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Survival Basics: Starting a Fire


It has been awhile since I have written about living a strategic life.  For those of you new to Backdoor Survival, living a strategic life is something that I encourage everyone to embrace, prepper or not.  As a matter of fact, it is so important to me personally that I co-authored a book about it, 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: A Guide to Survival During Uncertain Times.

In a nutshell, living a strategic life means that you are able to take care of yourself and your family no matter what Mother Nature and the Universe decides to drop in your lap.  And while talk about a global collapse is dramatic sounding and the cause for major, life-altering concern, a  realistic assessment of the odds suggests that more commonplace emergencies and disasters are singularly the reason we prepare.

This is not to diminish preparing for the likelihood of a collapse, of course, but rather to focus on risks of life that can happen any day, any time, to anyone.

With that being said, throughout most of human history, man has learned that a few necessities can and do make the difference between life and death.  While emergency food stores, stored water, and the need for a good first aid kit serious medical training on how to use it are all important, today I would like to talk about something increasingly overlooked in our "modern" society:  STARTING A FIRE.

The Triangle of Fire

Fire is a big deal and a necessary component not only to our senses, but to survival itself.  That said, most people have terrible fire skills.  It is not that fire skills are difficult to learn, mind you.  It is just that in today's world of electronic cooking gadgets, pre-packaged meals, and grab and go dining, using a fire to do something basic like cook seems like a lot of work and a plain nuisance compared to get getting the job done with electricity, natural gas or, those plastic cards we carry around in our wallet.

Today I want to get down to the basics, namely the basics of simply starting a fire and getting it going with a minimum of fuss. Let us start with rule #1 of fire making.

There are three parts to fire:  Oxygen, Fuel, and Heat.  This is referred to as the Triangle of Fire.  For the visually oriented, it looks like this:

Triangle of Fire

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