Toys Are No Replacement For Skills
Kevin Felts 01.15.18
While looking through the forums, I came across a thread that was talking about fire starters. The type of stuff was listed, such as dry lint. A couple of people suggested over-the-counter toys that help build a fire.
Something that is usually lacking from those types of threads are knowledge and experience. In other words, fire building skills may be over looked in favor of toys.
My post to the thread was, “The only fire starter I use is a match.” There are some very rare times when the weather has been wet and the fire may need some help getting started. Even then, nothing replaces experience.
One of my first memories of my Great Grandfather was when I was around five or six years old, and he was teaching me how to build a fire. This would have been 1973 or 1974. He was a World War II veteran and had served in the Pacific theater. After teaching me how to build a fire, he would let me spend time in the yard building fires on my own. My great grandparents lived in a rural area, and having a fire in the yard was no big deal.
Not everyone is going to be lucky enough to a great grandfather who will teach them fire building skills. Also, not too many kids will be lucky enough to have access to tree limbs, matches, and land to play on. That experience at an early age set the stage for building fires with a match, and only a match. I was not given products designed to make a fire. Just plenty of tree limbs, grass, leaves, and matches.
Looking through various forums, and reading outdoor types of articles, it seems someone is always coming up with some new toy for fire building. Are those toys neat? Sure they are. Do they have a place in prepping, hiking, or camping? Sure they do.
However, no toy beats real world experience.
Here is a little video I put together for the All Outdoor YouTube channel.