Bugging out can catch you off guard, forcing you and your family to address an emergency, and to leave the comfort of your home and possessions.
Needing to leave as soon as possible because you need to reach your bug out location can be very dramatic.
When harsh times strike, there’s little room to think think of the best strategies to face it. In most cases it comes down your preparedness, especially if your bug out location is set somewhere in the woods.
A secluded place has a lot of pros. Unreachable, remote, far from others’ eyes and reach. The woods may accept you – if you know how to live in the wild.
However, the woods may reject you and your family, making your outdoor living an insurmountable hurdle. The wild shows no mercy when it comes to living off-grid for a considerable amount of time.
Are you prepared for that?
Are your skills good enough?
Are your kits reliable, tough and durable?
Above all… are you fit for that life? It may be the only possible life in a Post-Apocalyptic scenario.
In this article we’ll cover one of the most essential aspects of outdoor living: fire, and how to make it with a good Fire Kit.
Beside the psychological facet of fire, the mere presence or absence of it makes a huge difference between life and death. In any kind of environment.
Fire is essential to staying warm, to cooking, to disinfecting, to purifying water, just to name the most important aspects.
It’s no surprise that Survival Schools around the world dedicate a good portion of their training to the Art of making fire, often layered into different levels.
Stop focusing only on Ferrocerium rods/flints!
There are actually several other ways to make fire outdoors. It makes perfect sense to opt for the simplest and easiest one if you are caught in a bad situation.
If you’re experiencing miserable weather, you will surely have more chances to make fire with a lighter (and the proper tinder), instead of going for friction fire.
Keeping things easy always pay off. In the very same manner, learning how to start (and to maintain) fire taking advantage of different approaches and methods will definitely save you when circumstances require it.
As Master Survival Instructor Dave Canterbury wrote inside his manual “Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival” …
“The man, who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.”
This is consistent not only with your abilities in fire starting, but also with the knowledge of your Fire Kit and its components.
Your experience as well as your expertise actually lay the foundation for your success. The more methods you are familiar with, the more successful you’ll be.
A sharp-minded, well preserved and functional Fire Kit is exactly what you need the most when in a bug-out situation.
A good Bug Out Fire Kit
Bear in mind that knowledge is power. This will be of tremendous aid when you need to resort to your skills in one of the following scenarios:
- When you find yourself in an area you aren’t familiar with
- When you’ve lost some of the tools inside of your Fire Kit
- When you’re confronted by an abrupt change of weather
- When you’re in poor physical and mental condition
- When you – or one of your relatives – are injured
- When you have very little of tinder
- When you have limited time
- Awful weather conditions
You will amost surely experience one of these cases once in the wild. It will be come obvious that you don’t need a huge Fire Kit. A normal size pouch will be more than enough. What makes the real difference is the variety of the single pieces, as we will expliore in the next paragraph.
Fire Kit – My personal selection
It goes without saying that it took me years to fix my Fire Kit. I improved it several times, according to Survival Classes I attended, friends’ tips and recommendations, books and field manuals I read and some valuable videos on YouTube.
Let me do a shout out to Waypoint Survival, as I learned a lot from his channel, including some… “tricks of the trade”.
With no further ado, let me share with you my ultimate Fire Kit. All my components are contained inside the Navtel Pouch by Helikon – Tex. I can easily attach it to my belt thanks to the molle attach, and due to its narrowness it is the perfect solution in terms of comfort, load, weight and bulk. Hands down: this pouch is absolutely perfect for keeping all my fire stuff together.
- A “tinder” tin box which contains tampons, birch bark, fatwood, cotton and three black rubber bandsThree
- Ferrocerium Several flints I keep inside a tin box, wax treated thin rope
- Flint – a straight one and two more “artistically shaped”
- A round shape Uber Fire tin with treated cotton
- Cotton swabs soaked treated with wax
- Waterproof matches
- Two Bic Lighters
A recent add-on to my Fire Kit is a guitar pick, wrapped with some gorilla tape all around the Bic lighter. I have to admit that, once again, I gained that lesson from Waypoint Survival.
As a matter of fact, I actually use the guitar pick to start firse, by burning it with the lighter. The flame it creates is extremely nice! Having a bunch of them is a great. They weigh nothing inside your Fire Kit or pockets. In addition, you can create a hole and fix them in your key holder or keeping the at your necklace along with a folding knife.
Same deal for some small sticks of fatwood. Fatwood is indeed one of the most brilliant and cheap resources you can resort to.
When you have the chance, collect it and process a big piece into small ones. Not only do they smell good, but they’re explosive when it comes to making fires. This is especially true in poor weather conditions.
Having a stockpile of tinder in your Fire Kit is absolutely mandatory. Half of your Fire Kit should dedicated to that.
Everyone can set and improve a good Fire Kit according to his/her skills and lessons learned. If you’re a newbie, you can review online resources and easily learn the basics.
There are multiple videos on Survival Dispatch’s YouTube channel that show you how to easily start fires.
Then, you can try your own kit and see all its pros and cons. Don’t forget to test all of the individual components and identify which ones fit best your hands size, address your needs, and level of expertise.
Don’t feel discouraged if you ca’tn make fire the very first time, even using a lighter. First failures happen to everybody! Just keep on trying, with confidence, respect, patience and perseverance.
Making fire, and maintaining it, is one of the most miraculous thing you may experience on earth. It deals with our primitive inner soul, especially the feeling you get after making it. Satisfaction. Joy. Pureness. Power. You name it.
As in any other discipline, the more you dedicate yourself to it, the better you will become.
As in all the other survival activities, involve your family in it. Being able to make fire should be a skill everybody in your family has.
“All survival situations revolve around a host of variables…Always adapt, think positive, and move forward.” ~ Cody Lundin
Kyt Lyn Walken
- Certified Wildlife Conservation Ranger at Conservation Ranger Operations Worldwide
- Official Representative & Instructor at Hull’s Tracking School
- Directora de Rastreo Humano por Dynamic Tracking (Spain)
- The way of Tracking – European Mantracking School