Well I decided to grab the axe and do a little practice. "A ONE STICK FIRE WITH AN AXE!" I eagerly told myself as I walked down the short trail to my usual woods practice spot. We had a light rain the night before and I thought it was prime conditions for practice.
There were fall colors finally starting to show up here in OK
An orange fungus I don't recall seeing before this
I was feeling good about things. Beautiful colors, wonderful "wet forest" smells
found a dead oak I felled earlier in the year, limbed a section and bucked out a log
You can tell it's a little damp in this pic
getting it split down
getting a pile of shavings going...this is where things got ugly, atleast for me they did
I made up a good size pile of curls and shavings and proceeded to light
with the ferro rod. This was not happening after longer than I want to
admit. Well I began searching through and making sure I was using the
inner wood material. Started making a new pile shavings to get the
driest wood I could. Tried the ferro rod again. This process reapeated
itself quite a bit. I got flame 4 times that I thought for sure I had
it. But the curls and shavings weren't catching quickly enough to
sustain itself. It just wasn't taking off for me even from the curls.
After an hour of pile after pile I threw in the towel on this one.
Partly because I was on a time constraint and partly because the
frustration had built to the point it wasn't fun anymore and my hand was
literally cramping the worse it has in my life. And as you can tell I
stopped taking pics as there was no way to fully capture the
Things that hit home. Well there's a reason I carry
a knife AND an axe. My hand fatigued big time using the axe for so
long with the finer work. My hand never fatigues like that using my
knife. Not even close. One stick fires are much easier with a knife
than an axe. Fire starting is all about the small details and the finer
wood prep needed. This is obviously much better accomplished with a
knife. Sure I had the log bucked and split down in no time, but I'm
sure with a knife I could have got some finer curls and shavings and
been able to make it happen. The other thing I realized is just how
crucial it is to have a reliable fire starting source, like fatwood or
PJ cottonball, etc when wood is damp. If I could have sustained a flame
I think I could have babied it to life but I couldn't sustain that
initial flame quite long enough.
So in short this was some good
lessons learned or if nothing else just drove home the point more of
why I carry a knife, axe, and fire starters. I'll give this a try again
sometime. Any excuse to get back out...
Thanks for lookin