Troop 501 Eagle Scouts

Andrew Jackson - 2011

Project: Recycle Bins at the World Bird Sanctuary

William "Billy" John Fisher, III - 2012

Project: Fire Truck Reading Center at Arnold Branch Library

Christopher "Blake" Hufford - 2013

Project: Flag Pole Installation and Beautification Project at New Hope United Methodist Church

Paul Morton Claeys - 2013

Project: Playground Renovation and Update; Construction and Installation of Benches at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Drew Vitello - 2014

Project: Development and Installation of interactive, 3-D, educational playground mural at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

The Outdoor Code

Outdoor Code Wallet Card

Outdoor Code


The wording below is from the back of the Outdoor Code Wallet Card shown above (#33428A) and may differ from that in the Boy Scout Handbook.


I agree to join with the Boy Scouts of America in protecting my country’s natural beauty and conserving her natural resources.


The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to –

  • Be clean in my outdoor manners.
    I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
    I will take care of it for myself and others
    I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
  • Be careful with fire.
    I will prevent wildfire.
    I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.
    When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.
    I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • Be considerate in the outdoors.
    I will treat public and private property with respect.
    I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.

and

  • Be conservation minded
    I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.
    I will urge others to do the same.

 

Totin’ Chip

Totin' Chip Wallet Card) Totin' Chip Patch

The Official BSA Totin’ Chip is the Wallet Card shown above (No. 34234B) and/or a Patch  (No. 08597).

The Totin’ Chip Patch is considered a “Temporary Patch” and, if worn,
should be worn centered on the RIGHT Pocket of the Boy Scout Uniform Shirt.
It should NOT be sewn on a pocket flap


The wording below appears in Boy Scout Requirements (34765).  The introductory text in the book reads as follows:

This certification grants a Scout the right to carry and use woods tools. The Scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:

  1. Read and understand woods tools use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.
  2. Demonstrate proper handling, care, and use of the pocket knife, ax, and saw.
  3. Use the knife, ax, and saw as tools, not playthings.
  4. Respect all safety rules to protect others.
  5. Respect property. Cut living and dead trees only with permission and with good reason.
  6. Subscribe to the Outdoor Code.

The Scout’s “Totin’ Rights” can be taken from him if he fails in his responsibility.


The wording on the back of the Totin’ Chip Card shown above, is slightly different, but the requirements are the same (except the introduction and the last part of number 3):

My Responsibility

I will take this card to my Scout leader or someone designated by my leader and do the following:

  1. Read and understand woods tools use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.
  2. Demonstrate proper handling, care, and use of the pocket knife, ax, and saw.
  3. Use the knife, ax, and saw as tools, not playthings. use them only when you are willing to give them your full attention.
  4. Respect all safety rules to protect others.
  5. Respect property. Cut living and dead trees only with permission and with good reason.
  6. Subscribe to the Outdoor Code.

The older versions of the Totin’ Chip card (No. 4234, 34234 and 34234A), shown below, are also in wide use and are still valid.Old version of Totin' Chip Wallet Card (4234)Old version of Totin' Chip Wallet Card (34234)Old version of Totin' Chip Wallet Card (34234A)

 

 

 

Totin’ Chip Course Outline – Download an outline for a thorough Totin’ Chip and Woods Tools training session.

Firem’n Chit

Firem'n Chit Wallet Card Firem'n Chit Patch

The Official BSA Firem’n Chit is the Wallet Card (No. 34236B)
and/or Patch (No. 08599) shown above.

The Firem’n Chit Patch is considered a “Temporary Patch” and, if worn,
should be worn centered on the RIGHT Pocket of the Boy Scout Uniform Shirt.
It should NOT be sewn on a pocket flap


The requirements in Boy Scout Requirements (34765) read as follows:

This certification grants a Scout the right to carry matches and build campfires. The Scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:

  1. Read and understand fire use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.
  2. Secure necessary permits (regulations vary by locality).
  3. Clear all flammable vegetation at least 5 feet in all directions from fire (total 10 feet).
  4. Attend to fire at all times.
  5. Keep fire-fighting tools (water and/or shovel) readily available.
  6. Leave fire when it is cold out.
  7. Subscribe to the Outdoor Code and Leave-No-Trace.

