Building a safe fire is usually a key activity when camping. In an emergency situation it could mean the difference between surviving or not. We’ve asked former USAF SERE instructor and Prepared to Survive host Gretchen Cordy to demonstrate how to properly use commercial tinder and to experiment with some common items that may be in a backpack or around camp that might help you start a fire.
Please don’t let these demonstrations resurrect a long buried sense of pyromania. They’re presented to encourage an improvisational spirit and to help you start a fire if you’ve forgotten or used up or lost your commercial tinder. Lip balms, the felt tip from a permanent marker, hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, hygiene supplies, and snacks are all things you might have on hand in the outdoors, but the question is, will they burn?