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M Winter Firebuilding Techniques (Video)

by Ryan Jordan

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Article Summary:

This video highlights some tools and techniques for winter firebuilding. It borrows some concepts from old school bushcraft, but with an eye on the weight of the tools.

To put this in context, I define "winter firebuilding" as the activity of collecting wood, starting, building, and maintain fires in what I'll call "winter conditions", i.e., those conditions where the wood is saturated at its annual maximum with moisture from precipitation, humidity, and immersion under snow.

In my experience, the most challenging conditions for fire building in the mountains of Montana occur in February and March. Dead wood has been exposed to a winter's worth of precipitation, it has been buried under deep snows, and it has been subjected to the very high humidity levels of the transition season between winter and spring. New precipitation comes down as dense, wet snow, and increasing temperatures result in high humidity levels that keep wood wet through the spring season.


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