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"Wilderness Wisdom 1" by Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on December 28, 2012


Welcome one and all, it has been sometime again since I last sat and wrote. Been busy keeping the home fires burning and trying to stay warm during this last cold snap that made its way through Alberta. Seems like winter should be ending soon as we have had it a long while. We have had it since the third week in October.

I just completed another novel today. The setting is in the Yukon. A native Cree Indian man and his struggles with life and living where he finds himself. I looks like it will be a two book series. I should have it out on Amazon soon. It is called "Wolf Run."

Some have asked if I could share some writing on survival and making life easier in the wilderness after many years of living off the land. I thought I would share a few simple ideas with you to make life more bearable when you are outdoors. Some of these ideas will come in handy especially when the weather gets bad.

Gather around and lets get settled in. The Fireside is always open and off in the background I have a nice fire burning. Help yourself to a chair and what ever goodies you can find. Stay away from the turkey cookies. They were an afterthought on how to use up the never ending bird... Know that you are dearly loved as you take the time to have a little rest.


The Essential

No matter where you are in this cabin or out in the wilderness you need fire. Fire is essential to your well being summer and winter. In situations where you are potentially at risk getting a fast fire is the basic need. Fire can bring many things to each of us.

It can mean the difference between life and death in the far north of Canada especially should you find yourself in sub zero temperatures. I have been hopelessly lost in the wilderness in complete darkness and there is nothing that can bring on fear like a situation such as when the feeling of being alone is so overwhelming.

While moose hunting I was following and animal and it went to places a man could hardly move. It was late in the day before I managed to get the animal down and I discovered I was hopelessly lost in the dark of night. Fear can set in quickly, the best thing you could do is build a fire. At least you have some warmth, let alone something to cook with. Fear can lead a man to do some silly things thus the importance of stopping and collecting your thoughts. The likelihood of someone coming along and offering directions are very slim. It is where you learn quickly to rely on yourself. To do so you need all your wits about you.

To make a long story short fire kept me company all night, cooked my supper. In the morning when the sun came up I found out I was only a few hundred yards from my snowmobile, but still many miles from civilization. It was along night but I was fine. As long as I have fire I can survive anywhere.

Rolly Fire Starter


Sure Fire

Here is a trick I learned quite by accident years ago and it has never failed me. You can start a fire with this with the very basics of ignition sources from flit to matches. Once lit set one of these close by and you are away. They are very cheap and inexpensive to make and all the resources are readily available around the house.

First fine a paper egg carton, fill it with dryer lint and some shredded paper. Melt ordinary wax, old candles laying around and pour it over top and allow to harden. The amounts are not important but the more wax the longer it will burn. The best part is these can be an important part of your survival gear and an essential for me not matter where I go and find myself alone in the back country.

They take up little or no space in your pack and can start a fire in some of the most adverse conditions because they burn hot and for a long period of time. Just light it and before long a few pieces of kindling will turn into a fire. Most commercial fire starters have a very limited life expectancy on the shelf yet they remain there until sold. The unsuspecting customer learns just how useless they are when it is imperative to get a fire started quickly. They burn far slower and much cooler, I have yet to find one I would rely on.

These are made with things we find in the home we generally toss out anyway. I carry several in my truck and in my backpack when I am away on a hike or trekking through the woods looking for that next great fishing spot and need a fire I have them close at hand. They last forever and are very light to carry.

Fire serves many purposes when we are out and about in the backcountry. A source of heat, a place to cook a meal, it gives comfort and in times of distress will signal anyone who may be searching. It is a good thing to be prepared.

I hope you try this one and love the simplicity of them. They can be used in most applications, even in the home for starting the fireplace. No need for newspaper that usually burns out before a fire can be started... give it a try and let me know how you make out... Hugs to all

© Rolly A. Chabot


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Cam ... they work so very well and can be made in a matter of minutes... hope you enjoy them.

