It wasn’t until my adulthood that I became aware of the fireplace blowpipe. Although there was a fireplace in my childhood home, it was marginally functional, and usually used for burning paper refuse or maybe a log at Christmas time. About 5 years ago I lived in an old farm house whose main heat was a cast iron wood stove which taught me a lot about fire tending methods. One day I hope to have a complete cooking fireplace like those used by our forefathers.
The advantage of a blowpipe is that it delivers air strategically to the coals or early small flames of your fire. It enables you to distance yourself from the smoke and heat while building the flames beneath the kindling which lay above it. It provides both comfort and safety. Blowpipes can range from fancy brass tubes fitted with a broad mouth piece on one end and a poker on the other end, or, you can improvise one from conduit pipe. You can even use PVC pipe briefly, but it tends to melt. In the field you can use reeds or river cane whose nodes have been pierced to allow air flow. You can even use rolled up paper or cardboard, but use caution as they are flammable and can combust if exposed too long. You’ll be amazed at the ease of use and wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before. With colder weather coming on, this could be your ticket to a warmer Winter in your house.