“The psychological effects of being able to start a fire should not be underestimated; neither should the effects of not being able to start one.”
In any survival situation maintaining your core body temperature is critical. It could be the difference between life and death. Beyond Shelter (See part 1 CBT Shelter Blog post) fire is crucial. It has the ability to form a micro climate to protect you from the elements, treat water, cook food, sterilize for first aid, and provide comfort and security. It cannot be underestimated.
I could write several blog post on the fundamentals of fire alone, but I will stick to just a few key principles.
Four Stages of Fire: By most standards there are 4 stages of a fire. These stages are incipient, growth, fully developed, and decay.
Incipient/Ignition – This first stage begins with the Fire Triangle
The Fire Triangle: Too often we think of fire as an object, and fail to understand the reaction that takes place. Fire is an event. When the elements of Fuel, Oxygen, and Heat are combined they create combustion which results in FIRE!
Growth – This is where the combustibles and oxygen are used as fuel for the fire. Usually consist of isolated flames. There are numerous factors affecting the growth stage. Factors that affect fire development
Fully Developed – When all combustible materials have been ignited, a fire is considered fully developed. This is the hottest phase of a fire and the point where it produces the most heat.
Decay – Usually the longest stage of a fire, the decay stage is characterized a significant decrease in one or more of the elements found in the triangle of fire, putting an end to the fire.
Now that you have a simple overview of the stages of fire, let us look at several different methods for starting a fire.
5 Primary Fire Methods/Ignitions
Friction – Ferro Rod / Bow Drill / Hand Drill / Fire Saw / Fire Plow
Solar – Magnifying Lens (position, angle, and sturdiness is key) (char-cloth, fungus, ball)
Percussion – Flint and Steel
Electrical – Battery & Steel Wool
Chemical – Potassium Permanganate & Glycerin
Be sure to lay down a proper fire platform (ground barrier), and a well prepped tinder bundle before starting a fire. We have several videos on many of these fire methods. Having an adequate amount kindling will also greatly impact the effectiveness of your fire.
Always properly extinguish your fires. Fire Control Theory – fire is controlled and extinguished by limiting or interrupting one or more of the essential elements in the fire triangle. Before you leave make ash soup. If you cant place your hands in the coals/ash without burning yourself then you have not properly extinguished your fire.
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PICK THE NEXT SPECIALTY CLASS! Our POLLS determine what classes are offered next according to popular demand! It would be great for us to offer every survival class possible, but time is limited for everyone and we need to focus on our students most critical needs. What is your top choice for the following classes being offered that you are interested in?
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So let me start this blog off by telling you a little bit about my daughter Shyloh. She is the spunkiest, most independent, hard-headed, little redhead that you have ever met. But she is as sharp as a tack and she knows it. She is about to turn 4 and I feel like it is time to start her training into the world of wilderness self-reliance. By the time she is 10 I will have her smoking most of the survival instructors in the country. Guaranteed. This little girl loves animals and she loves the jungle. She calls the woods, The Jungle, compliments of Dora the explorer. She tells everyone that her daddy lives in the jungle and eats snakes, LOL!
Anyway, I am going to start making a video and blog journal of my training endeavors with her and hopefully this will make you want to get your children involved in the outdoors. The only reason we have the beautiful wild resources that we have today is because we have motivated people like yourself that are willing to instruct the kids to love the land as much as you do!
So where do we start in training a kid in how to survive? Well I think you have to start at the most very basic level. Our first line of defense against mother nature is our clothing and we have to have the right clothes for our kids in the woods.
A good pair or rubber boots, some camo cargo pants, t-shirt, and a light jacket is a great start. But don’t forget some wet weather gear like a poncho. Wouldn’t spend much on them, you know how these kids grow like weeds. Just get something that will last awhile. Once you get these items lined out for your little one, then you have to teach them how to wear it and why we wear the clothes we do. Teach them to tuck their pants into their boots, and their shirt into their pants and that will really help keep the bugs off them. But to really make sure they don’t get ate up by bugs, you should treat their outdoors clothes with Sawyer brand Permethrine from Wal-Mart. You can pick the treatment up for about $10 a bottle. Read our preventing bug bites article for more info.
Once we teach them about how to wear their clothing then we got to show our little ones what else we can do with our clothing to keep us safe from the elements. Let’s throw out a hypothetical and say the child is lost and cold front is coming in and they only have that lightweight jacket. Well anything we can use to create dead air space can provide us with warmth. So all we do is find some kind of debris like dry leaves or any kind of debris that will keep us warm. You stuff your clothes up with the debris and I promise it will keep you warm even if it’s wet. All you have done is created dead air space in your clothing and increased it insulation.
You also have to teach them that it is very important to not get wet if you in a survival situation. So they should always have a poncho in their little survival kit with them. Without a doubt you have to get them a little survival kit to practice with. I have a little survival backpack that I put together for my daughter for only a few bucks.
