Monday, March 14, 2016

5 Minute Fire/Shelter Challenge

This past week the Wilderness Trade Blanket Facebook Group (Find It Here- LINK) hosted a challenge to get the fastest time for a primitive fire and setup a tarp shelter. The challenge was sponsored by Deer Creek Wilderness Outfitters (find there here- LINK) who offered up one of their new knives ($300.00+ value) as the first prize. The requirements of the challenge are as follows: 1) One tarp with ridge line; 2) Secured with four stakes; 3) Start fire with primitive source (flint/steel, magnification or friction method); 4) Tinder bundle prepared on camera; 5) Fire material can be processed and separated; 6) Fire lay much be built on camera; 7) Say start and stop; 8) Sustainable fire (they defined by roughly 1' flames); 9) Fastest time wins; 10) Post video to group page and tag group admin.

While I personally don't utilize a ridge line any longer unless hammock camping it's like riding a bike and essentially just requires the following: a figure 8 knot on one end (make the loop over sized to easily pass the working end through), then slip the rope through a grommet and place a toggle in the loop (2x or however many you desire to do so), then tie a butterfly knot 3' of more from the second tree, pass the rope around the tree and loop the rope through the butterfly using it as a makeshift 2-1 and finish the system off with a truckers hitch for easy take down.

If I were going to do a true fire/shelter/water type of challenge to get the best possible time I would more than likely do the following: 1) Place a Modified Twig bundle fire (Learn  how to build one here- LINK) against a log and light with a ferro rod or lighter; 2) Place my water bottle on top of the log at the center of the bundle; 3) Setup modified Diamond Tarp Shelter (Learn how to set it up here- LINK). Once the shelter is setup the water should be nearing its boiling point (depending on the ambient temperature and water temperature) and this time can be utilized to add larger fuel to your twig bundle and setup your bed roll.  Assuming minimal negative variables and above 0F degree temperatures this entire process can usually be completed in close five minutes; whereas, the fire/shelter video took close to five minutes. Why can my preferred setup shave off so much time? The pre-made tinder/fire lay saves a ton of time and goes up like a roman candle and cooks like a flame thrower when you put the cooking vessel at the top of the fire lay and lighting the fire first gives me an extra two minutes or so to reach a boil while setting up the tarp. The modified diamond tarp shelter saves a ton of time and stays much warmer than other tarp setups.

So without further delay here is my entry into the contest at a little under the Five minute mark for sustainable fire and shelter. Just click the picture below to start the video player.

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