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Introduction
Psychology of survival
Survival planning and survival kits
Basic survival medicine
Shelters
Water procurement
Firecraft
Basic fire principles
Site selection and preparation
Fire material selection
How to build a fire
How to light a fire
Food procurement
Survival use of plants
Poisonous plants
Dangerous animals
Field-expedient weapons, tools, and equipment
Desert survival
Tropical survival
Cold weather survival
Sea survival
Expedient water crossings
Field-expedient direction finding
Signaling techniques
Survival movement in hostile areas
Camouflage
Contact with people
Survival in man-made hazards
  
Appendixes
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Edible and medicinal plants
Poisonous plants
Dangerous insects and arachnids
Poisonous snakes and lizards
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Clouds: foretellers of weather
Contingency plan of action format
Home / Outdoor Survival

OUTDOOR SURVIVAL

Firecraft: Site Selection and Preparation

You will have to decide what site and arrangement to use. Before building a fire consider--

  • The area (terrain and climate) in which you are operating.
  • The materials and tools available.
  • Time: how much time you have?
  • Need: why you need a fire?
  • Security: how close is the enemy?

Look for a dry spot that--

  • Is protected from the wind.
  • Is suitably placed in relation to your shelter (if any).
  • Will concentrate the heat in the direction you desire.
  • Has a supply of wood or other fuel available. (See Figure 7-4 for types of material you can use.)

If you are in a wooded or brush-covered area, clear the brush and scrape the surface soil from the spot you have selected. Clear a circle at least 1 meter in diameter so there is little chance of the fire spreading.

If time allows, construct a fire wall using logs or rocks. This wall will help to reflector direct the heat where you want it (Figure 7-1). It will also reduce flying sparks and cut down on the amount of wind blowing into the fire. However, you will need enough wind to keep the fire burning.

CAUTION

Do not use wet or porous rocks as they may explode when heated.

In some situations, you may find that an underground fireplace will best meet your needs. It conceals the fire and serves well for cooking food. To make an underground fireplace or Dakota fire hole (Figure 7-2)--

  • Dig a hole in the ground.
  • On the upwind side of this hole, poke or dig a large connecting hole for ventilation.
  • Build your fire in the hole as illustrated.

If you are in a snow-covered area, use green logs to make a dry base for your fire (Figure 7-3). Trees with wrist-sized trunks are easily broken in extreme cold. Cut or break several green logs and lay them side by side on top of the snow. Add one or two more layers. Lay the top layer of logs opposite those below it.


Firecraft
Basic fire principles | Site selection and preparation | Fire material selection | How to build a fire | How to light a fire

 

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