The Scout’s “Firem’n Rights” can be taken from him if he fails in his responsibility.


The wording on the back of the Firem’n Chit Card shown above, is slightly different, since it is stated in the first person, but the requirements are the same.

My Responsibility

I will take this card to my Scout leader or other person designated by my leader, and show I know the following:

  1. I have read and understand fire use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.
  2. I will secure necessary permits (regulations vary by locality).
  3. All flammable vegetation must be cleared at least 5 feet in all directions from fire (total 10 feet).
  4. Fire must be attended to at all times.
  5. Fire-fighting tools (water and/or shovel) must be readily available.
  6. Fire must be cold out before it is left.
  7. I subscribe to the Outdoor Code and Leave-No-Trace.

The older versions of the Firem’n Chit card (No. 34236 and 34236A), shown below, are also in wide use and are still valid. The wording on the backs of these cards differ from the current requirements.

Older Version of Firem'n Chit Wallet Card Older Version of Firem'n Chit Wallet Card

Totin’ Chip Course

What is the Totin’ Chip?

The Totin’ Chip is a card issued to a Scout authorizing him to use wood tools. It is like a license or permit that can be revoked if he fails to show proper responsibility.

Wood Tool:

Is any tool used to cut or work with wood. Additionally it could included other tools such as: shovels, hoes, rakes, picks and a variety of other hand tools.

BSA Has set the following requirements for the Totin’ Chip

  1. Read and understand woods tools use and safety rules found in the BS Handbook
  2. Demonstrate proper handling, care, and use of the Ax, Saw and Pocket Knife
  3. Use the Ax, Saw, and knife as tools not playthings
  4. Respect all safety rules to protect others
  5. Respect property. Cut only dead and living trees with permission and good reason
  6. Subscribe to the Outdoor Code

The Outdoor Code:

The Outdoor Code is a creed an oath to remind a Scout of the importance of caring for the environment.

  • AS AN AMERICAN, I WILL DO MY BEST TO –
    BE CLEAN IN MY OUTDOOR MANNERS,
    I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
  • BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE,
    I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only where they are appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • BE CONSIDERATE IN THE OUTDOORS,
    I will treat public and private property with respect. I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.
  • AND BE CONSERVATION-MINDED.
    I will learn to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forest, minerals, grasslands, wildfires, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.

Wood Tool Safety:

The most important thing when using any tool is – Safety, Safety, Safety.

bloodcircle

  • Blood Circle – a method of safely moving the tool around you to determine if your work area is free of  obstacles that could cause potential problems.
  • Ax Yard – an Ax Yard is a marked off area, possibly with rope, to form a safety barrier. The idea is no one except the person using the tool is inside, this keeps other from being accidentally hit and or hurt.

Defining the Safety Circle

The circle is found by holding the blade of the cutting instrument (never the handle) in the hand used for cutting, and slowly swinging the arm in a 360° arc. The far end of the handle marks the limits of the circle. Any person or thing within this circle is considered to be at risk of injury. While it is never a good idea to enter another person’s blood circle, it is customarily the responsibility of the knife-holder to clear the circle, or to move if the circle cannot be cleared. Safety Circle

  • “Thank You” – the magic words of working with tools. If you decide to gave a tool to someone, you will not let go of it until the other person say “Thank You” letting you know that – that person has it and will not drop on you or anyone else.
  • Carrying the Tool – there are proper and not so hot ways to carry tools. For example a shovel should be carried at your side with your hand half way down the handle with the shove blade down but out in front of you. While a hand ax the blade is carried in the hand, and a large ax you carry with the blade facing the ground and your hand about halfway on the handle so that it is angled to the ground.Place a sheath over an ax blade whenever it is not in use.
    • Carry an ax at your side with one hand, the blade turned out from your body.
    • If you stumble, toss the ax away from you as you fall.
      Never carry an ax over your shoulder.
    • Safe storage, sheathe your ax and store it under the dining fly or in a tent.
    • On the trail, a sheathed ax can be tied or strapped to the outside of your pack.
    • This is the second most important thing when it comes to tools, safety being first.
  • If you are working in an unsecured area such as a trail use “Coming Through” and “Go For It”. “Coming Through” tells someone near by that you will be passing through his work space. “Go For It” tells you that person has acknowledged that you are there and has stopped working to let you safely pass through.
  • Gear – What type of gear should you have and or wear when working with these tools. For example if you are using an Ax shouldn’t you be wearing boots to protect your feet, long pants to protect your legs, long sleeve shirt to protect your chest and arms, gloves to protect your hands, goggles to keep flying wood out of your eyes, and a hard hat to keep a branch from knocking you silly. This may seem a little over kill and it might be, until one or all of these things could have save you from a lot of pain and your life.
  • Tool Wheel – The tool wheel is a method of storing all the tools in one place safely. You do this by laying tools down one after the other to form a circle, some tools are safer if standing up, place these in the center of the circle.

