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Home » How To Get A Fire Started In Wet Weather

How To Get A Fire Started In Wet Weather

How To Get A Fire Started In Wet Weather

Fire is a crucial aspect of survival.  Knowing how to start a fire, including in poor conditions, is a skill that is once again emerging after being all but lost for a number of years.  In our modern times, being able to start a fire isn’t as high of a priority since we have other means for cooking and heating.  However, if you were to find yourself in a survival situation,  modern technologies probably will not be available to you and you will be forced to have to build a fire the good ole fashioned way.

There are several important things that fire does for us.  First, it is used for heating our shelters, no matter how primitive they might be.  Although there are central heating systems in modern homes, when attempting to survive out in the wild you won’t have that convenience.  It is also used for cooking our food, which is a necessity so that we don’t get food poisoning.  Fire also protects us from wild animals and keeps us warm.

Those times when we most need a fire tend to be the times when it is the most difficult to get one started.  In other words, when it is windy and cold, it is snowing or raining, and we are soaking wet and freezing.  At such times, a fire could mean the difference between living and dying.  The biggest problem is it is nearly impossible to start a fire using wet wood.

How To Get A Fire Started In Wet Weather

Find Some Dry Wood.  To start any fire, the first step is finding dry wood or wood that isn’t really wet at the very least.  If it has been raining, it can be difficult to do this.  However, there are places where wood has a tendency to be dry most of the time.  You just need to know where to look for it.

Under overhangs or in caves: If there happens to be a cave close by, it will almost always have dry wood inside of it.

Under deadfalls: This is a very reliable dry wood source usually.  Even when the top part of a deadfall tree is completely wet, the underside of it will usually be dry.  It might be shielding other dry wood also.

Underneath trees: Frequently thick trees protect wood underneath them.  Quite often large pine trees will have dead branches at ground level.  These are usually protected from rain and can be cut off the tree and used for fire wood.

Even if the wood needs to be cut from underneath the deadfalls, you will have something to get started with at least.  After your fire is blazing, you can put some damp wood next to it so that the fire’s heat will dry it.  Then you can add it to your fire.

Dry Tinder.  It is as difficult to find this as dry wood.  The easy solution is keeping some dry tinder on you.  That was common in the old days.  Travelers carried a tinder box with them that had fire starters and tinder inside.

Lay Your Fire Properly: You don’t want to do this all over again, so be sure to lay the fire properly from the start.  The best thing to do is use a bottom-up approach, with the tinder on the bottom, and the kindling on top it, and then fuel covering everything.  In this way, the fire will be able to spread easily and quickly so you don’t need to repeat the process.

Shield Your Fire:  One thing you definitely need to prevent is having it rain directly onto your fire, particularly if happens to be coming down hard.  Look for a spot to build your fire where it can be shielded at least somewhat from the rain.  Underneath a tree can work well as long as there aren’t any low branches that will catch on fire.

Effective Fire Starter:  You don’t have to have to try to use a bow drill or ferro rod to start your fire at a time like this.  Although both of those methods do work well, they are more difficult to use, particularly when you are try to fight moisture.  You should use a lighter or match instead, and prepared fire starter that can catch fire easily and quickly.  You can either make one or buy a commercial one.

Some of the best fire starters include:

Petroleum Jelly Soaked Cotton Balls: It is very easy to make this fire starter and it keeps for a very long time.  Use the back side of a spoon to scoop out one teaspoon of petroleum jelly.  Then work the jelly into a cotton ball.  Treating an average cotton ball like this will burn for more than three minutes, which will give the tinder plenty of time to catch as well as the tinder.

Wax and Dryer Lint: Dryer lint is quite flammable.  When you add candle wax to the lint, it will burn for a longer time.  An easy way of doing this is placing balls of lint inside a cardboard egg carton and then pour wax over the lint.  Just make sure it is wet.  It isn’t necessary to completely cover it.

Black Powder: When it comes to fire starters, this is the ultimate.  Wet a tablespoon of black powder with an oily type of nail polish remover (that contains acetone).  Make a putty and then knead it by folding it over around 50 times.  That will produce a ball that burns for more than three minutes at around 3,000 degrees, which is hot enough for drying the wood out.

Summary

Proper preparation makes a huge difference.  If you set aside some time to make good fire starters and carry them with you, then you will dramatically increase your chance of being able to start a fire, even in wet conditions.

There is always dry tinder and wood available.  You just need to know where to look for it.  Learn where to look for places that are sheltered from rain out in the wild.  Those are great spots to find firewood, and also make good campsites.  If it looks like it’s about to rain, you should stop and get camp set up and start your fire before the precipitation starts.  That way even if it rains you can still be comfortable.

Survival Self Defense - How to protect yourself and your family
Survival Self Defense - How to protect yourself and your family

Discover the secrets to defending yourself and your family when disaster strikes!