May 3, 2016

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Among the many how-to’s that define the level of a man’s manliness, we can all agree that building a fire from scratch is one of them.

Regardless of how well you can grow a beard, throw a football, or how efficient you are at changing a tire, if you don’t know how to start a fire without matches, then you’ve got a lot to learn - and fast. Just think about all those wild scenarios that require your inner caveman to come out, and in those moments you are faced with limited chances of survival because your fire building skills are just not up to par. Perhaps you’re stranded on an island, you’re taking part in a camping trip gone awry, or your plane has gone down and you’re left fighting for your life in the middle of a dense wilderness. In each of these scenarios, even if you do have matches handy, chances are that they aren’t going to last you very long.

if you don’t know how to start a fire without matches, then you’ve got a lot to learn - and fast.

Taking that into consideration, you can carefully consider this non-match guide as a means of teaching yourself the very essential fire-building skill.

The most important aspect of starting a fire from scratch is knowing how to create the necessary friction. In the middle of the wilderness, a deserted island, or tucked away hiding for cover inside a cave, you will always have access to the materials that are required to create a friction-based fire.

The most important tool to utilize when constructing the fire from scratch is the type of wood you use for the base and spindle. The most effective types of wood are those that are completely dry. When searching for your wood, or molding it into the appropriate pieces, you will want to keep in mind that you want a relatively flat piece for the fire base, and a stick of sorts for the spindle that you will use to create friction with the base.

Once you’ve found the perfect wood, you can begin your attempts to create the friction and consequential spark by rubbing the two pieces together. A common method to accomplish this involves using only these two pieces and dry natural foliage. This method is what the best he-man fire starters like to call ‘The Hand Drill.’ For this method, you will want to create a small nest using materials that will catch the spark easily (think dry grass, dry leaves, etc.). After building your nest, you will want to cut a notch in your base that will help you transition the ember to your tinder nest. Once you have set this up, you can begin to spin the spindle between your hands until you see smoke and a glowing ember, that will eventually be transferred over to your nest.

Be patient and practice this skill before you need it to survive. Building a fire from scratch is a valuable skill for any who call themselves SKIVS Men.

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