Monday, March 26, 2018

"Fire Making: The Forgotten Art of Conjuring Flame with Spark, Tinder, and Skill" by Daniel Hume

My husband is a natural with fire. When out camping long before we were married, one of our lanterns was faulty. Without it, we were in darkness come nightfall. He was able to start a fire just out of the supplies he scavenged from the dead light and tinder he found.

If I'd of been out there alone, I probably couldn't have done that. 

There is something really joyful and powerful and human about building a fire. It's even calming. It's something I found I enjoyed so much (despite sucking at it) I wanted a fire pit. I'm sadly still horrible at making fires. 

And I was really happy to come across this book. 

This book was a wonderful read. Both for my sucky-fire starting self and my anthropologist-self because it covers the author's experiences studying this art with masters from all over the world and even takes time to show traditional tools. One section even gives you some fire myths. Don't worry, the step by step fire-maker stuff is there, and it blends seamlessly with the narrative. There are more illustrations like you'd find in an instruction booklet than photographs, but that's a good thing. Those illustrations are more helpful and what photography is included is simple yet stunning. 

The methods covered range from fire thongs to chemicals, so whatever your ability or aspiration with making flames, this is useful. You'll find information on building a platform for your fire and even ways to carry it with you. Safety and responsibility are in here, too, and steps to make sure you clear your fire without marking the land. This, for sure, is your comprehensive guide. 

And it was an amazing read. Get a copy of this for your already fire-making friends, get one for the people who struggle to strike a match, and get one for yourself because there is nothing that comes close to the experience of making a fire. 

"Flying Sparks" digital work

**Credit to the photographer for the background image in the illustration** unsplash-logoAndrew Walton @w_andrew_j (instagram)

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