Fire in the Rain

To build a fire in the rain with no dry wood in sight seems a difficult

problem, but keep cheerful, hum your favorite tune, and look for a

pine-knot or birch bark and an old dead stump or log. In the centre of

the dead wood you will find dry wood; dig it out and, after starting the

fire with either birch bark or pine-knot, use the dry wood as kindling.

When it begins to burn, add larger pieces of wood, and soon the fire

will grow strong enough to burn wet wood. If there happens to be a big

rock in your camp, build your fire on the sheltered side and directly

against the stone, which will act as a windbreak and keep the driving

rain from extinguishing the fire. A slightly shelving bank would also

form a shelter for it. A pine-knot is always a good friend to the girl

camper, both in dry and wet weather, but is especially friendly when it

rains and everything is dripping wet.

You will find pine-knots in wooded sections where pine-trees grow; or,

if you are located near water where there are no trees, look for

pine-knots in driftwood washed ashore. When secured cut thin slices down

part way all around the elongated knot and circle it with many layers of

shavings until the knot somewhat resembles a toy tree. The inside will

be absolutely dry, and this branching knot will prove reliable and start

your fire without fail. Birch bark will start a fire even when the bark

is damp, and it is one of the best things you can have as a starter for

an outdoor, rainy-day fire.

Take your cue from the forest guides, and while in the woods always

carry some dry birch bark in your pocket for a fire in case of rain.