One step up from Flint-and-Steel

So I hadda let the woodstove burn out a bit so I could clean the ashes. I burned a fair bit of wood over the past two days.

I carefully saved a half-pea sized coal that was left. Just for practice.


Took the time to prepare, and used that coal  to get the kindling going and restart the fire I had laid…..It’s a process.


Tiny bits of tinder, scraped with a knife… almost fluff, gentle breaths,, a hint of smoke. Encouraging the nascent fire but not bullying it, easy breaths, easy. Don’t blow it out. A hint of flame…more smoke, .wait……a hint more, a breath more, and FIRE! Gently encourage that fire with tiny pieces of fuel, then slightly larger ones, then finger size pieces, then a real fire exists. Throw the rest of the logs over it and the woodstove is lit.


I have matches, lighters and, if need be, kerosene soaked sticks of wood to make my life easier in building a fire….but I do things the harder way sometimes just for practice. Might need that skill someday out in the wild. One never knows.

Plus it’s fun.

3 thoughts on “One step up from Flint-and-Steel

  1. In the wild I would pick up the ember to gently swing it through the air. About the same motion and cadence your hands make when walking. Slower or faster, depending.

    This after I got tired of eyes and lungs full of smoke from a sudden wind shift.

  2. In my youth I started fires with a friction set — bow and spindle. I could still do it I suspect. But I have matches and lighters.

    Building a fire is a skill.

    • I have used a bow of my making to create enough heat via friction to start a fire.

      That is too much work if there are other options.

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