This will be the first of many posts about fire, how to make it, and what to do with it. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material during combustion, and a very important thing. Fire built everything you see around you. Humans have had control over it for a little over 400,000 years. We’ve cooked with it, kept warm with it, built things, destroyed things, kept ourselves safe, and impressed volleyballs with it. For the first article we’re going to go with one of the simplest means of making fire, banging rocks together. There’s three things you’re going to need, tinder, fuel, and rocks that make sparks.
Tinder is very important, this is what will catch the spark and make fire. You want something very dry and fibrous. Cedar bark works great. You can hit it with a rock a few times to make it fibrous and wad it together in a loose ball to catch the spark. Don’t have cedar? Pine works good because of the flammable resin, so does news paper, cat tail pollen, or if you want to be prepared, cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly are water proof and very easy to ignite.
Next is your fuel, you want this gathered before you light the tinder. Wood is your best bet, and easiest to find, but you can burn coal; horse and cow manure as well. You want to have a mixture of small and large sizes. The small stuff will catch fastest from the tinder, and the larger fuel will burn longer and hotter.
Now, rocks. You’re going to want to look around for two rocks that make sparks when you hit them together. Flint works great, it’s probably the rock of choice, but other rocks will work with more effort, just go around smacking some together, and make sure not to get anything in your eyes.
Once you have the rocks, the next part is more of an art form. You want to make a spark, have that spark land on your tinder and make a coal. The, you need to pick up your tinder ever so gently, and blow on it until you get a small flame. Too much and it will blow out, too little and it will just smolder. After you have your starting flame, pace your tinder bundle on the ground where you want to have the fire and slowly add your smallest fuel. Once the smallest sized fuel lights, add something a little bit bigger, then keep this up until you have a large fire. At this point it will be appropriate for you to yell “FIAH!!!” And show off to your volleyball.