So You Want to Build a Survival Fire

I have a daughter about to leave for college. I think I have done a pretty good job of training her to be aware of her environment, how to identify and avoid dangerous or risky situations, etc. I’m wondering if anyone here knows of any good resources such as books, forums, blogs that could help a new college student learn about and acquire the proper “situational awareness” that many here have developed after years of study and training?

I have a son who will start college in 2012, so any resources, be they designed for male or female would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help!

How many yards out do most people train for? Is it seven, ten, fifteen, or even twenty five? I’m referring to accuracy for self defense. I do okay out to about fifteen to twenty. After that I need some practice. I have heard seven yards for self defense is appropriate. That is easy when you’re not under stress. I guess what I’m trying to ask is, how many yards out do I need to train for to be good in a defensive situation?

I’m always looking at materials that I could throw in the survival box to serve as a fire starter.

Dryer lint works, but burns too quickly. There is the cotton ball and Vaseline method and I’ve viewed the 0000 steel wool and battery technique but I found something that, when used with a Swedish Fire Steel, can get your fire going in one swipe of the steel (or a quick strike of a match or lighter).

That product is Never Dull. The “Magic Wadding Polish”.

Think about it. Right on the can it states, “Caution: Combustible. Well, I don’t know about you but combustible things works for me when I’m trying to get a fire started when I’m in the wilderness.

Depending upon how much wadding that you use at a time, there is probably at least a hundred or more fires just waiting to be started, as each can (5 ounces) contains a generous supply of specially treated cotton wadding cloth.

It gives off some fumes when lit, but it is non-toxic (as claimed by the manufacturer).

Gather all of your fire material. Make your tinder nest (I try to make up what looks like a bird’s nest with various tinder materials) and then spread out a small wad of Never Dull in the center. Use your favorite fire starter (Swedish Fire Steel, lighter, matches) to ignite the Never Dull and get the survival food ready because once you start adding fire materials you are going to enjoy a hot fire. The Never Dull burns at a nice controlled rate and will give you plenty of time to get your kindling stacked on it.

You can purchase Never Dull at many retail locations nationwide. Check Ace Hardware, TrueValue Hardware, Pepboys and Walmart.

Not only can you start fires but you can polish any exposed metal with it. I use it on knives, ammunition (makes brass just perk up and shine), stainless steel, aluminum, etc.

I’ve had my can for 5 years and it is still polishing and was used for the fire starting experiment. For about $5 a can, you can’t go wrong with having a can of this in your survival kit. I also have some in an Altoids tin in the 72 hour BOB (Bug Out Bag) – just in case.