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How do you find wood for a survival fire, if the snow pack on the ground is 3-4'? I thought about this while out snow shoeing an

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  • How do you find wood for a survival fire, if the snow pack on the ground is 3-4'? I thought about this while out snow shoeing an

    How do you find wood for a survival fire, if the snow pack on the ground is 3-4'? I thought about this while out snow shoeing and seeing only live trees and snow around me. The only thing I can think of is finding a standing dead tree and using it. Thanks for the ideas...

  • #2
    On conifer trees (pine, fir, etc.) you can reach in close to the trunk and find old, dead, dry branches still attached to the trunk. These are branches that got crowded out and died from lack of light. Anyways, they don't have a lot of bulk for a sustained fire, but they make great tinder.
    Bends in dry creek beds a lot of times have piles of dead branches that were washed down during spring floods. Brush the snow off of the top and pull dry branches from the interior of the pile. Also, old beaver lodges can serve the same purpose.

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    • #3
      I will echo what charley said up there...an old beaver lodge saved me from a long, cold night once...

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      • #4
        Thanks fellas.
        Next time I'm out, I'll keep an eye cut for a creek bottom and check out the cover around it.

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        • #5
          In area where logging has taken place, look for the giant slash piles. These are piles of scrap branches and trees that were not used. They can provide a ton of dry wood in various sizes.

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          • #6
            I would use a standing dead tree for fire wood. You can also, though take pine sap from a pine tree, and that will burn for a while. You need to find a pine tree, and cut a limb off and sap should bleed out of where the limb was.

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            • #7
              if you already have a flame from tissue or something look for a birch tree and pull of the birch bark(if the birch bark is dry use to start a fire)the wood under the birch should be dry because the bark is water pretty retardent.

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              • #8
                If you have 3 or more feet of snow on the ground then like Charley said look under the base of an evergreen tree. When you have a tree well develop you can still find dry, small wood you can use to get a fire going. I have been up here in Washington, hiking in 3-6 ft of snow and I can find wood in a tree well to get a fire going.

                If you are going to use a dead standing tree, look for a tree about wrist size, not to rotten that you can bolt up to start a fire. At wrist size you can break off chunks with a hatchet or wedge it between two trees to get 12-18 inch long pieces.

                Birch works great because of the natural oil in the bark. A lot of birch bark will give you a big fire pretty quick. Birches rot from the inside out so get as much bark as you can and use other trees for fuel if the wood is no good.

                A good idea is to practice getting fires started under these conditions, before you HAVE TO get fires started under these conditions.

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                • #9
                  If you can find a dead standing birch or other tree from "beer-can" diameter to slightly larger, you can knock it over and break it apart in to lengths you can burn. The other pieces that fall off can be used as tinder. Birch is best as other have stated, as the bark really burns hot, but fast.
                  Get a double fist-full of very small pencil lead diameter sticks to act as your first stage of kindling after your tinder. Then you'll need an armful of pencil diameter pieces before you get to burning real wood. Dead branches are best for this because they will be very dry. Be cautious of anything you pick up off the ground as it will most-likely be wet when it thaws out if you live in a snowy climate. Don't waste your tinder/effort.
                  AlaskanExile

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                  • #10
                    If you are heading out in those conditions, its better to stick a couple pieces of tinder into your pack. It might add a pound, but its much better than being in need of something you can't find.
                    Take the lint from your dryer, stuff it into an old toilet paper roll. Works nice to get things going. Burns long if its stuffed.

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                    • #11
                      Under trees it is probably the driest.

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                      • #12
                        I always pack a little tinder and kindling with me.

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                        • #13
                          I dont think ive ever been in woods that doesnt have at least one dead tree within a couple hundred feet..Just search for something dry even if you have to dig it out of the snow

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                          • #14
                            dead branches on the bottom of pine trees work good

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                            • #15
                              A lot off times theres drifts around pine trees and if the branches are touching the grond there might be some dry stuff inside.

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