*Finding Firewood In The Rain*

 

By Jaden

06 June 2004

 

Itís raining outside and for whatever reason you need to start a fire. You need know where to find dry wood.

Odds are you wonít find any on the ground. You never know though. Might find some under a downed tree or under a pile of leaves. Your best chance of finding dry wood and starting material is in the air.

I went out one wet foggy day this March when it was raining.

Yes, itís wet outÖ.you wonít find much dry wood down here.

I found a Birch tree and peeled a little bit of bark off. This wonít hurt the tree.

 

Birch tree         Inside of the bark is dry

In the above right pic youíll see a discoloration in the middle of the bark strip. Thatís water that I rubbed on with my thumb.

Big pieces of birch bark donít burn well. Tear it into small pieces and itíll light easily.

 

Burning bark

You can also dry the bark by carrying it around in your pockets or in your underwear while gathering up small tinder. Not comfortable, but it works. I carried a wet piece with me while I was outside in the rain. By the time I was done walking around taking pics it was dry.

Dried in my pocket

Ok, so we know how to get dry birch bark, now letís find some tinder. I went and found a Pine tree. Pine trees most always have dry limbs. Hereís what the boughs (needles) of a Pine tree look like. You wonít use these to start a fire, just tree identification. (They can be used as a smoke signal on an existing fire)

 

Pine boughs

This tree was loaded with dry limbs, everything from small toothpick sized twigs to limbs 1" diameter. This is perfect. They might be damp on the outside, but are dry as a bone on the inside. You can dry the twigs the same as the birch bark. With the slightly larger wood you can use a knife to scrape the surface away until you reach dryness.

 

Small twig Slightly bigger

Look at all the dry limbs on this tree

I also found some dry tinder on a small standing dead tree.

Anything will work as long as itís dry. Spruce, fir, pine, hatmatack, hemlock limbs. Iíd recommend trying to find pine if possible.

Just because itís wet outside doesnít mean that everything is wet. If you look in the right places you will find plenty of dry wood.

Jaden


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