# 30dayswild Day 19- learning fire lighting techniques in the Surrey countryside

Time for something a little different…

For Day 19 of #30dayswild we joined a Fire Lighting and Knife Skills Course run by Pure Bushcraft in the Surrey Countryside. They have a piece of land with woodland and meadow and it was great to spend the day there. The purpose of the course was to learn how to make fire, it’s a really important skill for a survival situation, fire provides warmth, protection, somewhere to cook and keeps up morale. Today we went through a series of different ways to produce fire, starting from the more modern techniques and ending on the more primitive.

We started by making fire with wire wool touched against battery terminals- it was amazing how quickly this went up. We then saw potassium permangamate combined with glycerine and watched the fire burn.Next we used a magnifying glass to direct the sunlight onto char cloth, making it smoke and flame.

We then looked at the fungi that can be used for fire making, King Alfred’s cakes (daldinia concentrica) which can be found on ash trees and  Amadou from the horseshoe fungus. We also looked at resin wood from spruce trees and with sparks from a fire steel we brought this to flame.

The last part of the course was spent making a hearth and drill to make fire with friction using a bow. This was the hardest part, and although we all had plenty of smoke, the damp air and slightly damp wood meant that our embers did not quite burn- more practice needed, but I’ll get there.

Lastly we looked at the fire triangle, a way to lay at the wood to get the fire started. IMG_6236

It was great to spend the day in the countryside, and I’m now more confident in my fire lighting techniques.

The camp that we spent the day in was decorated with skulls found in the area, which I loved and there was a teepee in the meadow to retreat to in case of rain. We’ll definitely be going on another course with Pure Bushcraft, in fact we have our eyes on two, to book onto on pay day!

The company we did this course with were Pure Bushcraft, check out their website here: www.purebushcraft.co.uk, they give 10% of all their profits to Surrey Wildlife Trust too!

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