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Fire lighting in wet weather

Chigger

Ray Mears
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The rainy season is upon us with floods and a well saturated countryside. Now is the time to really test out firelighting skills so trudged up to one of my favourite haunts where there are some caves for shelter.

After a walk through quite heavy rain at times arrived at a cave. Looking out on the rain sodden bushland.

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Searched around and luckily found dry leaves and twigs under a rock ledge.

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Along with some bark from the underside of tree trunks. Wet sticks were gathered and spent some time stripping off wet outer bark to reveal the dry wood underneath.

Piled these on the dry leaves.

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Next laid out a piece of Red Stringybark , a piece of charred punkwood along with steel and flint. The white stuff is crumbled tree fungus which really helps with combustion in wet weather.
All of these materials were carried upto the site in waterproof bags.

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Well then the fun began. Took quite a bit of clacking with the flint until finally a spark started a glow on the punkwood. Much huffing and puffing till finally the stringybark caught fire. The tree fungus was a great help.

Sorry no photo of the actual ignition as was too intent on getting the fire burning properly. Heaps of smoke from the leaves. Just about smoked myself out of the cave as their was not any natural draught.

Anyhow the now burning fire.

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The rain poured and poured, drips of water coming down from the cave roof in many places. Along with runnels of water through the cave floor. After boiling the billy and a short meal packed all away and made a wet trudge back to the car.

Still quite happy with the fire light. Mostly done with materials gathered around the campsite along with a few natural materials carried to the site.

Lighting fires in this wet weather can be quite a challenge.
 

Chigger

Ray Mears
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It sure takes some doing with the moist air and wetness not helping ignition. In days past the prudent outdoors traveller would surely have carried a small supply of tinder/kindling with him/her.
Getting a fire going would have been something of a chore.

Hope to return to the area once the flood waters have receded a bit. A lot of local back roads are closed at the moment.
 

Wave Man

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preparation and forethought is the key, as well as having kit that is designed to cope with wet weather. Well done mate.
 
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