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JustinC's Survival Fire Challenge  


Member Subject Matter Expert
700 Brass
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 35
10/01/2020 4:32 pm  

I finally got around to doing the survival fire challenge as my first EDM Challenge!


- Becker BK10 (edited - for some reason I previously put BK16)
- Firesteel
- 1 cotton ball (more on this in a moment)
- Homemade pot support from a 28 oz. tomato can
- MSR Stowaway pot

I started out attempting to go for Level II. Major lesson learned: starting a fire with sparks is harder than I thought. I've been to SERE school, I heat with wood, I've been an avid camper and my own opinion, I know a thing or two about building a fire. I got seriously humbled on this one, though.

I gave myself an hour to complete the challenge. I started with a fallen pine branch. I cut down into it and made a whole bunch of very fine shavings and scrapings. This took a lot - probably 30 minutes - of my self-allotted time. Then I started sparking. I sparked so much that my right ring finger kept contacting the board I was using as a fire surface and bloodied my knuckle. I got tantalizingly close - a couple times I had a small flame, but couldn't keep it going long enough to get anything else going. Very frustrating. At the 50 minute mark I gave in and grabbed a plain, uncoated cotton ball. With all my natural tinder piled on top, I sparked the spread-out cotton ball and had a fire in about 30 seconds.

Keeping the fire going in my too-small pot support was a challenge. It took at least 10 minutes to get water to a boil, and I had to keep topping the fire off with twigs.

Scoring: As badly as I hate to admit "defeat" (really, this isn't a defeat, it's a HUGE learning point that those guys on Alone that build a fire every day with a ferro rod make it look easy because they have done it a lot...and I haven't), this is a level 1 survival fire on account of using the cotton ball.

Aaaand now I'm to the bottom of this and realize I don't actually know how to insert a photo into a post. Little help? Thanks, Hamrad!

This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by JustinC

Member Member
372 Brass
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 41
10/01/2020 4:54 pm  

 Nice job! This is something I will be trying in the near future.

As far as sharing pics, there is no upload feature on the site so you will need to use a third party sharing site such as “Imgur” (what I use). Just upload your pics there and then out the link to it anywhere in your post. It’ll just show up after that.

check me out on IG @2alpha_engineer

Hardened Member Admin
11872 Brass
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 362
10/01/2020 9:43 pm  

Great job!

The survival guys who do stuff like Alone just make it look so simple.

"Man is still the first weapon of war" - Field Marshal Montgomery


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