The Guide to Safe Scouting states

Knives

A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.

Remember—knives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.

Rules everyone should use when using any kind of hand tool:

  1. Always be safety conscious
  2. Select the right tool for the job
  3. Maintain a safe distance from others
  4. Be sure the tool is in good condition
  5. When not using the tool keep it in a safe place
  6. Use gloves and a hard hat
  7. Pass the tool to another person with the cutting edge down or away from anyone
  8. Mark tools that are damaged clearly so no one else tries to use them
  9. Never throw or run with a tool
  10. When you are carrying a tool on flat ground carry it in your primary hand and if your on a slop carry on the downhill side
  11. Be sure of your footing when using tools

Remember safety first, and safety always!

When used improperly tools can be very dangerous. We can replace tools but we cannot replace eyes, arms, legs or people…

Tool Care

This is the second most important thing when it comes to tools, safety being first. If your tool is not in good working order, it could result in great injury to those around you.

The first part to caring or repairing anything is to know its parts.

axparts knife

 

There are many things that could go wrong with a tool, the chart below outlines a few of them:

The Problem

How to Fix

Dull Sharpen the blade. Also remember things like shovels, hoes and McLeods need to be kept sharp, too. (FMI “Sharpen you knife”)
Loose Head and Handle Check handle to make sure it is still in good shape, including its strength. If it still seems to be in good shape tighten the head by adding a wedge into the spot where the handle meets the tool. Soaking it in water works for a short time.
Loose Knife Blade If the knife is in good condition, but the blade is lose, in other words while holding the knife in one hand and the tip of the blade in the other hand you can wiggle the blade. To fix, place the rivet of that blade on a hard (preferably metal) surface and lightly tap the rivet with a hammer 2 or 3 times. Be careful not to damage the knife.
Tool is Dirty and Rusty Clean the bulk of the dirt off with a wire brush and maybe some water. Use a clean rag to get the rest of the dirt off. If the tool is rusty use some oil like 3 in one or WD40 and sandpaper to get it off. Dry the tool and place a good thick layer of oil on it. Paint may help protect the tool. For small tools, like a knife, use Q-tips and oil to clean.
Broken Handle To replace a broken or weak handle, you must first work the old handle out of the tool – this is the hardest part. I have found using a drill to remove the center of the handle works the best. Clean inside the “eye” (where handle and tool meet). Try to insert the handle – it will probably be to big, if it is whittle it away little at a time until it fits snugly. Once the handle is in the tool, secure it with a wedge.
Weakened Tool If it is a replaceable part – the replace it, otherwise safely discard the tool and replace it.

Sharpening a Knife

Sharpen your knife with a whetstone (a sharpening stone). Depending on the stone, will depend if you leave it dry, use a little water, or a tad of oil. Top sharpen a knife, hold the blade against the stone at about a 30 degree angle. That means that back of the blade will be tilted of the stone one-third of the way to vertical. Push the blade along the stone as though your slicing a layer off the top of the stone. Make sure you sharpen each side of the blade the same number of times, to make the blade as sharp and durable as possible. Then whip the knife off with a clean cloth, and you’re done. The below graphic might help you.
sharpknife
Getting a feel for the common problems of a tool makes you wonder why most people don’t check their tool before using it. Always inspect the tool before using it.  Use the 4 S’s which are:

  • STRAIGHTNESS – Hold the tool upright, and look down it’s handle is it straight? A warped handle can be dangerous.
  • SMOOTHNESS – Carefully run your hand down the handle making sure there are no rough spots or splinters.
  • SET the head of the tool on the ground at a 45 degree angle and left the butt of the handle, and then press it down in the middle of the handle. If the handle doesn’t crack or bend it is fine.
  • SHARPNESS – Check for sharpness visually. When a tool is sharp the cutting edge is shinny and smooth. NEVER RUN YOUR HAND ALONG THE BLADE.

