scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Firestarters
Wed Mar 01 2000 - 08:49:06 CST
Jim Peterson wrote:
> Blaine wrote:
> >Don't teach your scouts how to use crutches!
> >Scout Motto: Be Prepared. Preparation is more than having a pocketful of
> >cigarette lighters and paraffin. It also means skill and judgment.
> Boy, do I ever agree with Blaine. I've been watching this debate over
> which artificial device is best for starting a fire.....seems to me that
> the points that we're trying to teach when we instruct in firebuilding are
> being totally overlooked here! ><snip><
What I like about Scouting is that we teach (and learn) all
sorts of arcane skills that no on else bothers about
anymore. The stuff called "Scoutcraft."
"One match" fires, flint and steel or fire by friction - all
good things to know but, it's just as obsessive to dote on
fire making methodologies as it is to spend hours and money
concocting "the best homemade fire starter."
It's all about training and what we teach (and learn.) If
you're cold, wet or hungry, I don't much care how you start
your fire. There are no competition points awarded in the
backcountry for using one match (or homemade fire starters
What I learned about making a fire with flint and steel is
that flint and steel is a difficult and awkward way to make
a fire. But, what I also learned from my Scoutmaster many
years ago was to always have 2 means of starting a fire with
me when backpacking. In almost 40 years, some things have
changed. Now days, I don't often start a fire but use a
stove for cooking. However, to this day, I always carry a
lighter in my pocket or pack and a couple of stick matches
(and a "firestick") in a plastic bag with my cooking gear.
At least part of my early Boy Scout training worked :-)