Monday, July 11, 2011

The Spark of Life

Not the good kind of fire. You should
probably stay away from this one.
Hello class. I hope you enjoyed your vacation last week, but it's time to get back to the grind. Survival is not a part time job. If you quit surviving for even a moment it's impossible to start again. Once you're out, you're out. A person cannot survive after failing to survive. With that in mind it's time to begin our training again. Today we will discuss that obsession of so many young males. (Not that! Get your mind out of the gutter.) Fire.
Fire is one of the most essential elements of survival. It provides warmth, light, a place to cook food, a way to sanitize water and gives you a sense of security. A sense, mind you. Not actual security. There is no guarantee that zombies will burn. They are mostly water, just like all humans. 

Carry these at all times.
Exposure is one of the single biggest risk factors in a survival situation. (Zombies are, of course, a bigger risk factor.) Hypothermia will kill you just as surely as a being bitten by the infected or falling off a building. Remember that survival is our goal here, not killing zombies. If you die from exposure you are still dead. Fire can help prevent this. In a post apocalyptic situation there is a good chance there will be no working heat, so being able to light a fire is essential. [We will cover fire-making methods in a future lesson.] With that in mind there are a few things you should always have with you. Matches, a lighter (preferably Zippo for the ease of use) and flint and steel. A person should have one of these on them at all times, except in airports (unless you enjoy being fondled by strangers.)

Your family has died of dysentery.
Food will also be an issue in an extended survival situation. Powerbars will only last you so long. Eventually you will need to cook food and boil water. Having that fire will allow you to do that. Stoves aren't the most common things in the wilderness, and cooking ranges in buildings may not be working. Any water you take from a lake or stream MUST be boiled. An infected zombie may have fallen in and we don't understand the limits of the transmission of the Zplague yet. Boiling the water will kill any germs in it. Nobody wants to go the way your family did every time you played Oregon Trail.

Remember, fire saves lives.

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