Starting a Fire in Wet Weather
Prepare a Good Location
For any fire to survive in wet, windy weather, it needs a good fire pit. That means something where the coals will be able to sit up out of the water, such as on a bed of stone, rather than just having a ring of stone around the fire. It also needs a windbreak, which can consist of a pile of rocks, a stretched out rain poncho, or a pile of wood for the fire.
This fire should be laid where it will be protected from the rain, such as under the branches of a tree. Just make sure that the branches are high enough, so that there is no risk of the fire catching.
Find Dry Fuel
Finding dry fuel in the midst of a storm is extremely difficult, but there are a few places where you can almost always find it, such as:
The bottom side of a deadfall
Caves or overhanging embankments
A thicket in the woods – the tree branches do an amazing job of stopping the rain
Dry tinder is almost impossible to find in a storm, which is why our ancestors carried a tinder box, with some dry tinder in it. You should carry something like this as well, with either commercially manufactured tinder in it or homemade tinder.
The term accelerants is normally used in conjunction with the crime of arson. However, it is appropriate for what we need for starting a fire in wet weather as well. In this case, the use of a flammable liquid can really help. Unfortunately, carrying those liquids with you might not be safe.
Rather than carrying flammable liquids, you can make a great fire accelerant from petroleum jelly and cotton balls. All you need to do is scoop up roughly a teaspoon of the petroleum jelly on the backside of a spoon and work it thoroughly into a single cotton ball sitting in a bowl. Once prepared like this, these fire accelerants can keep for months in an airtight container. Keeping you prepared for the next time you need to start a fire in wet weather.