No Fatwood, Minimal Kit, Damp Conditions (pic heavy)
Saturday I did the post on minimal kit under very wet conditions. I was going to try the same thing again but without the fatwood however while it rained more last night it did not rain today...so instead of soaking wet conditions, it was under damp or less than ideal conditions.
The following is basically a variation of how I usually do a one match fire. However if you really need a fire and you have a match...or a lighter...use it. It will speed things up a good bit.
Since I'm using sparks instead of a match the first thing I did was whittle into the dryer part of a pine limb and laid it in the sun so in a few minutes I could make shavings for tinder.
Then I started gathering kindling materials materials. I gathered the smallest driest twigs I could find by breaking off the very tips of a downed dead pine tree. I wanted a good bit of this. This is where fuzz sticks would work, but why put the extra wear and tear on your edge if you don't need to (I know because it's fun, but you know what I mean here).
Then after getting a good sized pile of those I went up a size gathering a good bit of those also, then up another size to pencil size, then up to some about the thickness of my finger.
After I had my kindling set up I started on my shavings making thin shavings first, then some a little thicker, and then some pretty thick ones using a small piece of bark for a base.
with everything prepped..time for the sparks, this took a bit longer and more patience than with fatwood. It took the right spark hitting the right sliver, but it did finally catch.
Once the flames caught I gently added some of the very smallest twigs.
And once that caught I added a little more and moved the fledgling fire to the center of the fire pit and started adding fuel working my way through the different sizes.
Once going good dead pine...even dead pine that was a bit damp a few minutes ago...will produce quite a flame.
Just keep adding as much as you can of the finger size, and then work your way up a size once you get a really good heat base going...which doesn't take very long at all. Then you can start adding hard woods that will make better coals.
Once you get the bed of coals going you can throw on a handful of damp finger-size or a bit larger branches, go collect more firewood and come back to a flame.
Here you can see the moisture cooking out of the burning limbs. If you lose the fire at this point it should only be because you ran out of fuel or the hard rains returned.
The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.