Fire Building February: Useful Tips and Gear to Get Your Fire Going - ITS Tactical
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Fire Building February: Useful Tips and Gear to Get Your Fire Going

By The ITS Crew

Fire and the skill of being able to build one is at the top of the skills I consider core. Fire warms, it protects, it feeds and it comforts. There’s not another skill-set that I feel even comes close to the empowerment that being able to successfully build a fire under any condition provides.

I’ll assume most of you reading this have seen the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks and the drastic turn of events that happens when he finally learns how to build a fire. I HAVE MADE FIRE! That’s honestly the way I feel every time I build a successful fire that stays lit. I also use every opportunity that comes along as a way to try out new methods for fire starting. 

I always carry a Mini Bic with me and I’m not a smoker. However, I’ll only use a lighter as a last resort; I prefer a ferro rod and the spine of a knife blade to strike it. I know it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll even need to start a fire in the suburbs, but I do find that my EDC (every day carry) is what I wind up carrying with me during outdoor activities and that Mini Bic complements the ITS Mini Survival Kit I always have close at hand.

We’re all creatures of habit and what you practice on a regular basis, be it what you carry or the skills you keep up with, becomes habit.

Fire Building February 01

There’s a lot that goes into building a fire successfully and it’s important to note that everything will burn if it gets hot enough, even wood that’s been rained on. The principles of the fire triangle are never wrong and whether it’s heat, oxygen or fuel, there’s always one of these three variables lacking if you’re not able to keep your fire going.

With the fire triangle, come the three things you need to satisfy the “fuel” side of that triangle. Tinder can be both the material you’re throwing a spark into and also small sticks no bigger than your pinky. Kindling is slightly larger sticks and fuel can be as small as tree branches or as large as you need it to be.

Fire Building February 02

The most important part of this aspect of the triangle is to have plenty of it in all sizes ready to go. The last thing you want to do is scrounge around for more wood while your fire is on its way out. The heat side of the triangle comes along with your initial spark into your tinder, along with the prolonged heat generated by your fuel burning.

Oxygen is the real multiplier in fire building and applying the right amount of it, even if you have to get down near the fire to exhale more of it into your tinder, is the key to success.

Remember to take every opportunity you can to build a fire in controlled environments, that repetition is important. This is a perishable skill that’s easy to lose if you don’t practice!

Grab one of those cheap metal enamel cups and see how fast you can bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil with your fire. It’s an amazing way to practice while racing your friends.

~ Bryan Black, Editor-in-Chief

ITS Brass Fire Starter

Fire Building February 03

Oversized and robust, this Brass Fire Starter throws the largest spark we’ve seen. The user-replaceable flint means that you can keep the spark party going as long as you need!

Click here to get your Brass Fire Starter!

ITS Jute Paracord

Fire Building February 05

Let your cordage pull double duty! ITS Jute Paracord provides the same tensile strength rating of standard 550 paracord, but adds a strand of jute fiber that’s perfect for fire starting.

Pick up your ITS Jute Paracord in the ITS Store!

ITS Waterproof Matches

Fire Building February 06

If time is of the essence or the conditions are bad, skip the spark and consider the ITS Waterproof Matches. Once lit, they’re nearly impossible to put out.

Get your own ITS Waterproof Matches in the ITS Store today!

EXOTAC TinderTins

Fire Building February 07

Unlike some other options, you can feel comfortable swiping right on the EXOTAC TinderTins. Pair both the splinters and shavings to have a complete setup on hand!

Be ready wherever you are with the EXOTAC TinderTins!

Read Up: Alternative Fire Starting Methods

Fire Building February 08

There’s nothing wrong with the traditional methods for starting fires, but what happens if you find yourself with a need for fire and nothing normal on hand? Check out this article on ITS to learn about some alternative methods for fire starting!

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