How to use the tools
Using the tool is probably the most thought of part, but as you have seen it is not the first all though it is equally important with the other parts. We all know that when you are using a knife you always cut away from yourself, when using an ax you cut at an angle to form a “V” in the wood, and when using a saw you cut in long even strokes with the front part of the blade lower then the back.
axcut

Camp Saw

A camp saw is the right tool for most outdoor woodcutting. The blades of folding saws close into their handles, much like the blades of pocketknives. Bow saws have curved metal frames that hold their blades in place.

Saw Safety

Saw teeth are needle-sharp. Treat every saw with the same respect you give your pocketknife. Close folding saws when they aren’t in use and store them in a tent or under the dining fly. Protect the blade of a bow saw with a sheath made from a piece of old garden hose the length of the blade. Slit the hose down on one side, slip it over the blade, and hold it in place with duct tape or cord. You can carry a folded camp saw inside your pack. With its sheath covering the blade, tie a bow saw flat against the outside of your pack.

Using a Camp Camp SawSaw

  • Brace the wood to be cut against a solid support.
  • Use long, smooth strokes that let the weight of the saw pull the blade into the wood.
  • When sawing a dead branch from a tree, make an undercut first, then saw from the top down. The undercut prevents the falling branch from stripping bark and wood from the trunk.
  • Make a clean cut close to the trunk so you don’t leave an unsightly “hat rack.”

Cut saplings level with the ground so there’s no stumps for someone to trip over. After learning about how to use the tool safely and care for it you must Demonstrate your ability to use the tools. This not only gives you hands on experience, it gives you a chance to correct any problems you might have in using the tools.

fuzzstick

What happens if you do something wrong

If someone is using the tool incorrectly there is few things you can do depending on the severity of the problem. Of course the first thing to do is stop it right there and then.

  • You may have a corner on your Totin’ Chip removed, for normal problems
  • You may have up to 4 corners removed, depending on the severity of the problem
  • Once the individual has lost all 4 corners that individual has lost the right to use any tools, until he has re-earned the Totin’ Chip. Each unit has its own way of doing this, the most common being just retaking the course (this is the BSA recommend method), or some other units make the individual teach the course.

 The Totin’ Patch

The Totin Patch is NOT to be worn on your Class A Uniform, it’s for your patch collection.

Totin’ Chip Test
Based on information found in the Boy Scout Handbook.

Name:                                                                                        Date:
Patrol:                                                                                       Score:
Knives

1.) Always use (how many) __________ hands to close a pocket knife.

2.) Cut _____________ from you to prevent injury.

3.) What should be done with the blade before passing it to a friend? ___________________

4.) A sharp knife is easier to control then a dull one. True or False? ____________________

5.) Keep your knife sharp and ________________.

6.) The Boy Scouts of America does not encourage the use of __________________ knives.

7.) Sharpen your knife on a ________________ holding the knife at what angle? ________

Saws

8.) Name two types of camp saws. a) ________________ b) ____________________

9.) Wear ___________ and protective _______________ when using a saw or ax.

10.) When sawing a branch from a tree, first make an ___________________, then saw from the top
down.

11.) When not in use the saw blade should be ______________________.

12.) What is the “set” of the saw blade? _______________________________________.

13.) Use ___________, smooth strokes when sawing.

Axes

14.) Name the parts of an ax.

15.) Do not use the ax if the head is __________ or __________.

16.) How much clearance should you have when using an ax?

________________________________________________________________

17.) Always keep an ax ____________________ when not in use.

18.) Chopping branches off a log is called ______________________________.

Cutting a log to lengths is called _________________________________.

19.) Explain the contact method of using an ax.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

20.) Hand an ax to another person by holding the handle with the ax head _____________.

21.) Sharpen an ax with a _______________ file and make sure it has a ___________ guard.

22.) When bucking a log, make should that you aim your blows so that you cut a V-shape that is

____________ as wide at the top as the log is ______________.

General Stuff.

23.) List two reasons why cutting tools should not be left lying around.

______________________________

_______________________________

24.) Respect property. Cut living and dead trees only with ____________ and good ________.

