Starting a fire in the cold weather and snow might be a really hard task to accomplish. However, one needs to keep warm during the cold seasons, and learning how to start a fire in this season is a critical survival skill. Admittedly, you need to identify the appropriate location, choose the best fire starter, prepare the area, collect tinder, start and maintain a fire.
Such aspects are highlighted below to assist you with starting a fire in the snow.
Choose the best fire starter
Below are some of the recommended fire starters you can choose.
This fire starter can enable you to enjoy camping in extreme weather conditions. In particular, it can produce consistent and good sparks to start a fire in the snow. The starter has a handcrafted cherry wood handle and a thick magnesium/ferrocerium blend rod to offer you the best grip. The striker can provide a maximum of 15,000 strikes in the snow.
The fire starter is compact and lightweight, meaning you can carry it in your backpack. It also includes a paracord bracelet with a handy storage pouch, a bonus mini Ferro rod, an integrated compass, a cutting band, and an in-built whistle.
The survival sparks fire starter can produce hot sparks and generate a maximum of 15,000 strikes in any weather condition you traverse. It includes a 150DB emergency whistle and a high-quality integrated compass connected by a stretchy and strong lanyard.
Admittedly, the first starter is windproof, cold-resistant, and weather-resistant. That means it will offer consistent fire-starting results in windy, rainy, or snowy weather. It is also convenient, compact, and strikes up to 15,000.
If you want the best alternative to magnesium and Ferro fire starters, the UCO stormproof can help to start a fire despite the howling gale or pouring rain. You can easily light the matches, and they will burn for approximately 15 seconds. Also, the end of the matches is extremely long to prevent yourself from getting your fingers burned.
The kit has 15 water and windproof matches, which can survive even when submerged in a puddle. The kit comes with a durable and waterproof ABS plastic case with a strong O-ring which establishes a waterproof seal to protect the strikers and matches from moisture.
The outside casing has a vertical ribbing, molded, and non-slip grip, making it easier for you to twist and open the cap, especially when you want to access the matches in wet and cold conditions.
This fire starter can generate sparks which are three times hotter than normal matches. It can also ignite different kinds of tinder. It is one of the fundamental emergency kits which outdoor enthusiasts need to include when starting a fire in extremely cold or rainy conditions. It can produce 4,000 strikes.
This fire starter is designed with a detachable cap to prevent accidental sparks and protect the flint for your safety. Further, it is designed with a high-quality waterproof ABS plastic, chemical-resistant, impact-proof, and its flint can generate reliable sparks to ignite tinder.
You can get several options for solid fuel fire starters, including hexamine and other chemical tabs. These are lightweight solid fuel tabs that are slow-burning, compact, and waterproof. However, this one is an inexpensive and great option you can use in snowy conditions. In reality, this is not an igniter, so to ignite it, you require to use one of the fire igniters highlighted above.
You can build a fire progression and a tinder bundle and nestle the solid fuel tab at the bottom to assist in igniting a fire. A single show of sparks from the Ferro rod or the use of a good tinder bundle and fire piston tinder can ensure this fuel source burns. Apart from that, you need to intelligently and carefully build your fire bundle to avoid failed fire start attempts.
Select the site
You need to choose an area that is protected from water, wind, and snow. In most cases, people who travel to the wilderness love to start a fire under trees. However, that might not work since warm air from the fore can make the snow soften and fall. Despite that, you can try to eliminate the risk by knocking off the snow. After that, you can clear the snow.
Further, you need to avoid a place with too much wind. Frosty and brittle areas of snow indicate a sign of wind. Also, banks of large water bodies and open rock faces tend to be windy. Therefore, you can try to camp on a protected cliffside or in a forest.
Gather dry wood and kindle
You need to gather dry kindling and wood to start a fire in the snow, but it can be hard to find one. However, you can search for the dead lower parts of large trees or wood materials that have been sheltered from snow.
It might also be hard to get small sticks and leaves, but you can break branches for a small price to use as dry kindling.
Building fire pit
You can put stone flooring for your fire pit when starting a fire in snow or rainy areas. When you raise the fuel a few inches above the ground, you offer water areas for runoff. You also require an incredible heat reflector when starting to fire on snow. In reality, the main aim of starting a fire is to ensure you get a good source of warmth. In this case, a large stack, a cliff face, or a large tree can help in reflecting heat.
If you cannot find such items, you can make a reflector using a rescue blanket to provide an optimum reflection on the silver side. Ensure you clear an area near the fire where you can place extra firewood.
Lighting your fire
You might want to light a fire in a normal way by using a fire starter, kindling, and tinder. When you collect fuel, ensure you get large pieces which can be chunks of a tree stump or sections of a trunk. That can help in ensuring that the fire keeps burning and your body is warm.
If your kindling or tinder material is dry, you cannot face issues when starting a fire. However, it might take some time to start a fire in the snow. Fortunately, you can add a lot of heat to the burning material to ensure it gets to the burning temperatures. Since you are starting a fire in snowy areas, you can use a fire accelerant such as cotton balls and a fire starter.
How to enjoy using fire in the snow
Ensure you light a fire at the entrance of your shelter, but be careful to avoid flammable items. Using rescue blankets on the roof and the back of the shelter can assist in maintaining heat from the fire in your shelter.
You can also use heated rocks to keep your bedding warm before you use them. Further, you can use a spare jacket to wrap a heated rock to sleep with as a pillow. Although rocks might not be comfortable bedding, you might like the warmth they will offer you.
Coals are a critical part of your fire since they can help to produce a lot of heat. You can continue to add tinder to your fire to continue burning.