Ancient Pathways, LLC - School of Primitive Technology and Wilderness Skills Survival Courses [Flagstaff Arizona]

The Yellow Lifesaver-Emergency Firestarting or How to Start a Fire in Wet Weather




The Yellow Lifesaver


If you spend enough time in the backcountry, you will find yourself having to make fire under extreme conditions where it’s a downpour, snowstorm or the risk of hypothermia nipping at your heels. 


Getting in the habit of always carrying 3 firestarters (Stormproof matches, spark rod and lighter) and a vial of cotton balls smeared with Vaseline is a critical step in being prepared. 


Your other friend, found in most forests throughout the world, is resinous wood particularly the old stumps and logs from dead pine, spruce and other conifers. We have used this wood on winter survival courses in the deep snow and in wet weather during the summer months and it has been key in getting ignition and warming our bones during cold nights. 


Look for old stumps in pine or spruce forests or use dead-standing trees. I have done this on stumps buried under the snow and gotten instant ignition. 



This shaving technique is a woodcraft skill that you can practice in your backyard. Keep an eye out for that yellow-tinged wood on your next hike and try it for firestarting. It can be a real lifesaver.

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Ancient Pathways, LLC
Colorado Springs, CO


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