Making fire in the Harsh weather of Winter
Making fire in the Harsh weather of Winter.
I just came off of a three day Winter Camp out. And besides it being a great time out camping. Making fire was hard. I’m not Superman at making fire, but I’ve been doing it for many many many years in nature. But this has been only the second time it’s been difficult. When I say make fire. The problem wasn’t in having dry wood. Nor in having dry tinder. The problem was in having dry fine twigs. (Bundle of Twig (Fagot))
You see, for the past two weeks the weather has been crazy. Snow wasn’t the problem. But the freezing Mist, or Heavy Fog. The wet air froze to everything. Although we found and used all of the dry twigs we could to get the fire from the tinder to the sticks, the fine twigs were covered in ice.
We even found a down Birch Tree that we were able to harvest everything from. The main wood, which I split and even made feather sticks from. Along with the bark, and all of its very fine limps. I was confident this would work no matter what. In the end it did work. But it was a lot of work. Nothing like these beautiful videos of someone in the Summer making fire. This was on your knees working hard, Feeding the twigs, blowing, and fanning the flames. But once the main wood caught, and was making coals, I was able to finally sit back and relax a moment. Not very long, because we also had to feed the fire to insure it continued to burn.
In the end we made it, and were then able to finish setting up camp, and preparing dinner. In the end we were kept warm, and were able to enjoy the fire.
The next morning we were ready, we had laid all of the bundles of twigs net to the heat of the fire to melt. This along with cold coals we were able to quickly get our fire going and prepare breakfast. Of course we fed the fire throughout the day, and enjoyed it’s heat and the smell of wood smoke. That night it burned hot and bright.
The third day turned out to be even easier to light the fire, and make breakfast before having to put it out, and spread it’s coals in the forest.
What lessons were learned. For me, it was like I had said, only the second time in my life I had encountered this problem. Not because I don’t camp in Winter, because I camp mostly in the Winter. But because I hadn’t prepared enough beforehand. I had a big sack of tinder with me. I never go out without one. I also collect more each time I’m out in the woods. To use the next time out. But the lesson I relearned was to also prepare an even large sack of bundles of twigs and some dry sticks to bring out with me.
I hope to pass on this knowledge to you. That you learn from my mistake. That you remember, that the key to fire making is preparation. And in the Winter, we must prepare twice as much or even more. It takes good preparation, and not forgetting the steps to making fire.