I was a guest instructor this past Thursday afternoon at the LDS Girls Camp held at the Ft. Hamby Campground located at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir in North Carolina. I was asked to speak about firecraft and demonstrate two ways to make fire without matches… of course, I couldn’t limit myself to just two ways.
I began to speak about fire as it relates to survival as well as the philosophy of it’s use… how “the White Man builds a fire and steps back from it” and how “the Indian builds a fire and hovers over it”. Being judicious with resources in a survival situation can be crucial. Next, I shared “Ken’s 5 fire categories” – friction, percussion, optical, electrical and chemical as the “ways” to make fire with various combinations or “means” to start a fire within these categories.
Having introduced these concepts I began to demonstrate some the these methods: reflective mirrors and refractive lens – solar; flint & steel using charcloth, then steel wool – percussion; steel wool and a 9 volt battery – electrical; bow & spindle – friction.
The girls were great – attentive and polite. I asked one volunteer among them who had a ferro-rod to come up and use it to ignite some cattail fluff. I received warm affirmations in the end which made the whole event a delightful experience.