 

To print this material, click, here

Firem’n Chit Course

Objective: Instruct students on proper use and safety of heat sources


Introduction


What is the Firem’n Chit
Requirements of
What does the Firem’n Chit Cover
Outdoor Code

The Main Course


Three things a fire must have
Science of Fire
Types of wood
Fire Layouts
Fire usage and weather considerations
Starting a fire
Fire Safety
Low Impact

Ending


Tests
How to get help and additional resources

 Introduction

Everyday Americans experience the horror of fire. But most people don’t understand fire. Only when we know the true nature of fire can we be prepared ourselves. Each year more then 5,000 Americans die and more then 25,000 are injured in fires many of which could be prevented. It is interesting to note that children of all ages start 100,000 fires annually. Approximately 25,000 of those fires are set in houses. That children make up between 20% – 25% of all fire deaths and that over 30% of the fires that kill children are set by children playing with fire.

It is really important to learn about fire if you’re going to be a Scout, although the lessons are useful for any child. The skills taught in this course will be invaluable for adults too, fire handling skills are vital wherever you are. Not just for those who have seen a trip to somewhere exotic on www.fly.com or a similar site, you could be camping near your home town or even making a barbecue in your own garden and use these skills. Knowing how to make and control a fire is vital. Learning the safety procedures involved with fires save lives, both now as a Scout but also in the future.

What is the Firem’n Chit:
The Firem’n chit is a card issued to a Scout authorizing him to use fires and other hot objects.

BSA Requirements for the Firem’n Chit are:

  1. I have read and understand fire use and safety from the Boy Scout Handbook
  2. I will secure necessary permit (regulations vary by locality)
  3. All flammable vegetation to be cleared at least ten feet in all directions from fire
  4. Fire must be attended to at all times
  5. Fire-Fighting tools (water and/or shovel) must be readily available
  6. Fire must be cold out before leaving
  7. I subscribe to the Outdoor Code

What Does the Firem’n Chit Cover:

  • Fires
  • Stoves
  • Lanterns
  • Fire Starters
  • Any Hot objects

The Outdoor Code:

The Outdoor Code is a creed an oath to remind a Scout of the importance of caring for the environment.

 

AS AN AMERICAN, I WILL DO MY BEST TO –
BE CLEAN IN MY OUTDOOR MANNERS,
I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.

BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE,
I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only where they are appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.

BE CONSIDERATE IN THE OUTDOORS,
I will treat public and private property with respect. I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.

 

AND
BE CONSERVATION-MINDED.
I will learn to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forest, minerals, grasslands, wildfires, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.

 

 

Main Course

 

Science of Fire::

What is fire? Fire is a chemical reaction, between different chemical compounds or elements, each has stored energy. With the right mixture a fire will happen. For example, for a fire to occur these items have to come together: heat (ignition source); fuel (something to burn); and oxygen (air). Remove any of them and the fire will not happen.

The main types of wood:

