Friday, February 22, 2013

The Wilderness Solutions Fire Piston

Recently I stumbled across a website for the company Wilderness Solutions located in New York.  The company specializes in Primitive Fire making tools, supplies and instruction.

30 minutes later I had read all of the material and watched several videos that were posted about the 2nd Generation Fire Piston.  The concept of the Fire Piston intrigued me and my thirst for new knowledge.  The thought of learning another way of creating fire that has been around for generations excited me and without hesitation I ordered one.

As with all ordered products the wait is always the worse part.  However, when the tidy brown box arrived I ripped into as if it were Christmas again ! Inside was the 2nd Generation Fire Piston and a ziplock baggy of rolled char cloth.

I won't dare say that I was skeptical but I wondered how many attempts it would take for me to create an ember using this method which I had never attempted.  With a quick read of the included instructions I headed down into the laundry room to give it a go.

I placed a rolled piece of char cloth into the recessed pit of the steel rod.  I gently placed the tip into the tube and with a swift palm I struck the handle jamming the rod into the tube and quickly removed it.  It was at that point that my jaw seemingly dropped as I gazed at the glowing ember on the char cloth.  I was sold.  Right then and there this primitive tool was to be a paracord neck carry for me !!

So today I decided to take a few pics of the process to allow you to see the Wilderness Solutions Fire Piston in action.

The Wilderness Solutions 2nd Gen Fire Piston
with small piece of char cloth
Birch Bark, Jute Twine and the Fire Piston.
The starting position !!
The glowing ember in the fire piston.
The coal transferred onto the Jute.
Fire is Life !!
This Fire Piston that was created by Jeff Wagner is an amazing tool and has proven itself to be dependable and simple to use.  From a pure survival standpoint I consider this to be one of the best fire making tools I own.  The successful use requires little to no fine motor skills which is essential if ever submerged in water during a winter survival emergency.

When you get a chance jump over to Jeff's website at and take a look at his amazing research and products.

Fire is Life !!

Prepare Today ... Survive Tomorrow

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Day to Play

Very rarely do I get to head into the wilderness without an agenda or a task required to be completed. However, today was a refreshingly different day with a focus on relaxation. 

This week our family inherited two kids from very close friends who were travelling abroad. 

Young Noah always asks me a thousand questions about survival and the cabin. So today was the day !

Noah, Justin and I headed out to the Beyond the Fire School of Survival location where we met up with Instructor John. Once there we wasted no time in grabbing our gear and headed out to teach the boys some skills and above all else - to have some fun. 

The two boys selected the site, shovelled away the snow and got busy collecting firewood for the days adventure. With a little help from John and myself the boys constructed their lean-to shelter and filled it with bedding materials in preparation for their lunchtime snack - Bannock. 

However, in order to cook Bannock we needed a fire. Cue Young Noah and his desire to learn the art of making a fire. Not just any fire making would do though. We decided that Noah would make the fire by nurturing a coal into a flame. 

Noah prepped his birds nest with birch bark, cattail and bundled Jute twine. Using a new fire piston I created a coal which we transferred into Noah's nest. That's when the magic happened. With coal in nest Noah gently blew into the nest until he created a flame. The look in his eyes was priceless. He could not believe he created fire !

Shortly after we stoked the fire the boys watched in disgust as I wrapped what seemed like a sloppy mess of something around their fire sticks. But in a very short time they were mesmerized as they watched the dough rising and creating an amazing survival food known as Bannock. 

At the end of the day both the boys had an amazing time out in the fresh air doing what we were all meant to do. For John and I it was a much needed retreat from the stressors of real life. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hudson's Bay Tobacco Fire Tin Kit

Over the past 3 weeks I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time out in the bush. This time in the bush has provided me the training platform to put some new kit through the testing process. 

The latest item to be put through the riggers of testing was the Hudson's Bay Tobacco Fire Tin Kit.   I purchased the kit from the best outdoor equipment store that I know - The Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co. 

The kit drew my attention due to its primitive/voyageur fire starting principles. There are countless fire starting methods that exist from primitive to state of the art. However, I have very little experience with the flint and steel. Thus I was excited to get started. 

The Hudson's Bay Tobacco Fire Tin Kit :

The Fire Tin
The Tin opened up. Note the removable
 cap that exposes the fire lighting
magnifying glass.
The Tin with all the contents : Flint, Steel,
Char Cloth and Jute.

The lit char cloth with a glowing ember
 after a single strike of the flint
with the steel. 

This kit was well worth the investment and honestly after 3 weeks of use it will now be a staple in my pack during any outdoor excursion.  The flint is large enough to hold and has great edges that when struck with the steel produce solid sparks that easily catch the char cloth.

The tin itself is large enough to house the items supplied but will also allow for several other tinder items such as birch bark to be carried.  The tin is lightweight and robust allowing it to bang around in your pack with no worry of damage.

Similar to the fire kit I made and discussed a few posts ago, pre-made kits that you carry provide the confidence and materials necessary to make fire anywhere at anytime.

Fire is life !!

I highly recommend this Hudson's Bay Tobacco Fire Tin Kit from The Canadian Outdoor Equipment Company.  Visit their site by clicking on link in my favourites on the right side.