This was originally published by Norseman (Gunny) at his site Survivology 101 and reprinted here with his permission. I discovered Norseman via Wilderness Outfitters, Dave Canterbury’s site, about two years ago. I became a fan of Gunny for two reasons: A.) He’s not an armchair survivalist, and B.) He wears kilts! That sealed the deal for this fellow kilt-wearer. How many folks do you know that does bushcraft in a kilt? In a recent email, he informed me that he’s retiring from the Marines in 6 months and intends “to be all over the survival and prepping scene.” I’m looking forward to it! Check out his YouTube videos here. I think even non-science geeks will enjoy…
The science of fire
Many of you are aware of the fire triangle and the fire pyramid (yes they are different) but how many of you REALLY understand the science behind these catchy terms?
A quick review: The fire triangle is heat, fuel, and oxygen or sometimes referred to as air. Picture a triangle and if you remove any one of the sides the triangle loses support and collapses. Remove any piece of the fire triangle and the fire goes out. This is a fortunate effect as you will understand soon, if you don’t already.
And the fire pyramid which is tinder, kindling, and fuel not to be confused with the pyramid fire that is unrelated to this article. A pyramid is unlike a triangle in that it is built on a stable platform and can support itself.
Fire is a chemical process known as oxidation: In this process oxygen combines with hydrogen and carbon, together the atoms rearrange and form water and carbon dioxide. This energy causes heat, the same process takes place when metal rusts but the apparent lack of heat is due to a much lengthier time involved.