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At Francis House,

anything is makeshift.

Getting to Know Fire Starting Basics

If you’ve ever found yourself in need of a quick fire for some reason or another, you came to the right place! Fire starting is one of the most basic tasks in a survival situation but it can make the difference between life and death, before we continue please be careful when building a fire, follow logic and common sense. Do not have fires in restricted areas, keep the fire small, make sure it’s away from any flammable materials, have the necessary tools to contain the fire if needed, after no longer needed extinguish the fire and always keep an eye on the fire. While out in the wild you can always find time for a little fun, especially when you have friends with you, you could always pull out your phones and enjoy a fair game of Clash Royale, this weeks sponsor provides you with a Free Clash Royale Gems Hack helping you gain a quick advantage against your enemies! Perhaps set their troops on fire with your new gained knowledge?

Fire Starting For Dummies

Let’s get right into the meat of it (so to speak), before you even start thinking about a fire, make sure the place you chose is not surrounded by flammable material that could catch on fire while you do this. Remove any dry leaves from the camp fire area and its vicinity, you could even dig a hole in which to place the fire or have it sitting on rocks for even better safety measures. If you do want to use a hole for your fire make sure you dig a tunnel connected to the pit so the oxygen can pass through and the fire doesn’t die.

  • Gathering Wood Fire

This step is pretty self explanatory, you get wood to make fire. All things nice and easy but remember your wood needs to be dry, wet wood isn’t gonna get you anywhere and you will end up wasting precious time and energy trying to light a wet fire. Divide the wood into groups, you’ll need small sticks to light the spark of the fire. Pencil sized sticks in order to get the fire going and burning and then thumb sized mini logs in order to keep the fire alive. After doing so you start adding larger logs on the fire as the charcoal is hot enough to set them on fire. While the fire is still small and feeble you could also start building a fire reflector to help you maintain the heat towards one spot, this works best if you are alone as you need heat pointing in only one direction. For more people you should just keep the fire as it is, no reflectors needed.

  • No Tinder Equals No Fire

Fire is almost around the corner but before you even think about it you are going to need embers in order to light your fire/the spark for the fire. Timber can be done in a lot of ways but my personal favorite is cutting strips of wood using a well sharpened knife and using that to light the fire, if you don’t have a knife at hand you can always craft your own stone axe. It usually doesn’t take a lot of time and it probably isn’t the most practical way of doing it, but I like it. Other ways of getting tinder include small branches and leaves, tree bark and even tree sap which also makes a mean glue if you know how to do it!

  • Starting Said Fire

Everything done and said it is time to start our caveman like fire! I suggest you get yourself a tool to get it all going, flint and steel is a classic and reliable option but you can also go for things like bow and drill or the mighty lighter. Just keep in mind that a lighter might not work in a survival situation and you’ll need to improvise, adapt, overcome. Use your tool to light the tinder then start adding your wood to it, starting from thin to thick logs.

You might already know this but you can also use your mobile phone/smart phone to get a spark, the battery can be shorted using gum wrapper and will light it up. Just keep in mind this is not a safe method of starting a fire and the vapors coming from the battery are toxic, only use this as a last resort. The good thing about this is if you already own a Note 7 you don’t need to worry about making a fire, just wait around and it’ll eventually make a fire on its own. Joke aside, starting a fire using a battery is not an easy task and it could be dangerous, the battery could explode and burn you, use at your own risk. Remember to keep water or something to extinguish the fire with around in case things start going south.

Wrapping things up

Now that you know how to make your first fire I suggest you be careful. Always knowing how to get out of a tight spot is important but you have to be responsible whenever you make a choice, everything goes, even fire. Keep an eye on it and make sure nothing catches on fire or your risk starting a forest fire and that is one of the least things you would want to deal with, especially when life is at stake. Now go grab a big ol’ bag of marshmallows and roast those bad boys using your fire place!

Crafting a stone axe, it can cut wood!

I had seen a couple of professional flint knappers shape specific types of stone into many useful things including stone knives, arrowheads, spear heads and even axes. Of course at the time I knew next to nothing about flint knapping techniques, let alone what types of rocks are good to use. All of that aside I thought we’d try to make a primitive stone axe.

