Episode 13: The Burning Bed
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Episode 13 and show notes on the next page!
Outdoors Aloud Episode 13
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– OntarioRAT 7, Becker – BK9, TOPS, Firestrike 45, Ka-Bar Cutlass
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Survival Spotlight: I fell into a burning bed of fire!
Alright, one of my favorite little fire/sleep systems is the firebed, and for those of you that are unfamiliar with this concept… yep it’s a bed you sleep in made out of fire. And no, it not just for guys who commonly participate in domestic violence!
The traditional application of this survival skill is to be used during a cold weather survival situation in wilderness conditions. The main goal is to substitute for lack proper clothing or sleep system. With possible hypothermia knocking at your door, you need a method to rest but ensure a minimum loss of body temperature.
The focus of this skill does have emergency application during winter survival situations, but as we know hypothermia can happen anytime of year if the conditions are right. Furthermore, for that ultra light camper or someone who perceived less was more in reference to a sleep system may find this technique a fun challenge and a useful tool.
The firebed offers a high level of comfortability with a realitivley small amount of survival gear, skill, or training. Who knows, this may save your life one of these days!
The Fire Bed Warning
We are playing with fire here, quite literally! So be careful and safe. The man concept is after constructing a good bed of embers, we are going to insulate their energy with earth to construct a sleeping area that will maintain a relatively consistent temperature throughout the night.
This technique also requires a lot of set up and can damage your surrounding. Root systems can be damaged when digging. Furthermore, it is possible to cause underground fires through root systems that can travel miles and re-manifest into live fire in other areas. So again, be careful and safe.
The Challenge of the Firebed!
Like I said before, building a firebed can be somewhat labor intensive and fairly time consuming. So it’s applications in a survival situation is going to be very conditional. One of your first objectives is locating a prim piece of real-estate that will serve all you firebed requirements. This should include but not be limited too:
Away from overabundant large root systems
Rain and wind breaking features
Relatively soft ground (especially in the winter)
Very abundant source of dry fuel wood (Hardwood if you can find it)
Insulating and bedding material and
It may or may not be possible to locate a site with all of these features for your firebed. Keep aware of your surrounding and possible alternate locations the will assist in minimize your exposure to make your firebed as effective as possible. Just make sure it’s as level as possible, and is large enough to lie down on.
Step One… Dig a hole!
First we need to get ourselves a good digging instrument, be it an E-Tool or a stout stick. Your hole or trench should be on average about 6 to 8 inches longer than you and about 6 to 12 inches deep. Remember outstretched arms to the side finger tip to finger tip is the same distance as head to toe. The trench should also have some concavity to it which will assist with air flow during you burning of fuel wood, you can also use rock to assist increasing area for air flow. If the ground is too hard because of the cold, start with the fire first to thaw out the ground.
Step Two… Fire it up!
After starting a good fire inside you trench the challenge real comes being able to judge the amount of coals your going to need. Use the fire for all you water purifications or cooking needs first. After you have established a hot bed of long burning coals (keep with your hardwoods, the more dense the longer they burn). It is hard to tell how much you are going to need. A good rule of thumb is the bed of coals alone should be kicking out an abundance of heat. So hot it difficult to spread them out with a stick shorter than two feet long.
Step Three… Dirt Time!
This is the part people get nervous about, your going to throw dirt on the fire. Start to burry you coals slowly. Applying even amounts of dirt to about the three inches on top of the coals. Then start patting down the earth to make sure not coals are surfacing. One little trick to do is through on a large amount of green material right before you start adding dirt. This will produce a lot of smoke and visual show you areas where there need to be more dirt.
Step Four … Dry Insulation (Fluffy Stuff)
Due to the fact we don’t always have the most effective or efficient clothing due to this little concept known as style, we can be unprepared with our attire. We can use some dry fluffy stuff can help us maintain or heat, regardless of weather or season conditions.
Know get some good rest, if it gets too hot for you, you don’t have enough dirt of extra material placed on your bed. Good luck out there.
Mother of 3 Jailed Hikers Bound For
Gear Pick of the Week:
Survival 550 Wristbands
Quote of the Week
“Fear the man that only has one gun, and always has it with him, he probably knows how to use it.”