Viking Pocket Fire
I don’t smoke. I do, however, carry a lighter everywhere I go.
You just never know when you are going to need to start a fire.
Oh, I can and do make fire a bunch of different ways – I teach people to do so. But I carry a lighter in my pocket for when I need fire. A good friend of mine is fond of saying, “If Davy Crockett had had a Bic – he would have carried it.”
I also teach wilderness survival and in the wilderness survival arena there really is not much that is “new”. Instructors just rehash old knowledge with their personal spin on it.
I do believe I have “invented” something in this area though, and I will share it with you now.
Now I did not come up with this idea completely out of the blue. A long time ago, in a land far away, I was working with some foreign commandos in a dark and dank jungle. As real darkness descended (and it does so quickly in the jungle) the commandos wanted to get a fire going. Hey, it was their jungle, their bad guys – if they wanted a fire who was I to tell them differently? I wondered how they were going to do so with all the wet wood laying about.
When I was in the Pacific Northwest (another dark, dank, wet place) we would get fires going with Trioxene heat tablets – they were like magic. These guys had hexamine fuel for their little ration heaters but they didn’t have a lot and they were not going to waste it starting their fires. What they used instead was pieces of truck inner tube they all carried. They just laid the rubber on a log, whacked it with their heavy bladed jungle knife and sliced off a piece about an inch and half wide by about 3 inches long.
They slid this slice of rubber into the end of a long green stick they had split a bit. They then lit one corner of the rubber with … you got it – a Bic. I was impressed. Until that night, I never knew that rubber burned like that. The now hotly burning torch was applied to their damp fire lay and in no time we had fire.
My twist on this technique is to slide a piece of bicycle inner tube over my lighters. I get it from my son who rides and hangs out with other bicyclists. They must be rich because most of the time, instead of repairing their flat tires, they just use a new inner tube. And my son gives me the old ones.
When I want to start a fire, I just slice a circle around the inner tube using the lighter as a cutting board. I then take my donut of rubber, hang it on a stick, light it with the lighter and voila! I have a big hot match. If the wood is wet – slice a thicker piece of rubber.
So there ya go – I boldly and unabashedly lay claim to the concept of Viking Pocket Fire. I reckon we could call it VPF and sell them by the boatload if we wanted to – but why don’t you just make your own? Heck, make several – they are cheap!
See ya out there.
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. – Genesis 22:6
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe
You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums
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