How To Make a Stick Fire

1. Find tinder. Anything that is dry, fibrous, and will take a spark or “catch” and ignite should do. Pocket lint, feather down, dried mosses, and shredded plant fibers such as cedar bark are all good examples.

2. Gather firewood. Gather several handfuls of kindling, typically tiny pieces of wood in various sizes. You want some that are as thin or thinner than a toothpick but longer; several handfuls of wood about the thickness and length of a pencil; and lots of wood up to about the thickness of your arm.

3. Make a nest. Use small fiber, such as cattail, to ignite the coal and slightly thicker fiber on the outside, such as dry leaves, to shelter the nest. Make sure you leave a hole for the coal. A cotton ball size of tinder will do.

4. Make a bow. Use slightly bendable wood for the bow. You’ll be putting a lot of pressure on the bow and dead wood is more likely to break than similarly sized green wood. Beginners should make a bow 1.5 to 2 feet long. Use as thin a piece of wood as you can so the bow will be as light as possible. A lighter bow is easier to control and takes less strength to push back and forth. However, it has to be stiff enough to not bend when you’re using it. Use a shoelace, drawstring, small rope or whatever cordage you can find. Leave a little slack in the cord so that you can twist the drill into the bow. Once the drill is in the bow, the tension should be nice and firm.

5. Make a fireboard. The fireboard and the drill both need to be made from light, dry, non-resinous wood. The best wood for this won’t have any sap and will be light and soft enough to easily dent with your thumbnail without gouging. Shape whatever wood you choose into a piece about an inch thick, 2-3 inches across and at least 12 inches long.

6. Make a drill. Your drill should be made of harder wood than your fireboard. Remember that you want the fireboard to hold the coal and not the spindle! Try to find the straightest piece of wood possible. Your drill should range between about 1 – 1.5 inches thick. Start with a stick about as thick as your thumb or index finger. It should be at least eight inches long and as straight as possible.

7. Find or make a socket. Your socket can be made of bone, wood or rock. Look for a rock with a smooth dimple in it. Ideally, the rock should be about fist sized. It should fit easily in your hand but not be too small or it can heat up very quickly. The ideal rock has a deep dimple with smooth sides. If you can’t find a rock, the easiest socket to make is wood.

8. Find a coal catcher. You need something to catch the coal that’s created, keep it insulated from the cold ground and carry it from the ground to the tinder. This can be a dry leaf, sliver of wood, piece of paper or bark, among other options. Stick Fire Video

Buy In Bulk And Stack ‘Em Deep

Freeze dried food pouches are the best option for long term emergency food preparation. We at Survival Kit Guide like Mountain House’s offering and suggest that you take a few moments to address your stash. Mountain House offers several packages depending on the volume of freeze dried food you and your family will require. Just remember that buying the food doesn’t mean you’re finished; you’ll need water and a way to boil it in order to make your emergency meals. Along with your drinking water, make sure to include enough for your freeze dried preps, and stock up the fuel you need for the water boiling method of your choice. We recommend the Jet Boil system, as it is both easy to use and very convenient, and the propane refill canisters are affordable enough to stock up on as well.

Here’s a quick guide to figure out the amount of water you will need per pouch:

Pro Pak Entrees – 1 ½ cup boiling
Double Serve Entrees – 2 cups boiling (53171 1 ½ cups boiling)
Vegetables – 1 cup boiling
Breakfast – 1 cup boiling (53449 – ½ cup cold)
Desserts:
Rasp Crumble – 1 1/3 cup boiling
Chocolate Strawberry Crunch – 2 cups Cold
Blueberry Cheesecake – 1/4 cup Boiling, 1 cup Cold

Don’t delay getting your food preps in order any longer. Take a quick few minutes and get your emergency food storage situation completed. We recommend having at least 1 month worth of food for each individual in your home. Go take a look at Mountain House’s offerings and pick up a Jet Boil system and some fuel too. Grab an extra gallon of water each time you are at the grocery store and don’t forget to stock up for your pets! Survival Kit Guide has everything you’ll need for food storage linked from our site. Go and get prepared today.

Hurricane Isaac – The Aftermath

Last month, Hurricane Isaac made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River and proceeded to drop copious amounts of rain over the Gulf Coast States .  Isaac reached the shore as a category 1 storm but due to its large size and slow-moving speed, Isaac let loose so much rain that flooding became prevalent all across the Midwest.  Not to mention it spawned numerous tornadoes and led to hundreds of thousands of power outages.
Isaac left thousands of residents under water and without power, and left communities scrambling for shelter and supplies.  Being prepared and having a plan for such an emergency is too important to ignore.  Even though we were informed of Isaac’s approach, the flooding and loss of power tested everyone in its path.  Be proactive and start building your disaster kits and survival cache today; don’t wait until it’s too late.

