If you have access to food, water, and shelter, you can survive almost anything, but fire is nearly as important. It provides warmth and light (survival torch) and gives you the ability to sterilize water, cook food, signal for help, and keep predators at bay.
Since any self-respecting prepper already knows how to start a fire without matches or a lighter, we will focus on how to make a Survival Torch that will allow you to signal for help, move that fire to another place, or light your way into darkness.
All you need to make a Survival Torch is a stick, a wick, and some fuel. These can be natural items in the forest or items from your hiking backpack.
Three ways to make a survival torch in the forest
Method 1: Prepared Prepper (survival torch)
Depending on the contents of your backpack, you may find that you have enough materials to make what some consider the best survival torch in the world.
- The wick is fabric.
- Fuel is vegetable oil.
- The handle is a parka.
To make a survival torch, you needed to bring cloth and oil, which you probably would have done if you were an experienced survivalist. The material can be anything from a pair of socks to a bandage to an old T-shirt, and you can use any oil you bring with you for cooking as fuel.
How to do:
- Cut off a green branch, river reed, or something similar to use as a pen;
- Tear the fabric into strips;
- If necessary, melt the butter over a fire;
- Thoroughly soak the strips of cloth in the melted butter;
- Wrap the fabric tightly around one end of the stick.
The main issue with this method is that as the wick burns, such small pieces of burning tissue will fall off, leaving behind a dangerous trail of smoldering tissue. If you have access to wire, you can use it to protect the wick and reduce the risk of wildfires.
Method 2: Minimalism (survival torch)
This method is ideal when a sudden change in the weather turns a day’s walk through the woods into a fight for survival. All materials can be found in the forest, so all you need to do is take a green branch for a pen and a few strips of birch bark to serve as fuel and a wick.
How to do:
- Holding the handle of the branch vertically, make cross-cuts at one end with a knife;
- Now split the branch along these cuts as shown below;
- Open the splayed ends of the branch;
- Cut off strips of birch bark and wind them around a spread stick, keeping in mind that if you want a more significant flame, then do not stuff the birch bark too much in the place where the stick is split, but in such cases, the torch will burn out faster. For a longer-lasting torch, stuff birch strips tightly at the splitting point of the stick.
Method 3: Use resin
This survival torch is practical. If you’re trying to survive where there are few birch trees, this is an excellent alternative to the birch bark torch above.So you’ll start by splitting the end of the wand to create a receptacle for your wick and fuel.
Now you need to get and collect resin from pine or spruce. These trees produce wax to protect themselves, so it usually forms where the bark has been damaged. This soft resin can be easily removed with a knife without causing any harm to the tree. The wick can be made from a pinecone or a spare pair of socks.
Now that you have collected all the materials let’s study the process of creating such a survival torch.
How to do:
- Secure the handle by sticking it into the ground with the split end up;
- Use chopsticks to temporarily hold the split ends of the handle open;
- Melt the resin over the fire using the used canned food. You can then cover your wick with a molten pitch by dipping your torch into it;
- If you do not have the means to melt the resin, you can smear it on the wick of your choice in its original form, although this may not be as effective;
- Insert the wick into the split ends of the handle;
- Remove the sticks this will secure the wick more firmly.
Now you have three ways to make a survival torch in the forest, and you should be able to survive in any woods in the world. It would help if you did not rely solely on birch bark or pine resin but could find suitable alternatives in any environment.
Use the survival torch to send a distress signal, and hopefully will arrive before dark, and you won’t have to use it to keep animals at bay and light your way.
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