28 May 2011

Preparedness Challenge: fire starters

Okay, technically I covered this one already in the warmth and shelter section, but I want to talk a little more about this subject.  Specifically fire starters, but also shelter.

It is wise to carry a few fire starting options in the 72 hour kit.  I know personally that waterproof matches can be kind of temperamental when you try to strike them and it could take a few to actually get anything lit.  We have a few inexpensive cigarette lighters in there too and my husband wants to buy a nice zippo to have around.  While we were shopping the other day, we decided to pick up a flint and steel from the camping department.  It's the kind that comes with some magnesium stuff that you carve off and it's supposed to ignite easily.  We want to try it out, but we have to wait till things dry out a bit to light a campfire in the pit.

Also important to remember is something that catches fire easily.  You can't just hold a match to a log and expect it to burst into a roaring fire and sometimes things are a bit too damp to use what is around you.  Some old newspaper is easy to pack or toilet paper can work too, although it doesn't always burn great.  Make sure it's held in something that will keep it dry.  There are also other options such as these fire starters made from dryer lint and egg cartons.

During our last shopping trip, we had some fun in the camping area.  If I could find the camera, I would take a picture for you, but it has disappeared along with one of the baby's shoes.  I'll link up to pictures instead.   In addition to the flint and steel, we bought a little camp stove.  Very little, but for emergencies and little pack trips that I send the boys on, it will work great.  It can also serve as a heat source in a small area, if it is so needed, although you should probably have good ventilation.  We also bought a little mess kit.  We figured a stove wouldn't do much good without a little pot to sit on it.

To top off the week of shelter and warmth, we bought a tent.  We have been watching the online classifieds for a good deal and we found one this week.  It's not huge, but I didn't want it to be.  We need to be able to carry it on our backs if needed.  Like when I send the boys on that pack trip next month. 

All in all, it was a pretty good week for us, in the preparedness area.  I'm linking up to Homestead Revival for the Preparedness Challenge.

Other topics on the 72 hour kit:


  1. If all else fails, and one of you happen to have a keychain type magnifying glass in your pocket,that works.We went on a camping trip once, and when we returned home,we were too tired to unload everything.The next morning the headliner was burned out of our truck. We figured out it was the two sided mirror, left laying in the front seat,with the magnifying side, facing up. The sun shown on the mirror, long enough to ignite the headliner. Thank goodness, it only burned the headliner.Let the sun shine through the magnifying glass onto a paper or any kind of dry material,and it will ignite. It's not a good idea to show this to small kids though.

  2. I hadn't thought of a magnifying glass. Good idea.