DIY Pocket Bellows

by: Mark Young

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you know sooner or later everyone who goes into the woods and builds a fire it's going to experience a problem either getting it lit keeping it lit or trying to get it reignited after it dies down if we go back to our basic fire making from bushcraft 101 we learned we know that there are three elements to building a fire first is the heat or the ignition source second is the fuel and the quality of the fuel and the third of course is oxygen so given that we have flame or we have the means to make flame we'll take that one out of the equation let's analyze the other two it's either the quality of the fuel meaning it's a little bit too wet was a little bit too big to start with or wasn't the right fuel just to get the fire going and sustain it you didn't have enough of the smaller stuff any of those ones could be within the fuel and of course the other arts or the other thing we have to look at is the oxygen if we pack the fire to type that we smother by putting too much fuel on it too soon well we can look at those things but here we are we're in a position where the fires not working so well what can we do well we can try and add some smaller kindling to it we can try and move the fire lay around so we have more oxygen moving up through it but then let's see if we can add more oxygen to it now most often what we do is we get down on their knees and we blow with the fire the other option is to take something like my sis pad here and wave it at the fire both very effective I'm not a big fan of getting down on my knees and bone at the fire if I don't have to I will of course if I do need to but you know it invites getting down on my old knees but all some plates get a face full of smoke as well not everyone carries a sip pad with them but if you have it it can be very effective or hat I've used my tele hats during the summer for the same effect but recently I was watching the video for by Dean from the Alberta bushcrafter channel and Dean was reviewing a product which I'd seen before and I think most of you had seen it was the pocket bellows version 3 from epiphany gear and Dean gave it quite a high remark or quite a high mark he did some testing on screen I encourage you to go watch Dean's video and I was quite interested in that and I commented today and I said Dean I really like that object there that device but I'm a little thinking that I don't know that I want to spend the $27 Canadian and Dean replied back he said well you could all take an antenna off occurs I said well I don't think I want to risk the vandalism charges but he said well how about one of those telescopic hot dog sticks you can get a Canadian Tire that got me thinking I had a few things around the house that might actually work so I went down to my workshop and I pulled out three things and the first thing I pulled out was a selfie stick now I've already modified this one it's a dollar store selfie stick it's quite long I'll give the measurements of my finished product in the show notes below it's not bad it's you know it's not anywhere near as compact as the pocket bellows is but it might work the second one I goat was actually I went to the dollar store to get this one because I remember seeing it there and this is what's left of one of the dollar store hot dog sticks for holding over the fire I don't buy for that purpose because I didn't even have to put much twisting on the fork on the end of it that popped right off so it's probably better off being modified to one of these and I'll show you one of these things I bought two of them I'll show you one that I haven't modified just to give you an idea what they look like this is nice smaller than the selfie stick but still not quite as small as the pocket bellows is but I like it it even had a small silicone ring on the end of it for holding I guess or so I don't burn my let's rephrase my lips I guess more likely and the third one is something I had already had and I had tried this before and it worked quite successfully and that is one of those small extendable or telescopic inspection mirrors they have a small one-inch little time in a mirror on it that you can hold underneath something that you can't see with your eyes and the mirror had broken and I save the telescopic part not one to throw it away and this is the boat is closed and size as the as you can get without actually buying the pocket bellows and I quite like this it's small enough and pocketable enough to use and that's what I'm going to do today is I'm going to try these out both on my firebox stove as well as a camp fire and compare them now it's not a which one is better it's just a couple of options to show you I'll even use my ship ad to see how that works out and we'll just try a couple of things to see if we can get the fire after it burns down if we can get it reignited and get it going again with one of these devices hope you enjoy so here's a good opportunity right here I was busy filming my intro to fire in my firebox guy down and anybody who owns small sticks those knows you gotta you gotta tend them firebox make it better than most what you got attendant ly if you don't have a small for a good supply small sticks ready to go and pay attention to them they'll very quickly burn out and leave nothing but ash I've got just a few hot coals left in the bottom of this and you stick here that I'm ready to drop in yeah just coals in the bottom now and this is going to be a good test to see where how these pocket bellow devices work on something like the firebox stove so I have do have some dry small pines that will drop in