  • Wood Hardness:
  • Hard: good for slow burning fires that yield long lasting colas. Hardwood trees usually have broad leaves which most of them lose there leaves in the fall (deciduous)
  • Soft: make a hot and fast fire that is short-lived. These trees have needles (cedars, pine) and cones. Most are evergreen (ones that don’t lose there needles) except larch, cypress, and tamarack.
  • Tinder: Tinder absorbs moister easily and may be least effective when you need it most. The mountain men knew to keep their tinder dry.
  • Dry grass, dry leaves, and very fine fibers of dry bark, such as birch or cedar, are types of tinder you may be able to find outdoors. Usually, the finer the tinder the better. Start with a base of fine tinder and form a teepee-shaped pile, about 2″ high, with larger tinder over the finer.
  • Char cloths are how our forefathers started fires. They used dutch ovens to char cotton cloth, and often used a gun flint to set sparks to the cloth. To make char cloth, cut up old denim jeans, or some other dense cotton fabric, into small 1″ to 2″ squares, and char these by burning them in a closed container such as a can, dutch oven, or ball of clay. If using a can, poke holes in either end using a nail, make sure there is not paint or fumes in it, and that you can get the lid off afterwards. Place the squares loosely in the can, and cook on a bed of coals (don’t do this in your oven where the smoke and smell can get out of hand). Try to keep the smoke that is blowing out of the can from catching fire, and be careful lest the lid blows off the can. The char cloths are done when no more smoke blows out of the nail holes. The cloths should come out soft and black, with no residual fabric. If not completely soft and black, they have not cooked enough. Use char cloth for tinder to catch the spark on from flint and steel. When the spark catches and the cloth glows red, place it quickly in some tinder, dry grass works great, and blow into flame.
  • Dryer lint from cotton or wool fabrics is a modern favorite. However, take care not to use lint from synthetic fabrics…it melts instead of burns.Pitch or waxed fire starters are easily made from paper dipped in wax, pitch, or tar.
  • Magnesium shaved off a magnesium block/flint and steel kit is highly flammable. Use a pocket knife to shave off the block a nickle-sized pile of magnesium slivers.
  • Old web belts or compression straps also make great fire starters. Cut the belts/straps into 3″ to 4″ long strips, soak them in wax, and let dry.
  • Kindling: Younger scouts often seem to forget the kindling, and then wonder why their fire won’t light when they try to set spark to just tinder and a few large pieces of wood! Remember, wood requires more heat than kindling to ignite. Therefore, it is essential that some form of kindling be used to feed a fire until it gets hot enough to ignite the larger pieces of wood.
  • Dead twigs that snap in two when bent. Don’t use green twigs that are still flexible, and obviously, the drier the twigs the better. Soft woods, particularly evergreen twigs, are best, and split twigs burn faster than whole ones.
  • Fuzz sticks are dry sticks shaved on the sides with a knife so that the shavings are still attached to the stick.
  • Fuel: A good supply of fuel needs to be gathered BEFORE building the fire. Use what fuel is available, keeping in mind that the drier the fuel, the better.
  • Dead, dry wood is best. Generally, the denser the wood (in other words, the heavier it is), the hotter the fire, and the slower it burns. Wet wood, green wood, and wood with lots of pitch will burn, but tend to smoke. However, almost any wood will burn if the fire is hot enough. Also, splitting the wood helps. The finer it is split, the better it burns, and the less smoky the fire.
  • Cow chips, as long as they are dry, will burn. Although they smell, burning cow chips helps keep the mosquitos away. The greener the are they more they smell, and the less likely they are to burn!

Four main types of fire layouts:

  • Tepee
  • the traditional standing triangular fire base, with tinder underneath the standing twigs and logs. Allow enough room for air circulation in and between the logs. This type of fire is used in calm weather when you want a tall flame.
  • A basic fire that is quickly built and can be used for small campfires, or to start other fires. Push two crossed sticks into the ground next to tinder. Lay kindling on the crossed sticks and over the tinder in the form of a teepee, and add larger pieces of wood to the outside. The high flames of a tepee fire are good for one-pot cooking and reflector ovens.
  • Log Cabin
  • rectangular layout of logs built on top of each other like a log cabin with ignition source in the middle and bottom. Will collapse on itself as fire consumes material. Method allows for adequate air circulation and ease of adding additional layers. This type of fire is better for harsh conditions, or when big fires are wanted.
  • This is a large fire that is built by criss-crossing logs and sticks in the shape of a pyramid with a hollow center. Place the largest logs at the base and build up to a top of kindling. Tinder can be placed at the top, and the fire will burn from the top down, or a tepee of tinder and kindling can be placed in the center of the log cabin if it is well ventilated with an open framework. Log Cabin fires are good for group campfires with lots of people. Although they make lots of coals, which can be good for cooking, log cabin fires tend to be large, making it hard to get close to them.
  • Lean To
  • Alternate, stick the end of the stick in the ground at an angle and lean other smaller sticks against it. Put tinder inside and light from the open end. This type of fire is used when the wind is coming from only one direction, it is also great for cooking as the flames are all on one side.
  • This type of fire is mainly a cooking fire that creates a nice bed of coals for Dutch Ovens or for roasting. Build the fire against a large log by placing tinder and kindling next to the main log and leaning wood against the log and over the tinder. As fuel is added, it is leaned against the main log, which acts as a reflector and allows coals to bank up against the reflector.
    • Charcoal

 

Please note that the Scouts nor the adults are allowed to use any kind of gas on a campfire for any reason. Not only is it dangerous, but is just not a good example to set.

