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Bender Heaven

30 31 making Fire the ancient art of survival To start your fire you will need some form of tinder, and some thing to light it with. If your name is Ray Mears, you could use some Old Mans Beard Clematis seed heads, dried moss where its not scarce or dried gorse tips, along with a flint sparker. If, however, you dont mind a bit of techno, a few scrunched up bits of newspaper or even a firelighter will suffice, as well as that marvel of the modern worlda cheap lighter. Secondly you will need a few handfuls of fine twigs and small sticks no more than a centimetre in diameter. These can be obtained in a nearby wooded area or hedgerow. Small dead twigs should just snap off in your hand, if you can bend them to 90 then theyre probably still alive. Kindling can also be obtained by splitting down a short log into thin sticks with a sharp axe, using a penknife to make shavings if finer kindling is needed. For the fires main fuel you should ideally have a selection of wood, sticks of an inch diameter all the way up to 8 inch logs would be ideal. If you only have logs then splitting a few down into smaller sections is always better than waiting an hour for the heat to build up before your big logs stop smoking and start to burn. Its also worth remembering that fire uses oxygen as well as wood for fuel, so a loosely stacked fire will generally burn faster, and on a windy day you can stack your fire a little tighter to reduce the oxygen flow and make it last. The same stands which may have provided your bender poles often contain dead dry lengths which make perfect firewood and can be collected at the same time.
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