My 4 year old daughter’s survival kit:
-small camo backpack
-stainless steel canteen
-flint and steel rod
-brightly colored poncho
These few little items don’t cost much at all and will give small kids a since of pride in doing what their parent does and having their own gear. The makeup of the kit should really be determined by age and skill level in the woods. But every kid needs their own tools and they must be taught how to use them safely. Knifes are the most dangerous thing you can give them and they will require a lot of instruction on using it. I am starting Shyloh with a butter knife and will work my way up over the next few years to letting her have her own Mora knife.
Once you have their gear lined out and you have given them some training on how to use it, then it is time to move on to the priorities of survival. And your first priority in any survival situation is to get shelter. More people die of exposure to the elements than anything else. So if you teach your kids nothing but how to dress and how to get shelter then you will have significantly improved your kid’s chances of surviving in the woods alone. If they can stay warm and dry then that is 90% of the survival battle.
Shelter is far more important than people might think! Exposure to the elements in the number one reason people die in the wilderness. Not snakes and scary looking bugs! But it’s probably best to teach them to first look for natural shelters and where to look for them in your area. Bluffs, overhangs, caves, and natural shelters like this will serve them best for short term survival. But if they can’t find natural shelter then they have to know how to build a good survival shelter. The best shelter to show them is the common lean to, but don’t teach them to build a lean to for your size. Make it kids size only! Small shelters are warmer, dryer, and simpler to build. Watch the video below to see how we make a great kids shelter with very little tools.
Once your kids have mastered the skills of staying warm and dry then you have given them the ability to survive most situations until they can be rescued. I can’t say it enough that your personal clothing and shelter from the weather are the two biggest priorities when training our young ones. If they get those two simple concepts, then they can surely stay alive until someone finds them. But we don’t just stop at teaching them the most basic concepts; we want to prepare our kids to the maximum so they are prepared to live in this harsh world.
The next most important step after training them in shelter, then they must learn to safely procure water in the woods. There is literally a million techniques for doing this but my favorite has to be the sip well. It is not 100% full proof by any means. But the two greatest dangers we need to worry about in North America are giardia and cryptosporidium. By digging a sip well we can almost completely eliminate our chances of getting those two bugs. The water will still have bacteria, but it very unlikely that it will be in high enough concentrations to bother our immune system.
The number one thing we need to remember about water procurement is that it is all about reducing your overall risk. When we drink water out of the tap we are getting e-coli and many other well known bacteria in our water. And they don’t hurt us because they are in small concentrations. So our goal is to reduce concentrations of bacteria in any way possible. Now don’t get me wrong, if I have the time and means to boil the water then I will definitely do so. So keep in mind that this is a technique to use when you can’t boil water for whatever reason. Because boiling is the only fool proof technique for purifying water in the woods. Please watch the video below to see how to do it.
Fire is such an important skill that it can sometimes be the biggest priority even though its third on the list. This is probably one of the most difficult skills to master in the woods and can really frustrate some people. And friction fire is really difficult. So I always like to start kids out on the flint and steel. They a low tech, inexpensive, relatively easy to find, and will always work. Once you understand a few things about tinder then you will understand how to make fire every time. Your fine tinder must be light and airy, thoroughly dry (if not dry it before hand, after processed), and you must fluff the tinder before ignition. When I say that you have to fluff it, you have to physically lift the tinder and create lots of air pockets in yours birds nest. Just doing this will certainly get you fire every time! Watch this video below to see how Shyloh and I got fire with our flint steel and cotton in wet conditions.
MAKE SURE TO STAY TUNED FOR MORE ARTICLES AND VIDEOS ON THIS SUBJECT! IT IS AN ONGOING SERIES DOCUMENTING MY DAUGHTER’S SURVIVAL TRAINING.
FYI: All of our wilderness survival courses are open to children if you want to have the SIGMA 3 team train your family! Contact us to see what courses would be best for your family!
IF YOU SUPPORT THE SCHOOL, THEN PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON OTHER FORUMS AND HIT LIKE!
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We have started a new AMAZING program for you to save money on our courses! Our school is growing bigger everyday, and we are expanding into all kinds of areas around the internet and we need your help. In order for us to get more internet exposure we need to post links on other popular sites to our website Home Page. So, we are giving credit in exchange for you posting links to our website. You should post this info in commentary on news, survival/tactical/preparedness forums, or anything related to what we do here at SIGMA 3 Survival School. Anywhere you can post a link to our site gets you credit.
