scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Firestarters
Wed Mar 01 2000 - 10:37:22 CST
> Building a fire that lights from a single match without help of
> chemicals will teach a bunch.
I don't believe anybody has been suggesting the use of firestarters as a
replacement for good firebuilding skills; rather, as a supplement to the
old "two wooden matches, with the expectation that you will only use one"
When I was a tenderfoot, our patrol made a bunch of firestarters, such that
we each ended up with 5 or 6 of them. My set lasted me through years of
camping as a Boy Scout, followed by years of camping with my wife. The
only time that I resort to a firestarter is when trying to get a fire going
in the rain, or shortly after a rain storm -- i.e., when the extant wood,
kindling, and tinder are all wet. Yeah, yeah, I know all about cutting off
the wet outer layers of wood with my knife and shaving tinder from the dry
center of a piece of wet wood, yada, yada, yada, but when trying to pitch
camp in the rain, there are usually better things to do with my time than
whittling shavings from a piece of wood. For me, "be prepared" includes
having a firestarter or two on hand in addition to everything else.
John A. Pershing Jr. <email@example.com>
IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, NY