Before we show you how to make a stone axe, make sure to wear protective clothing, eye wear etc.

I want to remind you that I’m not a professional flint knapper and I’m by no means trying to teach the technique to you. I’m merely showing you what worked for me when I came across a rocky stream.

Supplies you’ll need to make the axe :

  • Rocks/Stones, the heart and soul of our tool.
  • A branch, preferably not rotten, you wouldn’t want the axe to break.
  • String, just a precaution, for fixing the head of the axe in place.

1. Rock and a hard place.

To begin with, finding sharp rocks is no easy task so the best option I had was finding something that I could use for an axe head. I threw a bunch of rocks at some boulders by the stream until I finally had the perfect fragment. Now common sense says that throwing heavy rocks around with the intention of fragmenting them can be dangerous so if you’re going to try this yourself do it as safely as possible. Don’t go throwing rocks at your feet and remember to wear protective clothing and eyewear etc. A more responsible way of doing this is finding a slim rock and sharpening it using another rock of some kind. You can add some gravel between them in order to create friction, thus speeding up the sharpening process. This takes some time, which I most certainly lacked, that’s why I had to rely on smashing rocks together in order to acquire a head for my axe.

2. Branching out.

Anyway the fragment that you want needs to be sharp, the one I selected was very keen and I was quite happy with how well it cut, it made a rather useful tool. I then realized that it wouldn’t be that much harder to make a stone axe using a fragment so I broke off a small live branch from a young tree to use as handle. Get yourself a branch.

Split the stick in order to create a crack, it shouldn’t be bigger than 1/4 of the stick size. Soak the end of the branch in water for a few hours and then wedge a smaller twig into the crack to help split the twig at the end. Now you can use your sharp rock as the axe head, secure it using your shoe laces or some kind of string and you are one step away from your axe.

After doing so I noticed the stone blade was sharp enough and it easily sliced through slim dead trees. I think it would be a perfect tool to help out in a pinch of a survival situation and it also worked great for chopping small pieces of wood. However while using it on wood it started chipping away at the stone and the blade quickly became too damaged to use but for a first try I was quite satisfied with what I was able to come up with.

Just a little did-you-know : the stone axe is also known as a celt.

If you have any doubts about this you can check out some other tutorials, WikiHow seems to have a solid idea of how to make yourself a stone axe, have a look here. If that still hasn’t got you convinced I guess you could give YouTube a shot, I suggest watching this :

There you have it folks, crafting a makeshift stone axe is not impossible but I highly advise you to be cautious and use protection if you decide to do it. It may take a while to finish the work but when it’s all said and done you’ll feel like a hipster cave man!

 

Introduction to the Site

If you’ve been surfing the internet for a while now you may know it’s full of so called ‘websites’. This is one of them, welcome.

This is FrancisHouse.

Before you find yourself asking, no, my name is not Francis and I will not teach you how to build houses, I can barely use legos, however I am making nice progress with them.

I’d like to call this the pit stop of adventurers, not because I will give you quests but because I can teach you how to makeshift the most useful survival items. I’m no expert myself but I try to give a little of what I know to the people that are interested. I thought of trying the camera version of this, *cough* YouTube *cough*, but I’ve always wanted to manage my very own website, so I chose this.

We don’t have much to offer right now, it’s all still very blurry and a lot of things you see now might change in the near future. Overall I’m happy with the base we laid, just keep in mind that if you come back in a month a lot of things might be different. Work on the forum has started too, but who knows when that’s gonna come out, it’s just a work in progress at the moment so nothing’s official. Keep an eye out though, you never know.

Feel free to share this article, check out our social media and look around the other pages we have. If you have any further questions you can use the contact page to send us a direct message or you can take a quick look at the Support tab where you might find the answers that you are looking for.

For the moment, I’ll leave you with the words written above, I hope you appreciate the work that has been put in so far and will stay for more.

The Craft Shack is now open!

Feast your eyes upon the soon to come addons of our site!