Build a Life-Saving Fire Bed

•It's cold enough to freeze whiskey, and you're stuck in the woods without a bag? Make like a pot roast and construct a life-saving fire bed.

  1. [1] Scrape out a trench in the dirt about a foot wide and 8 inches deep. Line it with very dry, egg-to fist-size stones (wet rocks from a stream or lake can explode when heated).

  2. [2] Next, burn a fire down to coals and spread a layer throughout the trench. Cover this with at least 4 inches of dirt and tamp it down with your boot. Wait one hour. If the ground warms in less than an hour, add more dirt.

  3. [3] Check the area twice for any loose coals that could ignite a makeshift mattress. Then spread out a groundsheet of canvas, plastic, or spare clothing. Pine needles or evergreen boughs will work in a pinch.

  4. [4] Ease onto your fire bed and snooze away.

--T. EDWARD NICKENS