Wilderness Survival – Starting a Fire with One Match

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 40,945
    Wilderness expert Tim MacWelch discusses how to start a fire with one match in the wilderness.

    Hi, this is Tim McWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills. This is our series on how to survive in the outdoors and this clip is going to show you how to find good fire making materials and how to start a fire with only one match.

    So, when we want to think about harvesting materials to light a fire we want to look up in the air. Anything down on the ground is going to be moister and damper from snow, rain, dew whatever. So, if we collect small twigs, branches and other wood up off the ground it is going to drier. What we can do to make our fire making easier is to harvest twigs that are dead and dry, but not rotten and collect them in just one hand. If we place all of the thick ends of the twigs in our fist and let the more cylinder ends trail off, this will help us to create a cone-shaped structure and this cone of sticks can be filled with additional fire making materials like bark fiber, dead dry leaves, dead dry grasses, dead dry pine needles, any other dead dry plant based materials and then we can take our cone, flip it upside down and we have got a readymade tipi fire, ready to light with just one match.

    Now, I have harvested a bundle full of very skinny cylinder twigs about a foot long each, I have also started to get some firewood for our fire and I have harvested some bark from a tree called Tulip Poplar. Many different species of tree can provide a fibrous bark that will help us to light a fire. Here is an older cedar stuff. Hue is chopping it up with a machete to reveal the fatwood or pitch sticks that it contains. All of this wood is so soaked and penetrated with pine pitch that it just cannot rot. This is what we made out of a piece of it, this is called a Fuzz Stick. A fuzz stick is just a simply a piece of fatwood or pitch stick that has been whittled and carved to have a lot of surface area. All this little curls will burn great once we apply a flame to them. Even if this wood is soaking wet we can still light it with an open flame.

    So, we have harvested some pitch wood or fatwood, we have got tipi setup and we have added a few more sticks of firewood to the exterior of it. Inside the tipi we have a few dead dry leaves. Now, in there we will add the fatwood. If you didn t have fatwood you can use extra dead dry leaves, extra dead dry tinder bark pounded up and we are going to go over the top here and add this curly fuzz stick inside here to make sure we get it with just one match. So, now we are going to light our one match.

    Now I have got a whole book of matches here which is what you should take into the woods with you, many different ways to make fire, many opportunities. So, what we are going to do is we are going the strike this match and cradle it in our hands to protect that little flame and let it burn for a second to get established then we are going to move it into the tipi and light the fatwood.

    Now, if your tipi fire lay is properly built you shouldn t even have to blow on it. That s how we make a one match fire with good fire making materials.

    Next, we are going to show you how to light a fire you had no matches by using the bow and drill method of friction fire making.