American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Emergency Fire Lighting

Hunting Season is upon us. Sometimes hunters get turned around while stalking their prey and end up spending an unpleasant night in the woods. I'm going to show you how to take minimal gear and get a fire going.

The things you'll need:
1. Firesteel or other ignition source (lighter, matches, etc.)
2. Shotgun shell or bullet
3. Knife

I also used my SwissTool and a plastic bag (to hold the lead from the shotgun shell.)

The gear I had on me for this tutorial (plus the SwissTool on my belt.)
I hold my knife edge up and roll the shell away from me to score the outside of the shell and then take small chips out to break off the end of the shell.
You can see the two-piece wadding, powder charge, and shell casing. It's the powder we want here. Sometimes it's a bit stubborn about coming out and you may need to carefully shake the shell or dig around in there a bit with the tip of your knife. Try not to lose too much of the powder.
Gunpowder ignites quickly with a spark and getting a picture of the ignition was extremely difficult. I'm just not fast enough to show you more than the burned spots on the stone after all was said and done.

If you're going to try this you'll need to make certain you've got everything you need for your fire on hand. The entire ignition process took maybe one tenth of a second from start to finish. That means you'll have to have your tinder right on top of the powder.

It's a very hot ignition so getting a cotton ball or fluffed cottonwood bark should be fairly easy.

I hope you found this tutorial useful.

Thanks for reading,



At 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting as always!
I can see you are using a swedish firesteel but I dont recognize the knife, who makes it?

Have a good one!

Anders from Sweden

At 6:37 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Thanks for your comment Anders.

The knife is made by Matt Lesniewski at ML Knives. It's a combination Kephart handle and Sodbuster blade and makes for a heck of a knife.



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