a fire in any weather is a key to survival and being rescued.
Whether you are going to an outdoor store or looking online for fire starters there appears to a plethora of products you can purchase. Sparky, the dog will guide you to what is really necessary to carry. The mail order online stores such as REI, Cabela’s & LL Bean have numerous items available priced from under $2 to $59.99.
Sparky’s recommendations: If you have been reading Sparky’s tips, you know he goes for functional, low cost and efficient. You need two things to start a fire: fuel and heat source.
For fuel: REI has several inexpensive items to choose.
Fire starters made at home for free using old candles, string, used fabric softener sheet and dryer lint. Place lint in softener sheet, use string to tie into a ball. Use an egg carton and place the ball of lint in the egg holder. Melt the old candles or paraffin wax in an old saucepan. Pour the liquid wax over the lint balls soaking it and let dry. Place a couple of waxed balls in a small container with a cover in your backpack or pocket. They should burn for at least 15 minutes, long enough to get even damp kindling burning.
For a heat source: REI has several UCO brand survival matches. Some can be submerged in water and light. They are very useful in our typically wet autumn, winter and spring weather.