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Cutright's Training Log - November 2019 Challenge's - Fire and Shelter  


Member Community Founder
855 Brass
Challenges: emergency shelter challenge level 1
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 40
25/11/2019 12:05 am  

Gentlemen, I put in 3.5 hours over three days on a friction fire in the sopping wet Ozarks and failed...I'll take you through that briefly so you might be aware of how horribly challenging and not reliable real, from scratch, in wet weather friction fire can be. And a side note here, I had help and input from two survival instructors while doing this. I've personally accomplished an ember 12 times, but never in these conditions.

Fire was achieved by producing shavings and hitting it with a ferro rod...which is nothing in comparison. Total time involved was about 5.5 minutes and five of that was in producing the curls to begin the fire.

Onto the failure:

Here's what we start with...take a length of cedar cut with a saw, a cedar limb about the size of my thumb, a green sapling for a bow and I found remnants of an ash tool handle and I split it to use as a socket.


I then split the cedar in two places to produce a hearth board. I took my blade and made it uniform in thickness.


I mated the spindle/drill to the hearth board by just going at it until the divot I dug with my blade became the shape of the spindle.


Once mated I cut about a 30 degree "v" from the edge to the center of the divot. Once cut, then I cut about 15 degree walls. There are here for two things. One is to cause the fine dust to be produces and the other is to collect the dust until the heat is produced to drop that ember into the dust.


That all failed on day one. On day two we began a new with a whole different set...after much sweat and A LOT of cussing I produced this hearth board. Notice the three attempts on the side you can't see. That was in the purple heartwood that is resinous. So I tried on the white side which is softer.


I SHARE THIS FAILURE WITH YOU TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THIS TECHNIQUE IS NOT DEPENDABLE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES AND IS NOT THE MOST RELIABLE IN VERY WET/SOAKED INVIRONMENTS. I'm not new to this technique, and although not a pro, have used sycamore, cedar and yucca successfully. I really, really wanted to do this the hard way and just couldn't.

What I could do, and quite easily was take home the silver medal. Here's me cutting up my first hearth board and setting it ablaze.



Setting it ablaze with laser eyes


And flames.


For the shelter challenge, I went with the plough point. I could have shaved my time down if I got sloppy, but this is an honest attempt without running.

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago 4 times by Cutright

Practitioner Admin
11318 Brass
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 301
25/11/2019 11:26 am  


This is great, thanks for posting it up! I've been meaning to find time to give these a go. Perhaps I can find some dry wood today and go for it.

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


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