It’s drizzling, and you want to start a fire. Any tinder you gather will likely be too wet, right?
You can create an effective fire starter, even with a wet piece of wood. Just grab your knife so you can make a “fuzz stick.” The best piece of wood to use is one without knots that’s about a foot in length and a couple of inches in diameter. Soft woods like pine, birch and cedar are ideal.
Rainwater won’t seep into the middle of most branches, which means the interior wood stays dry.
First, strip off the bark and hold the piece of wood against something to stabilize it (not your leg — you don’t want to end up needing your first-aid kit).
Angle your knife along the wood and slide the blade to create thin, spiral-shaped shavings. Don’t cut too deep; you’re not trying to make notches. Leave the shavings attached to the wood. The thinner the shavings, the easier they’ll catch fire. One trick is to split your stick, giving you a wooden edge over which to run your knife — the smaller surface area should make it easier to make shavings.
When you’ve made quite a few shavings, prop your fuzz stick against your kindling and light the shavings on fire. The flames should easily spread up the stick and to the kindling.
For more fire-building tips, visit go.scoutlife.org/firestarters.