|Photo Courtesy 64MM|
We've been camping, played outside at grandma's farm, seen how many lightning bugs we could catch, and various other fun activities. I've shown them where the milk in the jug comes from and how it's obtained, which brought groans from one and "Cool!" from the
The Great Fire!
Tonight was a departure from our normal Friday night, and my typical teaching moment. I made fire, from scratch!
Having been inspired by a great podcast a few days ago, I decided my two young daughters needed some survival skills. Truth is, so do I. The natural place to start was with fire.
It was 8:20 p.m. I told the girls that we were going to play a game. We needed to get a fire started before dark, which would be here in about 40 minutes. We had to run to the sporting goods store, find a fire starter, get home and get it going before dark fell. The race was on!
We made it to the store, found the starter and were back home 30 minutes after we left. "Great, we've got time, girls! We may survive after all!"
At that point, they were with me. We found some sticks to build a base, and plenty of dry, dead grass for tinder. Then, the race was truly on. We went into the back yard, metal was applied to flint, and sparks began to fly.
The starter stick said it was good for 4,000 strikes. The girls held on for about 150. Then, they played in the yard and came back about every 50 strikes. They were truly interested at about the 250 mark, when I showed them the blister I had just worn on my finger.
A great moment came at the circa 400-strike mark, when I had the little one get some toilet paper, because the dead grass wasn't getting the job done.
Turns out that was a good decision. Thirty minutes after we started making sparks, well after the sun had said good night, well past the point when my hands started aching, at about strike 600, right after the girls came back around to say, "Dad, can we go in?" a miracle happened. The toilet paper ignited and we had fire!
We would we would be warm this night. In July. In Kentucky.
I hope they remember.
Special thanks to Brett McKay of ArtofManliness.com, as well as Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor, for the blister I now have on my finger.