    • Usage
    • Cooking: Fires are great to cook on or over
    • Entertainment: Many groups like to have a campfire program around a fire or at least tell ghost stories and whittle on a piece of wood.
    • Weather: Always keep an eye on wether, things like rain, snow and especially wind make a big difference on how you build a fire, and how big a fire may be allowed to become.

 

Starting A Fire:

Scouts love fires, and even though the ability to build a fire is one of the most important survival skills that a scout can master, many scouts have trouble getting a fire started.

Some things to remember:

    • Choose the Location for your fire carefully.
    • Spark, Tinder, Kindling, and Fuel are all required to build a fire. Keep them dry.
    • Light your Fire by shielding your match from the wind, and light the fire on the downwind side.
    • Fires need Oxygen, so don’t smother yours with too much wood.
    • Extinguish your Fire properly when done.

 

Spark:

All fires begin with a spark. There are many ways to make a spark. Here are some of the more common.

    • Matches – These should be carried with you at all times in the outdoors (remember they are one of the ten essentials). Make sure your matches are “strike anywhere” type and waterproof them by dipping each match in nail polish or paraffin wax. After dipping, place the matches in corrugated cardboard to dry, and roll the matches up in cardboard. It is good idea to put a piece of sandpaper in your waterproof match container to use as a striker.
    • Flint and steel – One of the safest and most reliable ways of starting a fire is with flint and steel. Magnesium blocks with attached flints are readily available these days in most Sporting Goods stores, and magnesium scraped off the block with a pocket knife makes great tinder. Use a key chain to attach a broken hacksaw blade to the magnesium block, and you have a ready made steel striker that will prevent wear and tear of your pocket knife. Strike a file, hacksaw blade, or knife against the flint to shower sparks against your tinder (a char cloth works great here), and watch for a wisp of smoke or a glowing red spot when a spark catches on the tinder. Once a spark cathces, blow on the tinder until it bursts into flame.
    • Cigarette lighters – Actually just a modern form of flint and steel. It is a good idea to always have at least a couple of cigarette lighters among your ten essentials.
    • Battery – A little known trick is to conduct electricity from flashlight batteries through steel wool. Use a very-fine grade roll of steel wool, cut or tear the roll into strips 1/2″ wide, and unroll the strips to 7″ or 8″ long. Although one battery will work, two are better. Place the batteries on top of each other in upright positions. Take one end of a strip of steel wool and hold it against the bottom of the lower battery, then rub the other end of the wool across the top of the top battery. When the steel wool sparks, place it next to the tinder, and blow on it to start a fire. An electric spark from a car, snowmobile, boat or airplane battery can also be used to ignite a rag dampened with gasoline. However, DON’T DO THIS NEAR YOUR FUEL SUPPLY!
    • Magnifying glass – A magnifying glass in direct sunlight with the point of light focused on dry tinder will cause the tinder to smoke and eventually break into flame. In an emergency any convex lens will do, including camera or binocular lens.
    • Rubbing two sticks – This was how the California Indians did it. Most used a softwood drill, a bow, and lubricated hand socket, together with a hardwood fireboard to create heat that eventually lit tinder. It is important that one of the woods (either drill or fireboard) be soft and the other hard. Woods commonly used were Yucca for the softwood and Oak for the hardwood. A notch is cut in the side of the fireboard through which a drill will pass and rest on a flat, shallow grooved surface below. A socket (lubricated with grease) is held in the hand and allows the drill, which is rotated back and forth with the bow string, to turn freely without hurting the hand. As the drill rotates, a fine dust results that becomes hot from the friction of the drill. When the dust starts to smoke, it is placed on the tinder, and blown on until it bursts into flame. Starting fire by rubbing two sticks together is a difficult skill to master, but some experts can start a fire in literally just a few seconds using this technique.

Lighting a Fire:

  • Select a sheltered area that is out of the wind and located where the fire won’t spread.
  • Use dry tinder, or tinder which is highly flammable even when wet, such as birch bark or pitch.
  • Have all the kindling and wood on hand before you strike the match.
  • Use the match to light a fire starter, such as waxed paper or a sliver of pitch, then use the the fire starter to acually light the fire.
  • Start with a small fire and add to it as the flame increases. Blowing lightly on the burning wood helps to increase the flame. Also, add kindling above the flame, and use dry dead, wood.
  • Keep your firewood dry by palcing it under a shelter, dry out damp wood near the fire, and save the best kindling for starting the next fire.
  • Build as many fires as possible without using matches, and save your matches for emergency uses.
  • It is easier to keep a fire going than to light one. To make a fire last overnight, place a layer of dry, green logs over the coals at bedtime, to keep the coals smoldering till morning.

