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ainmsiul81
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 9:34 am 
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In his book on Alaska, Muir relates how he used a dry punk (now called a piece of "punk wood") and a candle and twigs and wood shavings to start a fire (in a driving rainstorm).

I know what a punk is (from the Irish/Scottish Gaelic "Punc", meaning "Spark").

Does anyone know how he actually used the punk and his short candle and some twigs and wood shavings?

I assume he used a match, but his book does not actually say that.

Thanks.

Mac
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Mike Collins
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 11:04 am 
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Youtube knows a lot of stuff.
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ainmsiul81
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 11:19 am 
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My question is about how John Muir started a fire.
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Mike Collins
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 11:44 am 
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FWIW if John Muir was looking for punk wood in the Pacific Northwest one of the best places to find it is at the bottom of the pistol butts of trees on slopes. That is useful knowledge when you need dry wood to start a fire.
http://www.monkeypuzzleblog.com/2013/07/a-whole-row-of-pistol-butt-hemlock.html
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 5:53 pm 
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I had some friends in ND who would pick up small pieces of punkwood on the shore of the Missouri river, they would light it and smoke it like a cigar, lol.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Bernardo
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 8:29 pm 
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I would guess he lit the candle with a match, and used that to get the other material going. A candle is a great resource for getting a fire going in difficult conditions.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 8:43 pm 
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I accidentally came across a different way to start a fire...I was camping at Goat Lake and it had rained the night before and my fire kept going out. Then I found a Doritos bag that a previous camper had left. It burned hot and the fire was going good after that. A good reason to bring a bag of pretty much empty calories on a backpack trip.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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80skeys
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 2:59 pm 
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I've got a friend from Alaska who last time we went camping showed me a few tricks. He carries small candles (tea candles). And he carries a small pencil sharpener which he uses to make shavings for the fire. And a couple other related tricks, I can't remember. I'll ask him about it.

Placing wet tinder above short tea candles will provide flame for as long as the tinder needs to dry out.
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Bernardo
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Pencil sharpener for shavings is a nice idea, but a knife will work if that's all you have.
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