like the larger pieces of time that are also dry and these are pieces of what I believe is poplar questionable on how dry they are let's just give this a go all right so you can see it's starting to smoke there's no live flame in there right now first one I'll try is the selfie stick a little long I can shorten that up though let's give that a go I'm going to be blowing first through the port on the side of the stove and then we'll blow into the top and I can tell you right now all right did get a little flame going not a real fan of the of this one I think the large diameter the blow through is too short doesn't deliver with enough force so now I'm going to use fire cuts going anyway this is the hot dog stick or hot dogs barbecue pork now that's pretty effective

we're pretty good finally the inspection mirror

that certainly brought that back in a hurry I think it might have come back in on its own but you know that much quicker the woods a little suspect this is one way of bringing it back even faster all right let's try it on a full fire so my fire is struggling a little bit here I've got the would probably spaced a little bit too far apart it's not the best wood it's what I've been collecting around the woods here I suspect it could be drier but that's a good good test of these pocket bevel devices so it's going but it's not going with a lot of force and I think if I don't tend it it's going to start to drop down so first thing we'll do is we'll try the selfie stick well that helps do a lot of fan of the selfie stick just too big

grab acute pork

yeah that that works pretty good I like that and the instruction mirror

pretty small diameter

barbecue pork again yeah without question best one of the three so far nice

so it's going to film this section over this portion of the video and my fire I had was intentionally let it die down I put a some wood on it I knew not to be too dry and it was waiting for it to die down it died down and I was getting ready to carry on with this section and it would apparently dry it out enough that it caught on its own but we're going to give it a try anyway I'm trying to not work within the wind itself but still allow you to see what I'm doing so let's traditional traditional is getting down giving a face full of smoke but blowing on it it can work it's not my favorite let's give that a go

yeah that helped a little bit makes me a little woozy I guess you know something else has been recommended I see occasionally is and I'm not sure that I can do this properly but it's to take my fingers make a small diamond hold it up to my mouth and apparently it makes the small vortex or a small path for the air to go through and blow through that at the fire and you don't have to be too close parent to make this work all right there's a trick to it I don't know I can't make that work any better than just blowing on it but I'll probably try more often than not if I don't have on this pocket develop devices just to take my pad and that works works well but still you know between the sip pad and the pocket bellows device both work rocket bellows just seems to be a little easier

all right my fire seems to be building back up again I think it's time to make some lunch okay so just a few thoughts in closing the three devices that I tried the selfie stick the barbecue fork and the inspection mirror of those three the barbecue fork is the one that I found that the most effective a little larger I suspected I'll do some comparisons I guess and put it on the screen the comparisons against the pocket bellows but I think the pocket bellows is very close to the selfie stick and sighs making the barbecue fork just a little larger but I think it's worth the difference now this is not a condemnation of the pocket bellows in fact I suspect it's a much better quality designed specifically for doing this with if you feel you want to spend the money you don't want to have to go out and get one of these things that you modify yourself I think it's a fine device there's no question about it I have never owned it I've never handled it I really can't say one way or the other how good it is but for me I think this is probably going to be something I carry in my fire kit or in my backpack most of the time it you know we all struggle once in a while with the fire and it's good to have something there yes you can use your hat yes you can use your set pad you could get down on your knees and blow any small tube would probably do the same thing to a certain degree but this one certainly did an excellent job of keeping my fire going or reigniting it or really boosting the flames in it so that's all this video is intended to be to show you that there are some options that it is worth considering having something that you can use to keep your fire going or to add oxygen to it don't forget the basics ignition source we all have multiple ignition sources in our first in our fire starting kit fuel smallest kindling right up to two the fuel should be dry should be quality should be of the right size and consistency not too rotten obviously not green and when you go from there proper fire build allow for oxygen to be able to move through your your fire build and when you run into trouble and we all will sooner or later something like this will really go a long way to keep that fire going okay so if this is a video that you found valuable to you you got something out of it I would encourage you to subscribe to my channel hit the like button and right next to the subscribe button now is this Bell and it's a notification bell so that you don't miss future videos share it with your friends and in the meantime until the next video comes out get out and explore here it is the first day of February my lord what a beautiful day I was actually hoping for where they were the weather was calling for some snow I had a few flurries didn't didn't actually happen but my god what a beautiful day I'm glad I came out get out and explore take that path less traveled it'll make all the difference

More from this creator:
Everyone has difficulty starting or maintaining a fire once in a while. Sometimes additional oxygen is all that is needed. In this video I demonstrate three DIY pocket bellows that might help Pocket Bellows 3.5" closed 21" open Selphie Stick 8.5" closed 34" open BBQ Fork 6" closed 30" open Inspection Mirror 4.25" closed 20" open

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