The Science of Fire

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.

Read the rest here

Categories: Bushcraft, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “The Science of Fire

  1. Reblogged this on thesurvivalplaceblog and commented:
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  2. So you like kilts. Have you ever looked into the “great kilt”? You will never have to go to a tailor to re-size your kilt again. You need 3-5 meters of wool material, a belt, and a kilt pin. The great kilt is also a wool blanket which is great for preparedness. Here is just one example:

    But what about the woman in your life you might wonder? Well, there is the arisaid. You need about 3 meters of wool material, a belt, and a kilt pin to make the arisaid. You pleat from the narrow end of the fabric unlike the great kilt. Give extra length for the placement of the belt so the arisaid comes down just above the ankles. Pleat just enough of the material to be wrapped around the front of the body. Again, it doubles as a wool blanket:

    I know the arisaid is traditionally women clothing but it makes a “great coat” with a “backpack”. The “backpack” is formed when the extra material is brought over the head and a pocket opens up below the belt. It’s very big and could carry bulky light items. A kilt pin under the chin makes a hood that can be lowered onto the shoulders when not needed. I find a “practical” length for the arisaid is twice the length from the person’s waist to the ankle. So, when the arisaid is hanging down it does not drag on the ground. (More length is less practical but gives a larger pocket and more lavish, flowing appearance.)


  3. There is also the wool trade blanket dresses of Native Americans. Some Native Americans did weave with wool from wild animals and some domesticated dogs but wool and hair was a rare material. When the Europeans came with their wool blankets the Native Americans and Metis greatly valued them for their warmth while wet quality of wool:


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