 

Rules:

  • Dig a pit from overhanging branches
  • Circle the pit with rocks
  • Circle a 10 foot area around the pit down to the soil
  • Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire
  • After lighting, do not discard match until cold
  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby

Needed Gear:

  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Adult Supervision

Putting Out A Fire:

Knowing how to extinguish a fire properly is just as important as knowing how to start one.

  • Break up the fire with a shovel spread out the coals evenly.
  • If water is available, sprinkle it over the coals while stirring them with a shovel. Continue sprinkling water until the coals are cool enough to touch. Do not to pour large quantities of water on hot coals, lest a sudden rush of steam burn you or any bystanders.
  • If water is not available, stir dirt thoroughly through the hot coals, and cover with dirt at least two inches deep. Buried embers can continue to smolder for quite awhile, so check them frequently, and don’t leave until all the coals are cool enough to touch.

Location:

  • Fire is your friend but it also commands respect. Even a small fire, if located in the wrong place, can spread to become a forest fire burning out of control.
  • The best place to build a fire is on solid rock, mineral soil, or sand. Fires built on dry grass, leaves, evergreen needles, or dead roots are forest fire hazards..
  • If the ground is dry, scrape down to bare earth. In winter dig down to dirt, or stomp down the snow if it is deep. If the snow is very deep, a small fire can be lit on top of a layer of green logs.
  • Never build a fire against an old stump.
  • Build the fire next to water, or have a supply of sand nearby, in case the fire needs to be extinguished quickly.
  • Never build a fire under a tree, especially in winter. Hot air and smoke rising from a fire can cause melting snow to slump off the tree and fall in the fire. It can also ignite dry humus and leaves to set the tree on fire.

 

Low Impact:

  • Build fire only where allowed
  • Use existing fire rings and pits
  • Collect wood only if it is plentiful and then sparingly, otherwise being your own
  • Make sure your fire is dead out
  • Scatter ashes, cover black spot with dirt and ground cover to erase burn scars

Tests:

Trick Questions:

1) Would you ever put a burning stick up your nose?
2) Would you ever walk over a fire?
3) Would you ever play around a fire?
4) Is there ever a time you can burn down a forest?
5) Does green (wet) wood burn good?
6) Do you ever run around a dead fire?
(Answer to all these are no. Even 6, which is because there is no running in camp)

Serious Questions:

1.) In many public parks & grounds you may need a _____________ to build a fire.
2.) In areas where campfires are not allowed you may need to cook on a ________________.
3.) Name two of the four fuels commonly used in camping stoves.
4.) Never leave a lighted stove _____________________.
5.) Always keep a campfire under complete ____________________.
6.) If you must prepare a new fire site remove a (how many) _______________ foot square piece sod and place it in a _________________ place with which side up?
7.) What are the three categories of materials needed for a proper fire?
8.) What is a fuzz stick? When is one used?
9.) Name three types of campfire ‘fireplaces’.
10.) When putting out a fire sprinkle ______________ on the embers, then _____________ the embers with a stick.
11.) When water is scarce, what two items can be worked into the coals to extinguish the flames?
12.) When using charcoal, you should light the briquettes how many minutes before you need them?
13.) What should a fire site be examined for before leaving the site?
    • Demonstrate

    • Have the Scouts, I usually let them do this in small groups, light a fire using what they learned in the course. You can make it more interesting by telling them they will only be able to use 2 matches and this pile of wood. Just make sure they have everything they need to start a fire safely.

 

Additional Help and Resources:

  • First and foremost the best place to find information on this subject is the Official Boy Scout Handbook and Official Boy Scout Field Book
  • You may also find information online by using a search engine such as http://www.google.com

Conclusion:

A fire is a good tool when use safely and carefully, but can turn deadly if not used properly. Keep an eye on everything, don’t let things get carried away. Remember Safety First, Safety Always.