Monday, January 25, 2016

Book review: Fire Skills 50 Methods for starting Fires without matches

Recently I received a copy of the book Fire Skills 50 Methods for starting Fires without matches by David Aman and as a outdoors enthusiast I was thrilled. The book covers many excellent ways of starting a fire out in the field, some obvious and some less obvious. As a outdoors enthusiast learning only a handful new ways to start a fire was expected.
Fire Skills 50 Methods for starting Fires without matches and my Fällkniven F1 and a ferro-rod

The author covers everything from a bic lighter, storm proof matches, solar power, different fire drills and some chemical ways of starting a fire. I genuinely think every outdoors enthusiast will find something new in this book. However the author seems to imply that matches are the best way of starting a fire. I disagree. Matches suck! They are unreliable and inefficient. They work well indoors for lighting a candle or similar. But out in the field they tend to get wet, blow out, break or all three. In my experience a bic lighter and a ferro-rod are the best and most reliable ways of starting a fire in almost any condition. A better title could simply be: 50 methods for starting a fire.

The text in the book is informative and well written. However the visual appearance is unpleasant to say the least. The book lacks an index, the text seems to be blurted out from a windows notepad or similar simple text editor. The book lacks layout, the text is often cut off mid-sentence by a picture. The pictures are few and every one is disappointing. They seem to be scans of non-digital photos taken with a pocket camera. The focus is way off in most pictures, depth of field is insufficient, they are dark and many times obscure. In my opinion every "skill" should be explained in text and detailed drawings. Drawings work better for explaining purposes.

Summa summarum the book is crammed with information and could be a fun gift for someone who isn't picky when it comes to layout and graphics.

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