How To

How To Make and Stoke a Fire With a Blow Pipe

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Using a set of bellows to stoke and tend your fire, if you can find them anymore, is far safer than sticking your lips and eyebrows down by the coals not to mention your proboscis (farther up gents…).  However, carrying them with you isn’t too convenient.

I call the item pictured at left a “blow pipe”. It ties easily to the outside of a pack or pack basket.  It is simply constructed from an 18-24″ length of 1/2″ copper tubing with a cap soldered on one end and a 3/4″ to 1/2″ reducer soldered on the other.  A 1/8″ hole is drilled in the cap end.  A fancy handle can be fashioned from 6-8 gauge ground wire and soldered on also, but isn’t really necessary.

 

It is used by pointing the cap end with the hole towards the desired coals, puckering up and blowing in the reducer end.  Just as if you were blowing on the fire with your mouth vary the distance until the sweet spot is found.  Much safer and more effective.  It also works well as a fire poker.  It’s obvious by the blackening that the one pictured has been well used.  Just remember that solder melts at fairly low temperature so holding it right in the fire is not good.  I suppose you could pin the cap on, but the only problem I ever saw was an inebriated young man who passed out while stoking the fire and left the cap end in the coals.  The blow pipe also has enough heft to fend off attacking raccoons, spiders, snakes and inebriated young men.

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