Firelighting failure

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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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One thing to remember with these little wood stoves is that they can scorch the ground beneath them... and bang goes your leave no trace philosophy and practice .
As can a Kelly kettle. I still occasionally walk past a wooden bench with a Kelly kettle scorched circle in it...made by me many years ago when I valiantly tried to not leave a scorched circle on the ground :(
Nowadays I try to place mine on a few stones or a small sheet of metal like a biscuit tin lid or an old fray bentos pie tin.
Has anyone tried kitty litter in their woodgas stove? (The wood pellet stuff) I've just bought a bag from the pet shop, but not had the opportunity to try it as yet. It supposed to burn for ages.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
You eat Fray Bentos?
The only time I had it ( son insisted) I felt cheated. Soggy layer of something flour based, lots of runny brown sauce, a few bits of meat.

The good bit is that we started making our own meat pies, including the hot crust pastry!

Nobody uses Hexamine to start a fire? I used to carry and use it, plus for emergencies.
 

Woody girl

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You eat Fray Bentos?
The only time I had it ( son insisted) I felt cheated. Soggy layer of something flour based, lots of runny brown sauce, a few bits of meat.

The good bit is that we started making our own meat pies, including the hot crust pastry!

Rescued from someone's recycling bin.

Had one some years back as a nostalgia thing. They were cheap special offer and money was tight so bought one for a special Sunday lunch like we had them as kids. ........orrible! Never again!
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Good, you restored my faith in you......

I love canned food. But some stuff just can not be canned and still be decently palatable.

Some plastics are decent firestarters in an emergency situation. Scrunched up, or tied up in a knot.
 

Woody girl

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I love using flint and steel. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when with my first strike I get that glowing charcloth. Then into a birds nest of dried grasses, some blowing later you have flames.
Doesn't always happen like that, but it's impressive when it happens.
I even impress myself :) :) :)
 

TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
Nobody uses Hexamine to start a fire?
I remember the time when we used TNT for that. Apparently neither is very healthy to handle. PE can be used as candles, unbreakable, burns fairly nicely depending on the wick, have to make them yourself though.

Yes, I have had several failures on lighting a wood fire, out comes the alcohol or gas stove.
 
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Woody girl

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You can't beat birch bark for natural firelighting. Burns even when damp.
I am always running up to birch trees and filling my pockets with those papery bits of peeled bark. Even the tiny bits can help a fire along just fine.
 
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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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In a life or death situation? Fine. Otherwise I'd have hoped that people who enjoy nature and the outdoors might have a bit more respect for the environment! I guess not!

You're on a bit of a soap box here mate. The little slithers of inner tube that one might use to light a fire in difficult conditions will have no measurable effect on the environment at all. To be honest it's fanatical statements like yours that cause people to ignore the more important environmental messages.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion but often it's how one says it that can rile people.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I remember the time when we used TNT for that. Apparently neither is very healthy to handle. PE can be used as candles, unbreakable, burns fairly nicely depending on the wick, have to make them yourself though.

Yes, I have had several failures on lighting a wood fire, out comes the alcohol or gas stove.

Yes, failures are normal. Nothing to be ashamed of!
In wet conditions, when I was running low on alcohol (fuel) I usually filled the Trangia burner ( with the simmering ring on) maybe 1/10 full, then placed it below the damp wood sticks.
We used sprängdeg (Pentyl/oil) with success in my unit.
Ones I thought the boys the technique it became the fuel of choice once they ran out of Alcohol.
Demolition was my field.

OF: It is fine to try to be environmental friendly, and be so most of the time, but it is important to know some tricks to make it through a survival situation.
To be frank, if you use a bit of synthetic rubber a couple of times a year will not matter.
You can always compensate by not putting your fruit and veg in the plastic b@gs but buy it ‘loose’.
 

Woody girl

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It makes sense to have several ways to light a fire about your person.
I usualy have at least three,
1 ferro rod
2 flint and steel
3 a ferociously good lighter.( not a bic)you can practicaly weld with mine! And the wind won't blow it out.
4 windproof matches
I've given up with the bowdrill as my knees and back and asthma make it too painful and I have to give up just as an ember begins to form. Shame, but that's age and decripidity for you!
I'm prepared to use whichever method works best in the conditions present. I'm not shy about using matches or a lighter if I need a fire quickly or other methods are not working easily.
Then again if a fire is not needed so urgently I'm just as happy to use a more primative form of fire lighting.
That said, tinder and kindling selection and preparation are just as important whichever method you use to light it.
 
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Woody girl

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When I was a kid. My parents would allow me one match to light a fire with out in the garden. I had a tipi made of beans poles and old curtains, a fire place where I would camp out. Soon learned about the importance of tinder and kindling if I wanted my tea and toast!
 
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bgreen

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Apr 6, 2016
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UK
Hi Woody Girl

Over on YouTube, Mark Young has done a few videos about using wood pellets in various wood stoves including the Lixada woodgas stove. (He's also done some really thoughtful reviews on various stoves and other bits of outdoor kit. He also comes up with ideas for 'make your own' kit). Could be well worth a watch if you are thinking of using wood pellets as a fuel source (I've no affiliation, honest!).
 

Woody girl

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Hi bgreen. I've made two ikea drainer stoves and a couple of cola can penny stoves, so I'm learning how to enjoy them. I also have a woodgas stove. Only used it with twigs so far but I wanted to be sure I could use it with something other than found twigs. I can use green gel with mine, but it's not the cheapest fuel. Cat litter is realy cheap and guaranteed dry! Plus it's supposed to burn for ages and the charcoal that's left keeps going for even longer. Ideal fuel.
 
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