Below are some great new tool and supply ideas:

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Les Stroud on Survival Kits

Quote

“There are a lot of different additive forces in survival.  Certainly, the will to live is the most important. But that’s followed by luck, what kinda shape you’re in…geographically where you are, whether you’re alone or with other people, and a big one for me is whether or not you have a survival kit.  It might seem like a small thing at the time, but there are items in a survival kit that CAN ACTUALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE and make a big difference. And I’m not talking about grab-off-the-shelf survival kits that are available today. I’m talking about putting stuff together yourself so you know what you’ve got, you know how to use it, and you know that it works…That’s the only type of survival kit to have, in my books.”

B.O.B. Shelter

Food, water, defense, and shelter- the “4 food groups” of preparedness. Traditional shelter may not be portable enough to fit in your bug out bag.  But resourceful preppers can build decent shelter from pack staples like paracord and a tarp.  We’ve narrowed it down to 3 basic shelter options.

Tarp Shelter
A makeshift tarp shelter is minimal, portable and generally effective for providing cover from the elements and keeping you dry. In order to take full advantage of a tarp’s ability, be sure to include some paracord and duct tape. The paracord will allow you to tie off the tarp to a tree or other structure to create a roof over your head and the duct tape will come in handy for repairs should your tarp become damaged. This method will at least provide you with a dry place to hunker down in and can be pulled out of or packed back into your BOB quickly. A tarp is also light and won’t take up valuable room inside your BOB. Continue reading

Paracord – Infinite Possibilities

Military grade 550 paracord should always be included in your bug out bag, survival gear stash, and disaster kits.  There are hundreds of uses for it.  Tell us how you’ve made use of paracord.  Share your ideas, and let’s see if we can’t come up with a list of 50 uses of paracord.  I’ll start.

  1. Use paracord to string up your tarp for a make-shift shelter.
  2. Wrap the handle of your knife to make a better grip.
  3. Use it to wrap a splint in case of an injury.

10 Simple Wildfire Survival Tips

Wildfires are fast moving and unpredictable. In the recent years wildfires have become a real threat to areas that were once thought not prone. You can see the smoke from miles away, but your first clue that there’s a forest fire nearby is falling ash. Hopefully you will never be that close, but if you are, evasive action may be required.

 

Here’s 10 simple rules to help you survive a wildfire:

  1. Leave the area. Don’t wait around to see how things develop. Wildfires are so powerful, unpredictable, and destructive, that even well-equipped and trained professional fire fighters die when they become trapped by an onrushing blaze that overruns their position.
  2. Maintain situational awareness. Be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Simple but crucial. Continue reading

Hydration Is Key: Water Storage Ideas

Bladder Systems: A CamelBak (Bladder System) can be very useful in any emergency situation. They come in a variety of sizes and allow you to have your hands free while staying hydrated. The bladder systems can require regular cleaning, particularly in hot and humid environments. To prevent mold from developing, you can store most bladders in the freezer. The CamelBak Skeeter Hydration Pack is designed specifically to be stored in the freezer and requires no cleaning. I’ve been storing my CamelBak in the freezer for years and it works great with limited cleaning. Continue reading

Stay Focused: Eyewear Advice for Preppers

Bendable memory titanium frames $15.95

Prescription Eyewear
For those of you that require corrective lenses or glasses, don’t loose your focus during an emergency situation.  Do this by including extra eyeglasses and contact lenses with your preps.  I have a pair of eyeglasses and a 2 week supply of contacts in my BOB (bug out bag) and in both my vehicle and home survival kits.  Be sure to keep them in a protective case too.  Visit your eyewear supplier and see what their best deals are for inexpensive sets.  Or better yet, SAVE A TON OF MONEY by shopping online- we found bendable titanium frames for under $20 here.  Don’t worry about how they look either.  I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing mine in public- but if disaster strikes I may be left for dead without them. Continue reading

Bug-In Checklist: If Disaster Strikes…Are You Prepared?

Odds are that you have been in a situation where you were stuck indoors without power or water due to some sort of natural caused event. If you haven’t, I’d wager a bet that you will at some point. We take for granted the convenience of turning on a faucet, firing up the stove and cranking up the A/C or furnace. When the power goes out or the water stops flowing, we seldom worry that it won’t be restored in a matter of minutes or hours. Natural disasters seem to be happening all too often these days, but with a little forethought and preparation, you won’t be left dependant on others to stay safe and comfortable until things are restored.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, flooding and fires are a part of nature and they don’t usually give you much warning and time to prepare. My wife and I recently went through 3 days and nights without public power and water supply and were unable to leave our home due to a large wildfire. Although I had prepared for a natural disaster of this nature, it still was a great learning experience and I’d like to share our story. Continue reading