The title says it all. I am actually not a frequent user of the split wood fire methodology. The reason being I live in the land of Birch Bark. The hydrocarbons within the bark makes using the twig fire methodology more practical. It's a rare day when birch bark needs help however occasionally weather conditions demand split wood. It rained for days and was raining during this water scouting walk. The purpose was to check out local rivers and streams to see first hand the water conditions for opening day trout. Do I hit the lakes or rivers during the big day? So packed up my kit then headed out!
It's looking bad. The water is too high to fish and not sure it will drop in a few days.
The sky started to darken so decided to hunker down as heard a crack of thunder off in the distance. It was only in the 40's but change was in the air as it would be 85 in a few days. But such dramatic change often doesn't come without some weather. One trick is to place my tarp/poncho and all the fixings in a top pocket so I don't need to open the pack up in the rain. Easy access to rain gear and FAKs is a good idea IMO.
Adjustable sliding ridgeline system allows for a very fast pitch using no field tied knots. Everything is looped.
Time for a fire under poncho in the rain. First the hydrocarbons. An enormous amount of energy within just a bit of bark.
The wood. I think this is Red oak and Tulip poplar. All gathered off the ground.
Wet on the outside but drier inside. Tulip poplar is low density and splits like cr@p but often lacks bark which makes for drier wood.
The wood under my poncho. Strange how it was outside for maybe years but now I feel the need to keep the wood dry. Yet once split it will be more important to keep it protected as the exposed surface area will be greatly increased.
Splitting the wood with my knife. I only have a small folding saw and a knife for tools.
Tarp run-off makes for good drinking water or at least it hasn't killed me yet. I can collect a great deal of potable water fast.
Getting darker and the lightning is cracking all around me. Best to just keep batoning.
The split wood. I am going to use a ferro rod and birch bark to ignite this.
And it works! Split wood will catch fire easier than larger chucks. This really helps during bad weather.
Cooking bacon and wings. I will miss the cold weather as stuff like chicken wings becomes more problematic in the 90's.
The power of the split wood fire methodology is the ability to get a fire going in most any weather conditions more reliably than other methods IMO. But the price is paid in terms of time and effort. If it can be avoided I do so but invaluable if needed.
Hot tenting gear applied to tarp camping in this case a day camp. A fire created and burned deep under a tarp with minimal risk of burning my poncho.
Once there was a break in the storm I decided it was safe to go over the ridge/higher ground to leave the valley. I think it's best to keep off the ridges during lightning if possible.
The water was even worse after the storm so decided fishing the lake was a smarter play during opening day trout.
A few days later at the lake.
Here is a video which includes the firecraft and entire process.
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"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
"Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"
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