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Firemaking Workshop

We often take for granted what is readily available to us. We use fire or heat on a daily basis just to meet our needs. When the chips are down, knowing how to make a sustainable fire, in an emergency situation, you and your family can count on, can not be overstated.

Fire is a basic tenet of survival. We rely on fire to Keep us warm, purify water, cook our food, and provide us psychological comfort. It is also used to help make tools.

This workshop will cover various methods of starting a fire without matches or a lighter.

  • batteries
  • chemical reactions
  • ferrocerium fire starters
  • parabolic reflectors
  • the use of water bottles as magnifiers
  • bow and drill
  • hand drill**.
  • Other commercial emergency fire starting devices

Knowing how to start a fire is only part of the equation. Making a sustainable fire is the other. We will not only cover common tinders, from natural to man made, but also how to process larger pieces of wood in order to make fuel that will catch a spark.

**The handdrill (my favorite) is the most basic of friction fire-starting methods used throughout North America, but can also be the most elusive to learn. There are many factors that come into play, proper wood selection, combinations, notch, and technique. We will discuss all of these things that come into play and how we can do certain things to become more efficient and increase our chances of getting a fire by rubbing two sticks together.


  • We will also construct a simple alcohol stoves that you will take home with you and can put into your go-bag.
  • We'll also learn how to make a small candle from a common item some of you probably carry on a daily basis. This candle works well to keep you warm when combined with an immediate action shelter, which we will also discuss.
  • We'll learn how to construct a simple stove using a roll of toilet paper and other items, useful for cooking and heating.


We'll gather and meet at the Santa Fe Dam Nature Center

From the 605 FWY take the Live Oak or Arrow Hwy exit and go East. On Azusa Cyn Rd make a left and follow the road up the hill to the park entrance. When you come down on the other side of the dam, at the first STOP sign make a right. Follow the road to the second STOP sign and make a left. follow that road back to the nature center and look for the Navy Blue Expedition with a survival skills sticker on the back window.

Be advised, there is a park vehicle entry fee. If you wish not to pay the fee, you can always park somewhere outside the park and walk back to the nature center or ride a bike. (about 1.25 miles back to the nature center). You may consider carpooling with your friends to help offset the vehicle entry fee.

Google custom map here>>>>,-117.946215&spn=0.020608,0.042272

What to bring

  • Appropriate clothing (We will be outside)
  • a pocket knife, or small fixed blade knife
  • snacks
  • hydration
  • Any personal fire-starting device you would like to work with
  • Empty soda can

...Restrooms are available

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  • Krystyn L.

    Had a really great time and learned so much. It was even better because it was rainy and things were all wet....

    December 3, 2012

3 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Firemaking Workshop

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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