Author Topic: Making a Fire on Snow  (Read 5790 times)

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Offline Edible Wild Food

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Making a Fire on Snow
« on: January 03, 2014, 10:40:15 PM »
If you are in the bush and had nowhere to make a fire but on the snow, and no rocks were available because they're all under the snow and ice, what would you do?

I'm writing an article for a website about fire starting on snow so any ideas you provide please let me know if I can use them in this article when you reply. Thank-you everyone!

When the article is live I'll post it on this thread.

Offline NObshere

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 11:03:04 PM »
Build a bed of bark about 3"-4" thick and about24"x24" place some larger pieces in a square around the outside edge underneath, to prevent it from sinking, gather all the wood that you"ll need for 1 hr of burning, and light your fire on top. If you want to see my method of lighting fires with what nature can provide checkout this link on youtube



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52dx843ePJE&feature=youtu.be

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Offline M590a1

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 09:10:41 AM »
I've built a fire on snow.  A snowshoe trip up Mt Washington in 1988 burned a pit 8-10 ft deep and about 6 ft wide of solid ice.  Would have been an inescapable trap if any soloers happened to fall in it.  Dangerous stuff.
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Offline wild_E

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 09:46:21 AM »
We always scrape the loose soft snow out of the way first, then find bark or create a flat base from wood. The wood will eventually catch fire as well. This will work great on ice, scrape down to the base layer you can find with a snowshoe or snow shovel. If you do not have a snowshoe even, then use the side of your boot to scrape away the softest stuff you can.


Use the snow to your advantage to create a wind break for you along with the fire. Try to make a heat reflector if it is a fire for warmth like in the video that M59 and NObs created. There are lots of variations but the basics are all the same, create a backstop to throw the heat back at you.


I always carry a low weight hobo stove along with alcohol stoves with me now. So lightweight and so versatile, can be used just like above place on ice or flat wood. The Hobo Stove for cooking and a bit of heat has the advantage of using a miniscule amount of wood to cook with especially compared with a traditional camp fire for warmth and cooking.


Another advantage of a Hobo Stove is that you can have coffee/tea or soup ready for consumption while the fire is getting going for heat. Heating your internal furnace is 3/4 of the task that needs to be done along with just getting out of the wind.


A well insulated winter shelter can be heated with a very small stove or fire, even a makeshift stove or Hobo stove is simple to do with a few simple tools that should be part of your pack.


my .05c >:)

Offline NObshere

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 09:51:27 AM »
We always scrape the loose soft snow out of the way first, then find bark or create a flat base from wood. The wood will eventually catch fire as well. This will work great on ice, scrape down to the base layer you can find with a snowshoe or snow shovel. If you do not have a snowshoe even, then use the side of your boot to scrape away the softest stuff you can.


Use the snow to your advantage to create a wind break for you along with the fire. Try to make a heat reflector if it is a fire for warmth like in the video that M59 and NObs created. There are lots of variations but the basics are all the same, create a backstop to throw the heat back at you.


I always carry a low weight hobo stove along with alcohol stoves with me now. So lightweight and so versatile, can be used just like above place on ice or flat wood. The Hobo Stove for cooking and a bit of heat has the advantage of using a miniscule amount of wood to cook with especially compared with a traditional camp fire for warmth and cooking.


Another advantage of a Hobo Stove is that you can have coffee/tea or soup ready for consumption while the fire is getting going for heat. Heating your internal furnace is 3/4 of the task that needs to be done along with just getting out of the wind.


A well insulated winter shelter can be heated with a very small stove or fire, even a makeshift stove or Hobo stove is simple to do with a few simple tools that should be part of your pack.


my .05c >:)

Yes and a small hobo stove can be brought right into your shelter...safely
Never stop...

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Offline hayseed

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 02:25:42 PM »
  You did say bush. I am thinking BC interior bush where I grew up.

  A good spruce or fir tree would have plenty of overhang with very little snow underneath and made a great shelter. A fir tree is ideal and all you need to do is get underneath one with a low overhang, reach up for some fir fuzz and dry branches and voila. Even in deepest snow conditions, depending upon the bush you are in, building a fire under an evergreen is your best bet. Any snow that has been blown under can be scooped to the side to add to the natural windbreak.  Spruce and fir are the best and than pine. That being said, if you don't have nice mature tree available, it becomes much more difficult.

