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If you are like most people who live with modern conveniences, you may never have considered learning how to start a fire. There are lots of articles written on the methods and tools that can be used to start a fire, but it is also important to know some reasons WHY you would want to take the time to learn this skill. It really is more than just a trick to show off to your buddies. Knowing how to start a fire can help you in several ways.

There is the psychological advantage to being able to start your own fire. The principal reason for that would be that this is a learned skill that few people in technologically advanced cultures possess. Plus others in your group will quickly realize that you are a valuable member to keep around – especially as night falls and you provide the single source of light.

Fire will help you avoid hypothermia by regulating your body temperature. Many will object that this isn't as important in warmer climates and seasons. Certainly that is a valid objection. However you will need to consider that fire can dry any wet clothing, which can contribute to a drop in core body temperature. Additionally night can bring cooler weather, even in warm regions. Cooler temperatures coupled with sweat-soaked clothing can bring on hypothermia, even in the summer season.

Smoke from a fire can be used for personal hygiene. This is valuable when water may be scarce, or if you are trying to avoid hypothermia by staying dry. Standing in the smoke of a fire can help neutralize body odor and rid the skin of harmful microbes. Additionally, smoke from a fire helps repel biting insects!

The smoke from a fire can be used as a signaling device, whether to make contact with others at a distance or to signal for rescue. Distant neighbors can know all is well when they see the smoke from your cook fire at the beginning of the day.

Of course, for cooking and disinfecting water, fire quickly establishes its value.

Naturally the time to learn this skill is BEFORE you find yourself without other means of needed heat. Even with matches or a lighter, experience is required to skillfully and efficiently start a fire. Not only that, it’s actually hard work! So, before you NEED it, NOW is the time to learn how to start a fire.


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