Rewilding is the new self-care...

Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2022 | Week 9/52 | Winter

bushcraft fire school rewilding Feb 27, 2022
Fire School | Rewilding | Education | Bushcraft
Field Notes from Jess
Rewilding 2022 Week 9/52 | Back to Basics: Fire by Ferro Rod + Harvesting Tinder
Kettle Falls Washington has many gifts, but one in particular is that my good friend and comrade @ray_modernsurvivalist has taken residence there at the beautiful Bacon Acres, where he raises pigs and enjoys rural living. We started the day with Chaga mushroom tea, a fungus that grows on birch trees and an incredible antioxidant, (See image). Did you know that the Chaga mushroom is an incredible fire starter?
Creating fire is similar to baking bread which requires specific ingredients added at appropriate increments for a successful rise... a bushcraft style fire is very similar. Like every great master in the kitchen, the success of a fire is part intuition and "feel" which comes with experience in the field. Build fires to learn how to build fires.
Kettle Falls gift number two is the presence of the birch tree. She is a beauty Queen in the forest and her bark is so very magnificent. Did you know that one of the many traditional uses of birch bark was to function as a bread baking basket? After peeling and collecting enough of this paper-like material to create the perfect tinder that can easily ignite with the sparks of a ferro rod, I moved on to harvest cedar bark strips to create a functional tinder nest. Next I used an axe to fell a dead standing tree and lastly a hand saw to cut the fallen log into firewood.
Ray is a well-practiced fire maker, and although he carries a blow torch with him in the backcountry, (he's a modern survivalist), he offered some excellent mentorship on how to successfully construct my fire in the ingredient at a time from small, dry and highly flammable to the bigger kindling I procured through batoning the chopped wood with my knife and a stick. With patience, I progressed that fire to a healthy rise.
Thank you to the many gifts of people and nature who continue to light my learning heart on 🔥