Offline Mountainman

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 11:55:47 AM »
E.W.F.,

Fire on snow, a common situation here in Canuckland - for sure.

First acknowledge that as the fire burns the snow will melt, to those who go to the bush this is common sense, but some may not be aware of this. Plan you fire location with this in mind. Try to ensure that you do not have any snow covered branches above you, as this snow will melt too and then fall down, possibly on top of your fire.

I would recommend that if in an open area first pack down the snow with your snowshoes. Then use your snow shovel to dig a pit, probably 10' in diameter, banking the excavated snow on the windward side, pack with the snow shovel, by slapping with the flat of the shovel blade. try to dig a smaller pit inside this area for the actual fire.

Get 3 to 4 logs about 2' to 3' long and 5" to 6" in diameter to build your base for your fire. Work up from here with course kindling, fine kindling and pyramid of extra fine kindling and tinder at the top. Have as much fuel ready and within arms reach if you are solo, once you start the fire you must be able to maintain it until the fire is strong enough to support itself.

If you stay long enough the fire will burn down to the ground, which depending on snow conditions may be many feet below the surface level of the snow. As the fire burns/melts down use your shovel to build stairs and a path out of there.

If your fire burns down to a base of peat moss, ensure when you leave that you completely bury the fire with a couple, three feet of snow. If a fire gets into peat moss it can burn above and below ground for years. Do your part to prevent wild fires.

Hope your project is very successful!!!

Mountainman.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 11:58:08 AM by Mountainman »

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 02:09:58 PM »
Snow is no problem for DORITOS!


Offline M590a1

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 02:26:47 PM »
I know this has been posted elsewhere but this thread is begging for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-ZZFtEktXE
If you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look on without doing anything.

Offline Edible Wild Food

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 09:17:25 PM »
Thank-you everyone!!  :D  I appreciate your help!!


 
Snow is no problem for DORITOS!



I saw that circulating on FB and you reminded me - I want to buy a small bag of that and try it out!!!  I'm sure with the oils in some brands of potato chips that may work too!! (lol)

Offline Edible Wild Food

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 09:28:05 PM »
This works in a very small area - - and it works on my desk to keep my hands warm when I type because I refuse to keep the heat higher than 19 degrees C in the house! (lol)  (I wrote this too.) I use beeswax candles as they burn longer.

http://momprepares.com/pot-candle-heater/

Offline wild_E

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 10:30:09 PM »
Re-blogged this topic on my newest blog post. This post also shared by Roger's blog post on fire starting and Prepper Madness's video blogs on fire, snow, fire making in snow and heating a shelter in winter.
http://wildernessreturn.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/fire-snow-cooking/
http://wildernessreturn.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/fire-snow-cooking/


Updated this today to make it more fun and interactive. This links Roger's blog, NObs and family videos, my blog and the CanAmPreppers.net forum.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 11:13:18 AM by wild_E »

Offline wild_E

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 10:44:25 PM »
Karen, I do the local heating as well like the video, though now I use my veg oil lamps not those horrid little tea lights. (plus it is much cheaper)

Offline Edible Wild Food

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 08:09:06 PM »
Thanks Ed!!!

Offline wild_E

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Offline JustABear

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 10:27:44 PM »
Great links and ideas for multiple methods for light and heat. As stated safe, economical and and adjustable. Thanks Wild_E
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Offline NObshere

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2014, 12:01:48 AM »
Yeah I like too. Will do another method for lighting a camp/cooking fire on snow tomorrow.
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Offline Edible Wild Food

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2014, 01:39:30 PM »
I have another question! Does anyone have a good quality photo of a fire on the snow? I write for MomPrepares and this is my next article... and it would be great to have a photo to accompany it.  Whoever is able I can have a link back to your website/blog or Youtube channel. (And of course your name as photo credit.)

Offline wild_E

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2014, 05:33:11 PM »
Karen, I will email a buddy of mine who runs a bushcraft group on facebook, ask him this question for you.
cheers

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Re: Making a Fire on Snow
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2014, 12:18:28 PM »
Thanks Wild_E - with my schedule I can't get into the bush to do this for at least 2 weeks!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 12:21:07 PM by icrcc »