If it was up to me, we would have all been dead. Who the hell ever invented the wheel and fire-making shit was a genius. Fire is mind blowing.  Anyone who does not appreciate a good camp fire is obviously a commie or ISIS. I have been collecting pine knot; lighter pine. For you Yankee types; fat wood. I plan on making some fire starting kits with Louisiana lighter pine to sell in the fall for some beloved mailbox money so I can buy a fancy camera to make my pictures better.

Anyway, back to making fire. My buddy Chris Way, a Cadre at GORUCK and climbing guru, leads GORUCK Navigator. He put some of the Cadre to the test, soaking their hands for two minutes in ice water. Then they are tasked with making fire and bringing water to a boil in a canteen cup in less then 15 minutes with frozen hands. Sounds like it sucks ass to me. But this could be a realistic scenario. Imagine that you’re in the woods hiking, you slip and fall into freezing water. Nobody to help you, can you make a fire that could save your life?

The starter I selected is the Light My Fire Swedish Army 2.0 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle. The first thing I did after opening the package was blow the whistle. I found out after two hours it is not a fire starting whistle. It’s for signaling only.

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle – Orange

I call it magic fire sparker. The magnesium creates a 3,000 degree spark. It works in wet conditions, is small and light weight. I encourage you to purchase one or any of the many other brands available.

There are various ways to prepare for making a fire starting survival kit. Water proof matches, Zippo, Bic, cotton balls packed with vaseline, numerous flammable items pre-packaged for convenience My story will focus on magic fire starter and lighter pine. I always collect my lighter pine from stumps that have already been harvested. Lighter pine is rich with the sap, its super sticky and will get on your fingers.  You can also find it where limbs have been cut or damaged on these pines. It’s nature’s way of protecting the tree from insects and other damage. If you have these type pines in your area go and harvest some. Bring an axe, hatchet, and saw.

Helko Hatchet GR0


It is flammable wet or dry. You can use it in stick form or as shavings. I use a kit like the ones I am assembling. Placing the chips on dry ground or a dry piece of bark. Continue piling them in a small heap, with some dry tinder ready to place on top. Adding larger wood as the fire gets bigger. This process is something you need to practice. I am in the process of improving my skill set on more primitive means of fire building.

This is not a “how-to story”. Just spreading the word on bushcraft goodness you need to know. Go outside y’all, teach your kids, wife, girlfriend, husband, some of you girls will need to teach your boyfriend.

Learn to make fire.

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