Survival Tips to Finding Water and Making Fire

 In Blog, Denver Tent Company

I was watching an episode of Survivor the other day, always, the first thing everyone needs to survive is fire and water. In the wild, fire and water are your two greatest survival assets. So, just in case you wanted to test out your own survival skills, here a few general tips on how to make fire, and how to find fresh water in the wild.

Cowboy Cooking

Making a fire by rubbing two sticks together

Rubbing two sticks together is the oldest fire making trick in the book. However, it is also the most difficult. You can’t use just any old wood, if you want this to work you need to find  soft, dry wood. Look for aspen, willow, cottonwood or juniper to make the fireboard, and then find a stick that is a little harder, and use that to create friction against the softer fireboard. You will use your hands to drill the stick into the fireboard, creating friction and hopfully sparks will fly. Remember to keep some dry kindling under the fireboard to catch any sparks that fly off, or you will never start a fire. The hardest part of this “hand drill” method of rubbing sticks together is keeping the speed needed for this to work.

It helps if you have a partner, and a shoelace to help rotate the stick. One person can apply downwards pressure on the fireboard, while the other uses the shoelace to rapidly rotate the “spindle”.

cascades in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, USA.

Finding fresh water in the wild

If you have really gotten into the survivor challenge, you now need to go and look for water. If there is wild and plantlife around you, then you can find water. Trees and plants are flowing with water, you just need to know where to look. Obviously you can look for birds and mammals. If there are animals, then there is water somewhere near by. Now here is an interesting little trick to finding water in the wild. Look for ants. Yes, ants. If you see a long assembly line of ants marching up a tree and disappearing into the trunk, there’s a good change that there is fresh water inside that tree. To find out, grab a long dry stick or straw and dip it into the hollow tree where the ants are disappearing. If it’s wet when you pull it out, voilá, you have found fresh water. To extract it, make yourself a “mop” like device by tying a clump of grass to the end of a long stick. Dip it in the water, pull it out and wring it into a container. Drink it straight, or bring it back to your homemade campfire and boil it for safe measure.

Denver Tent Basecamp

Base camp for the Discovery survival series: Dude, You’re Screwed!

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