If you sign up for this program then we will update you on the keywords that need to be posted. For every link you make, you will receive ONE dollar towards training credits. So if you post 300 links then you get $300 towards to our training programs. Certain specialty courses will have a cap on the credit but every course that we offer has lots of training credit availability. It literally takes seconds and you could pay for entire courses in a short amount of time! In order to participate in this program you need to Contact Us and let us know you want to trade links for credit. In order to trade in your links for credit you just need to make a list of the links and email it to us when you sign up for a course! That simple. 100 Links=$100
This is our first keyword term project. This is how we should list ourselves to ensure optimal consideration by Google:
Sigma 3 Survival School
The hypertext (HTML) for this is:
Sigma 3 <a href=”http://dev.survivalschool.us”>Survival School</a>
Note that the hyperlink text portion is the anchor text and is “Survival School”.
So basically everytime you mention SIGMA 3 Survival School you need to hyperlink the survival school portion of our name to http://dev.survivalschool.us. Just post SIGMA 3 Survival School to get a training credit. Contact Us if you have any questions.
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Its been a little while since the last update so I will bring you up to speed on what has been going on with the school. I just completed some new training courses related to Executive protection for hostile environments, hostage rescue, and received 4 new NRA weapons certifications. The class was long and I am glad to be back to my normal schedule again. Nothing like being home with the family! If you have not checked the website in awhile we have a new feature instructor that will be teaching a host of new courses. Kelly Alwood is probably the best urban survival instructor in the country and we are really excited to have him come down to teach tactical tracking and urban escape and evasion! We are also planning a tactical medic class that is not yet on the schedule that we are still hammering out the details on.
We have a couple of new classes coming up soon including: Primitive fire, water, and cordage class this weekend; and primitive fishing in June. If you have any interest in these subjects make sure you sign up for those asap because they are right around the corner. The school has also teamed up with battle zone tactical and we will now be hosting airsoft events as well as starting our own airsoft club. So email me if you interested in attending our airsoft wargames. They are a intensely fun and we provide all the equipment for cheap!
The Sigma 3 Standard Survival Course is coming up in June and this class is a 4 day summation of all the basic survival skills. This class is for the beginner and the advanced practitioner will learn from it as well. We put new tricks on old methods and I guarantee you it will be loads of fun. We camp out and cook food around the campfire at night time and train during the day. Check the schedule for further details!
Our POLLS determine what classes are offered next according to popular demand! It would be great for us to offer every survival class possible, but time is limited for everyone and we need to focus on our students most critical needs. What are your top 3 choices for classes being offered that you are interested in?
ANSWER the poll below to help define survival training needs & focus. Pick 3
SHARE the poll with your friends on Facebook or by e-mail.
COMMENT or ask a question if you want to know more about a class or make a really important point about survival training. Use the “Leave a Reply” form at the bottom of this page.
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Last year I made an all natural product for medicinal uses that surpasses my expectations all the time and I just had to share it with everyone! If you don’t know what salve is then you are in for a real medicinal treat. Salve can be used for an amazing amount of external ailments. I have personally used it on boils, bites, blemishes (pimples), deep cuts, infections, and rashes! Its made of a medicinal concoction that relieves all types of symptoms. This salve is the single best thing I have ever used for treating poison ivy. Its really amazing at how well it works. The yarrow numbs the skins and eliminates the itch and the anti-inflammatory plants dry the wound up! Try it for yourself!
Salve is made as follows:
Items Needed: olive oil (or rendered fat for primitive applications), bees wax, medicinal herb concoction of your choice, boiling pot, mason jar, cook top or fire
Favorite Personal Herb Blend: When you combine all these plant medicinal properties together this recipe creates one of the most potent external creams that one could have. Better than anything I have tried store bought.
Willow- anti-inflammatory, contains same properties as active ingredient in aspirin, chewing bark relieves headaches
Plantain- great for all kinds of external wounds, anti-bacterial, and many wonderful properties that have been used as a medicinal for thousands of years
Garlic- known for its abilities to kill hundreds of different micro-organisms, anti-viral, bug repellent, etc.
Fill a pan with small amount of water about an inch or two deep. Bring it to a slow rolling boil on low heat. Next fill your mason jar with your custom herb concoction and then cover the herbs with olive oil. The more herbs the more potent its medicinal properties. Set the jar in the water and let them simmer for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to not let mixture get to hot or it will hurt the medicinal potency of the herbs. After the mixture has had plenty of time to simmer then remove the mason jar and pour the contents through a piece of cheese cloth to filter all the particles out. Keep filtering until cleared of leftover herb particles. When you have properly strained everything, then set the mason jar with the olive oil back in the water on low heat. Then begin adding your bees wax. Amounts vary depending on how much you plan to make, but just add enough to give the mixture the consistency of Neosporin after it has cooled. Set it out in a cool dry spot to setup and come back a few hours later and it is ready to go. This salve will last for years and is guaranteed to produce awesome results. Try this recipe out sometime and make comments about your results in the forum.