#AskPaulKirtley Episode 25: Carving Wooden Utensils, Exploding Rocks, Dangerous Gases, Worn Firesteels, Sleeping Bag Condensation and Snapchat Weirdness

by Paul Kirtley

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In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about getting started with carving utensils, exploding rocks in the campfire, dangerous gases in heated tents with wood burning stoves, what to do with worn firesteels, whether charcloth has a shelf life, reducing sleeping bag condensation and what on Earth are we up to on Snapchat?

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Links For This Episode of #AskPaulKirtley

Elementary Wilderness Bushcraft Course
The Woodcrafter Course
How To Create Really Big Sparks With A Swedish Firesteel
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What Is #AskPaulKirtley?

#AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions about bushcraft, survival skills and outdoor life.

The idea here is partly to take the strain off my email inbox and get answers out to people in a more timely fashion.

Rather than send an answer to just that one person, I’d like others to benefit from the answers too. So, just in the same way I’d previously write an email answer, here I’m going to speak the answer (which is much quicker than me typing out an answer, so I’ll get more questions answered as well as benefiting more people).

Click here to find out the different ways you can ask me a question.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

Carving A Set Of Utensils For A Frost River Utensil Roll

Winter Woodland Wildcamping: 21 Tips & Tricks

Staying Warm Outdoors: Avoid The Four Horsemen of Heat Loss


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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David McNeil

Thanks for answering my question, I really appreciate you taking the time. As it turned out, I kept at practicing with the firesteel long enough that the worn tip finally broke off on its own. I have since worn the middle 1/3 down to the same shape and will be taking your advice and replacing it soon. I agree that the ergonomics change enough where using a new one makes more sense.
One more word to the wise: using a firesteel in your backyard with nice dry tinder material is quite different than using a firesteel with material you find in the woods, including feathersticks. Make sure to practice with material you get from the woods to get an idea of the difference.
-Many thanks, Dave


Kev Baldwin

As ever, an interesting episode Paul. I was watching closely for more signs of beerage there but you concealed it well. Obviously a master!
Thanks once again for some great content.



Hi Paul
Excellent discussion all of it! I really stress the importance of packing absolutely dry charcoal in the wilderness. Yes, you can start fire or other applications; however, if not mentioned this material can
be an absolute medicine if taken internally? Food poisoning or water borne pathogens remain dangerous
always, and crushed charcoal is in-fact a proven anti-dote. It is as you say-it absorbs! I speak from
hard experience-water borne illness three-days from possible medical help! Too weak to walk, at the time. Giardia, etc., including other “bugs” no fun in the bush.


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