Thursday, September 18, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - We Didn't Start the Fire

I can't help it...its so beautiful!

On Monday evening, my family missed our school's "Reading Under The Stars" activity (which is A LOT different than Dancing With The Stars). We decided that on Tuesday night we'd do our own family one.  I promised the kids we could read and roast marshmallows by a campfire (which is not allowed at the school activity :) ). 

Tuesday, it rained (not complaining)...all day. By the time evening rolled around, all our wood was wet. It is kind of hard to roast marshmallows without fire. I couldn't back out because we already missed the school activity. I had made a promise to all the blinking blue eyes. I found as many "dry" pieces of wood that I could find, pulled out a couple of fire starters I'd made previously (instructions found here, and started blowing. It was a bit smokey, but the fire stayed lit and the kids had a great time. 

Then I started thinking...( I know, scarey and not recommended), "What if fire was the only way we could cook? Am I good enough at starting fires to keep my family alive?"

Fire is one of the essentials to self-reliance. We use it for warmth, to cook food, sanitize stuff, and...lets face it...entertainment. Sometimes I feel like one of those bugs that can't help staring at the beautiful dancing light...ZAP! If you have a supply of matches and lighters, what do you do when those matches are gone? Do you have alternatives that you know how to use? Here are a few ideas:

1. Hand drill method - I am working on getting a live demo/lesson from one of our very own'll be shocked...she rocks. 

2. Using a magnifying glass - I watched SEVERAL magnifying glass videos. None (that I saw) but this one actually made fire. They usually smoked. The difference is the size of the magnifying glass. Chances are, other video makers didn't know what they were doing either.

You can purchase this size of magnifier here:

I also found this REALLY COOL website - it had way more ideas than I'd ever heard of (complete with how-to videos). Seriously, check it out, because you never know when you need to light a fire...with a soda can, flashlight, and yes, even WATER!!! If nothing else, it is entertaining. However, entertainment won't build a fire if you need one, so practice the ones most intriguing to you.

I need to keep in mind that the sun cannot be used to start a fire (or use a solar oven) if it is raining or cloudy. That is why it is important to have more than one way to start a fire if you are in need of one. As much fun as it would be to pull an "Elijah" and call down fire from heaven to get it started and bbq the whole lot, Heavenly Father will not do for us what we can do ourselves. We would be wise to learn how to not only start fires, but build them the right way. You can ask my took me a LOOONG time to learn to build one the right way to keep it going. Never mind, don't ask him .

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