My mother named me after my uncle – Oscar. And just like him, I cherish hiking and camping a lot. In fact, I go for camping at least three times a year. Throughout my many years of hiking and camping experience, I have learned that fire is very important in wet weather. In some instances, it can be the difference between life and death.
Five years ago when I was camping in the middle of the forest far away from home, something unusual happened. Well, I thought it was unusual because it had never happened to me before. The heavens had opened up and were pouring their wrath out, and it became so wet that nothing could keep me warm. The weather became unbearable. I tried everything possible to keep warm but the situation was not getting any better. Actually, it was becoming difficult to service.
Then I remembered all the hiking lessons I had learned. One of them was how to use fire to keep warm. But lighting fire was not the easiest of things to do in such an extreme weather conditions. Fortunately, I had learned some very useful skills on starting a fire in wet weather. I then started a fire to keep me warm and boil drinking water to add warm fluid in my body.
Unbelievably, this worked wonders. Since then, I have always sharpened my skills on starting a fire at every opportunity I get.
Tips to help you start a fire in wet weather
In this section, I have briefly discussed some of the best tips for starting a fire in extreme weather condition. I have used these tips even when I pay for diving adventure packages to be included in my vacation.
I always stick with forest sticky material
Whenever I am camping or hiking in a wet weather condition, I always look for needle bearing trees such as spruce and fir because their wood usually contains sticky sap. Because this is pitch and it is always very flammable, it makes lighting fire easier. I choose dead twigs that are found beneath the shielding canopy of needle bearing trees.
Peeling off the bark
Barks of many trees are not flammable. Below the surface of a bark of a tree, there is dry wood that gives me easy time to start a fire.
I split the wood
When wood is split, the drier inner wood is exposed. This will cause the wood to light faster and burn better. Furthermore, split woods have a lower mass and make them light faster as compared to a whole wood.
I shape up the fire lay
Instead of shaping my fire lay too flat, I do shape it appropriately. I usually build a raised cone of split twigs. This allows the heat to climb through the woods efficiently and thereby drying them out.
I light it low
When heat rises, fire climbs. Therefore, having my lighter or match touching the wood or any material I am using at the base of my fire lay heats the materials upwards and help the fire to climb.
I use tinder
Tinder is dead, fluffy, dry plant stuff and it can light on fire very easily. I usually place a tone of tinder at the base of my fire lay.
I light my fire from where the wind is coming from
If I light the fire from the direction the wind is blowing from, the flames do travel easily and faster through my sticks, engulfing them faster thus rendering the surrounding warm in a short time.