Light Wet Wood

Fire pro­vides warmth, com­fort, and an un­mis­tak­able sig­nal to search teams.

Backpacker - - Skıll Set -

1. Get out of the wind.

Set­tle down on the lee side of a boul­der or rock wall, or be­hind a stand of trees (make sure there are no low over­hang­ing branches that could catch fire). If that’s not enough, build a wall of rocks or dig a pit to pro­tect your fire.

2. Cre­ate a dry base.

Dig through snow, wet leaf lit­ter, or mud un­til you hit dry dirt. No luck? Build a plat­form over the snow or soil with rocks or the dri­est wood you can find.

3. Prep your tin­der.

The trunks and branches of still-stand­ing dead trees are of­ten drier than fallen kin­dling. Peel sticks with a knife to ac­cess the dry in­te­rior be­neath the bark. Tuck any still-damp tin­der in the chest pocket of your jacket while you gather wood; your body heat will help dry it.

4. Gather wood.

In a true sur­vival sit­u­a­tion, you can shirk Leave No Trace guide­lines a bit. Pile up more wood than you think you’ll need; damp con­di­tions sap heat, so it’ll take more fuel to get a big fire go­ing. Once you coax up a blaze, ar­range damp logs around the perime­ter of the flames to dry out.

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