      Rolly in Canada

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 5 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      Rolly, I am going to make these for our sauna stove. It is so disappointing to think you have a nice fire going and then go out to enjoy a nice 170F, only to find it matches the 12F outside. Great idea. Thanks Rolly.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jackie... Thanks for the visit and I do hope there will be a day when you can depend on him to provide for you. I think it so important today the younger generation learn to care for themselves and come to know food is not grown in stores and fast food outlets.... smiles

      The pot on the stove is at the cabin, wood heat has a way of taking all the moisture out of the air... a wilderness humidifier... lol

      Hugs and love from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Always ... Twice back at you. Good to see you again and I do hope this comes in handy sometime in the future for you...

      Many hugs and the best in 2013 from Canada

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rolly, It is always good to know how to build a fire out of different products. Stay warm..Cheers.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Thanks for the great tip, I will share that with my son who I suspect would love to have to one day rub two sticks together to get a fire. I know he thinks I think he is crazy but I really don't. One never knows what one day will bring and I sure wouldn't want to be depending on no city boy to get me through! lol

      Love your stove and that pot of water on top for moisture, I assume. Great idea..or maybe that is for coffee or tea?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great share Rolly. It always helps to know how to survive the cold..Thank you..

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi K J Page... they are handy and the best part is the last for ever and yet still work well. Hope you get the chance to try one out soon... Happy New Year to yo and yours...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Alicia... Happy New Year back to you and yours... thanks for the comment and hope you give it a try...

      Hugs from Canada

    • K J Page profile image

      K J Page 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Simple every day items....hmmm...I may have to make a few up...never know when it might be needed!!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the very useful idea, Rolly! I hope you have a happy new year.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Lifegate... Good to see you this morning and from what I have been following in the news of late you could use some fire over your way.... Hope you stay warm and only the best to you and the wife in the coming year..

      Blessings and many hugs

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Up,useful, and interesting! You gave me some things I never thought about, and of course you hold my attention from start to finish. Thanks for a practical, but yet entertaining article.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Up, useful, and interesting as always. Certainly things I would have never thought of. Thanks again for good information given in an entertaining way. You always hold my interest from start to finish.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... being the outdoors kind of guy you are Bev are I thought this one may peek your intrest. I have used it for years and it is mans best friend. Saved this sorry looking butt a few times on a cold night...

      Best to you and Bev... Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi drbj ... Thanks for the visit and the comment and yes there are many such things around the house we take for granted and never really look twice at.

      Just be very careful with the hot wax. I would suggest using a discarded tin can to melt the wax in... just bend it so you have a spout and use some oven mitts...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Relationshipc ... not sure what happened to the last comment but it did the "Poof" thing on me...

      No need to be embarrassed about the Fire Failures, trust me they are common among us all. Try this little trick and you will have plenty of time to get a roaring fire going in no time.

      Shortage of dryer lint, not a problem, just add more shredded paper or even shredded bathroom tissue, anything that will burn. The key is the wax.

      Trust me, you will be the Fire Starter Queen of all time...

      Hugs from Canada

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great info my friend. You are a veritable fountain of information and a good man to boot! Happy New Year, Rolly!

      hugs from Oly


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the clever tip, Rolly, about the egg carton et al sure-fire fire starter. Who knew? Happy New Year to you.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Great. I will use this 'Rolly fire starter' when I go camping next year...or carry it if we go out hiking at all in the future. We have no shortage of dryer lint around here.

      I'm embarrassed to say that I can easily use up a whole binder of paper when trying to start a fire - and still have nothing to show for it.

      And congrats on finishing the new novel - celebrate it!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Carol... Thanks for stopping and saying hello. It has always brought comfort over the years when used carefully. Nothing like sitting in front of a cozy fire and getting lost in thought...

      Hugs as always

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      YOu do have an interesting life. I guess living in the cold and battling elements has its advantages in life. I love the way you talked about fire and how it soothes, saves and protects. Thanks for sharing all of this.


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