How to Start a Fire in the Rain

Marlin By Marlin, 13th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Outdoor>Survival Skills

The ability to start a fire in all conditions is an essential survival skill.

Fire-Starting Skills Are Crucial For Survival

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it is difficult to start a fire in the rain, and it also doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that food is necessary for survival. While the odds of having to cook in the rain are rare, it is still helpful to know how to start a fire in rainy conditions.

An experienced outdoorsman would be prepared for this situation by having an emergency firestarting kit. Many items can be used as emergency firestarters: cotton balls soaked with Vaseline, dryer lint, and newspaper are all excellent firestarters. These items, along with a lighter or strike-anywhere matches, can be kept in a small plastic bag and kept in a pocket or backpack.

If you do not have a firestarting kit available, the first step is to find dry tinder or kindling. This can be done by digging through brush piles or looking under rocky overhangs. With sufficient kindling material, it will still be possible to burn slightly damp logs.

The next step is to find a place to start your fire. Even in a mild rainstorm, it may still be possible to find dry ground beneath a canopy of trees. The ground will usually be covered in leaves or pine needles, and by scraping away this covering you can usually find dry ground underneath. If the rain is too intense, it may be necessary to create a temporary shelter by suspending a tarp or cloth over the area where you want your fire to be.

If a tarp or cloth isn't available, a temporary shelter can be made by collecting pine boughs and lacing them together. While this solution may not be 100% water-proof, it should block enough of the rain in order to get a fire started. When starting a fire, it may also be helpful to build a fire ring using dry rocks and stones. By building this ring about two feet in height, you can construct a makeshift oven which will prevent the wind and rain from extinguishing your fire.

Of course, with proper preparation it will be unnecessary for the average hiker or backpacker to cook in the rain. Before any hike, no matter how short in duration, be sure to check local weather listings. If there is even the slightest chance of rain, bring along food items which do not require cooking, such as nuts, dried fruit, or energy bars. Starting a fire in the rain is not easy, so it is always better to be prepared for the worst, even if you are expecting the best. However, when the weather turns ugly in a hurry, knowing how to build a fire is good skill for every hiker or backpacker to learn.


Camping, Fire, Outdoors, Rain, Survival

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author avatar Marlin
Marlin Bressi is an award-winning hairstylist and beauty expert whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and on several beauty and fashion websites

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