Originally Posted By Dave H
I appreciate all the info. I agree that preperation is best. I was thinking about worst case scenario. My son camps with the Scouts. Let say he sets up camp and he (and presumably a buddy) wander away to explore some and get disoriented. Now they are lost. A great way to get found is a big plume of smoke. A fire would keep you warm and has some positive pyschological benefits as well. So if you had to start a fire with only what is in your pocket. He carries a knife and a lighter in his pocket.

I will work with him on finding the dry tinder with the many suggestions offered here.

As a parent there is a lot of comfort in knowing that your son knows what to do and how to take care of himself. As a scout leader you see that even well trained boys sometimes make bad decisions. Sometimes it takes a lot of going over things to get it though.

Being a scoutmaster, I would say first, get the kid a whistle. If he wanders off, he is much more likely to be found by blowing a whistle, then lighting a fire. But, it is still a skill he needs. I have noticed that scouts need a lot of training before they understand how to get a good fire going. Actually, the same applies to adults as well. Practice.
To add to that, it is important that he carry a lighter AND matches. He also needs to know how to properly use both. I let my scouts play with matches (with safety in mind, of course). They need to see the problems that matches have, and how to overcome them. The same with lighters.

Edited by finallyME (01/26/12 10:03 AM)
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