5 simple steps to learn how to start a fire in wet weather
Learning how to start a fire in wet weather is something that you definitely need to do for your survival. If you know how to do this even if the weather conditions are very bad it can save your life. Many centuries ago everyone knew how to start a fire because it was a necessity; nowadays we need fire only for cooking or for heating, but there is no need to start the fire using the old-fashioned way, as we have a cooker, a radiator, a kettle and so on. Although, even now if you get into any survival situation, you’ll face the problem of starting a fire in the woods, because there is no modern equipment out there.
Here is why the fire can be so necessary for living. You can use it to get warm and to heat the shelter which you built, even if this shelter is very small and typical. Of course, when you’re living in a comfortable house or apartment, you don’t think about this problem, because the central heating system always helps you to stay in a heated room. Besides, fire is necessary for cooking, you can’t eat raw food, because it can be full of different microbes and bacteria. Don’t forget that fire also makes us feel more comfortable and it helps to be protected from animals.
Usually, if we need to start a fire as soon as possible, it means that the weather is really awful, which also makes the process of starting a fire more difficult. It’s usually so, when we are wet or when we are freezing because it is raining or snowing or too windy. In this case, fire can literally save us. But the real trouble is that it’s almost impossible to start a fire if the woodpile is wet.
5 simple steps to a toasty fire…
1. Search for dry wood.
Of course, the first thing that you will need to start a fire is some dry wood. If it’s impossible to find dry one, take that wood which is not too wet at least. It can be very difficult to find it if it’s raining. Although there are places where you can find dry woodpile, even if the weather conditions aren’t good. But you should know these places:
- Caverns or places under overhangs. So, if you see a cavern or at least an overhang, go to these places and be sure that you’ll get some dry wood there.
- Deadfall trees. This is where you’ll definitely find dry wood. Sure, the top side of the tree will be wet, if it’s raining, but you should check the underside, as it will be dry. Sometimes under that you can find some other dry woodpile.
- The ground under trees. Usually, trees with huge foliage and long branches protect everything that is located under them from getting wet. Scotch pine trees usually have many fallen branches on the ground. They are probably pretty dry, so cut them and take them.
- Even if it’s not that easy to cut and get the woodpile, at least you’ll have it. Later when you make the fire, you can just put some wet wood near it, so that the heat will dry it out, and after that, you can add this wood to the fire as well.
2. Find dry tinder.
It’s really difficult to find dry tinder, just like dry fuel. The best way to get it is to take it from home with you. Some centuries ago travelers always had a “tinder box” with them, where they put some tinder and fire starters. If you’re out in the wild, then the Golden Rule for wet weather is to LOOK UP for dry wood & kindling (i.e. on dead trees, leaves that are snagged up on trees etc.)
3. Put all the components for the fire right.
It’s important to lay everything for your fire properly from the very beginning because it won’t be easy to change something later. Use a bottom-up approach, because in this case the fire will be spreading quicker and you won’t need to change something. This approach means that you should put dry tinder at the bottom, then you should put kindling, and fuel must cover all this construction.
4. Protect the fire.
If it’s raining and there is no protection for your fire, it may cause many problems. You should choose a really good place where your fire will be at least a little bit shielded from the unwanted rain. A really good idea is to locate your fire under a tree, but make sure that the branches of this tree are very high and that it will be impossible for them to catch your fire.
5. Lighter or matches + fire starters.
Of course, you can use a bow drill or a ferrocerium rod to start a fire, and these are really good methods actually, but it won’t work well, because it’s hard to use them, especially when it’s raining. So, it will be better simply to use a lighter or a match in conjunction with a good fire starter that will catch fire without any problems. The easiest way is to buy fire starters in a store, but you can also create them by yourself. Here are the best fire starters:
- Cotton balls that are soaked in petrolatum. This fire starter can be created easily and besides, it can be useful for a long time. Take a teaspoon with petrolatum and coat a cotton ball with it. After this process, your cotton ball will burn for not less than 3 minutes, which is enough for tinder and even for kindling to catch the fire.
- Dryer lint + wax. Dryer lint can burn really well. But if you add candle wax to it, it will burn even better and longer. The best way to do this is to put some lint balls into an egg carton and then to pour it with wax; don’t try to cover lint fully though. This will make your lint soaked in wax.
- Black powder. This is one more great way to get a fire starter. You need a tablespoon of black powder. Then pour it with nail polish remover, but make sure that it has acetone inside. You can create a putty from it now. Fold it over approximately 50 times. After that, you’ll get a ball that can burn for more than 3 minutes at 3000 degrees which is enough to make the wood dry and to start the fire.
Are you ready to start a fire in wet weather?
Although you know how to start a fire in the rain, it is always important to be properly prepared for different emergency situations. So, if you have really good fire starters and you take them to the woods when the time comes, you’ll be able to start a fire even if it’s raining.
It’s always possible to find some dry woodpile and dry tinder, you just need to make your eyes wide open. Try to search for spots that can be a great shelter from any rain or snow. Once you find these places, you can look for some dry woodpile there, besides, such places are perfect for building a camp. If you see that it will be raining really soon, you need to stop and build a shelter for yourself as well as to start a fire, because it’s better to prepare everything before any raindrops come into the ground. In this case, you’ll be ready to stay safe and comfortable during the rain.
Now that you can start a fire in any weather conditions, check out your survival kit to ensure you re ready for when the SHTF!