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  1. On the subject of a dark room, my master bath has a South facing window, so I took one of those cheap solar sidewalk lights and laid it on the window sill with the solar charger facing out and it makes a great night light. Heck I think it has lasted for probably 2 years or more and when you get up at night no one even knows your in the bathroom, so no need to close the shades. At times I have even used two if you want more light, as I said they’re cheap, and they cost nothing to operate. Trekker Out

  2. One game I used to play with my boys was to see who could build a fire the quickest with flint and steel. We had the old-time flint and steel kits like the mountain men used. On “Go!” we would have to go gather up kindling, bring it back to our camp, then see who could strike enough sparks to get the charred cloth tinder going and blown into flame under the kindling. It was a lot of fun and a good way to teach kids how to properly build a fire and get it going quickly. In a survival situation, a fire has as much psychological benefit as it does for cooking and warmth.

  3. St F,

    When I was participating in Rendezvous, one of the competitions we had was called the “Woods Walk.” It consisted of a series of tasks that would have been common while out on the trail or while hunting during the 1700’s and 1800’s. One task was to start a fire from scratch with whatever you were carrying and what you could pick up off the ground within a few steps of where you were standing. The Task Master timed you and often had a bucket of water nearby. That water was for dousing your flame but also was used for a sneakier purpose. He would ask you to hand him your tinder which he would then dunk into the water! NOW, you had to start your fire! Eek! One trick that worked very well was to include thin strips of birch bark In your wad of tinder. Birch bark burns even when wet. It’s a wonderful bit of trivia to know.

    My best time was 18 seconds which was good enough, in addition to shooting both a muzzle loader and a bow & arrow, throwIng a tomahawk and a knife and setting a small spring jaw trap (btw, not easy to do in a full length skirt and a tight bodice), to place first among the women who competed that weekend. I had a lot of fun and learned lots of helpful survival skills while making lots of good friends. Wish we had the time and opportunity to do that these days, but alas, we have more important ways to spend our time now – prepping and maintaining a ranch. As my stepson jokes ….. “Let’s move to Texas, we’ll buy a ranch…it’ll be fun!” So…. I put him to work every time he comes up for a visit. Gotta make him earn my home cooking. ‍

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