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What is the best fire starting method for Alaska (with no man made materials)

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  • What is the best fire starting method for Alaska (with no man made materials)

    Only using what one would find in nature what are some ways or materials here that would start a fire. This is to only assume one lost every thing or is ill prepared.

  • #2
    I imagine without matches or lighter, you gotta go flint and iron or firebow, basically....I've used all kinds of stuff for tinder, depends on where you are. Up on top of a mountain, there ain't gonna be much to burn...inner bark of various trees is good, some mosses...small, dry dead spruce branches with needles burn like crazy....one thing's for sure; when it's cold and wet out, anyone who can start a fire and keep it going is mucho appreciated!



    "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    • #3
      dried birch bark or the dead lower branches of a spruce tree.

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      • #4
        What is the best fire starting method for Alaska (with no man made materials)

        Originally posted by LIVIN907 View Post
        Only using what one would find in nature what are some ways or materials here that would start a fire. This is to only assume one lost every thing or is ill prepared.
        Gotta admit that I would be hard pressed to start a fire using only naturally occurring materials found in interior Alaska. Given ample time and non-life threatening summer-time conditions, I might be able to pull it off but I think it would be an impressive feat.
        ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
        I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
        The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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        • #5
          Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
          Gotta admit that I would be hard pressed to start a fire using only naturally occurring materials found in interior Alaska. Given ample time and non-life threatening summer-time conditions, I might be able to pull it off but I think it would be an impressive feat.
          I agree with you on that one... On the other hand I Never go afield without at least a dozen lighters in various pockets, a flint and some starter material. I know my limitations and choose not to have Mother Nature exploit them...

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          • #6
            Well if it's during lightening season, you may get nice & easy fire, thanks to Mother Nature herself.

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            • #7
              I keep some magnesium and flint in my pack at all times. And I agree, birch bark works great for tinder....
              Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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              • #8
                How to start a fire with a bow and drill…….....















                “Move that fat ass Henry!”
                “Don’t swing your balls or you’ll swamp the boat!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ak_cowboy View Post
                  dried birch bark or the dead lower branches of a spruce tree.
                  and to add to this ..

                  the balls of sap at the bottome of the black spruce will go like gasoline when shaved into a small pile.. the birchbark is awsome.. down to about -35...

                  in the wet fall and spring.. the green needlesl off the black spruce also have a large amount of burn ablitly to them also and are used to get a fast heat into the fire and dry your larger wood. ..

                  so dont over look the pitch, at the bottom or those balls of moss and branches that look like nest in the black spruce.. often as not on the same tree..
                  "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

                  meet on face book here

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                  • #10
                    I agree with what Vince has said. Those small bundles of branches in the spruce trees are great little fire starters. Dry bundles of small twigs.
                    Personally I wear glasses and that is one of my backup fire starting ideas. I guess I need to practice it though.
                    I think with any method a little practice goes a long ways. Maybe I need to construct a bow drill and practice it too.
                    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
                      Maybe I need to construct a bow drill and practice it too.
                      I forced myself to go out next to the house one day and try and start a fire with some magnesium and some flint. It took me quite awhile before I got an actual flame, and I darned near scraped off all my flint in the process. What I learned was even though the mag will do the trick when it takes off, don't skimp on it when you scratch off your pile, because it's not real easy to hit a small spot with a spark.....
                      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                      • #12
                        Using only natural materials to start a fire means friction method of some kind. That's not easy. You need to choose your materials carefully.

                        After messing with this, and taking a LTR class, I will always have a Swedish fire steel, a Bic, cotton balls, Chapstick, on me.

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                        • #13
                          I tell ya, after watching Cody on "Duel Survival", the MASTER at building friction fires, bomb out a few times, I doubt I'd have a leg to stand on trying it in wet Alaska. I remember him building a beautiful bow and drill and still not being able to start a fire when it hadn't even been raining, but was just real damp. He got real close but lost his ember.....

                          That's why even though I will always bring a few bics and/or waterproof matches, that mag stick and flint will always be in my pack.......
                          Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                          • #14
                            Google "Alaskan bushcrafters" and look at some of his videos. He is a guy here in the interior that is skilled in wilderness survival and has recorded several types of fire building using primative skills. He is not always successfull but he can show you several items found abundantly here in the interior. For instance there is a fungus that grows on the aspen trees that looks like a big black wart but if you chop off a section of it and use a heat source such as magnification or spark it acts like a punk and will keep burning to start other materials.
                            Steve

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                            • #15
                              I've started a fire using the bow & drill method-when I was a Boy Scout mumblemumble years ago. What our Scout Master had us do was operate in two-Scout teams, one holding the drill and the other sawing the bow and switching off when we got tired. It took a long time and I don't think I'd have been able to start a fire that way by myself, but it's doable.
                              I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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