Suddenly it became a competition to see who could start a fire, and we were scrambling to find dry wood in our race to the flames. We were literally down to our last match when we had ignition. I learned to find a rotten log,look underneath carefully—-bugs—and scoop out dry wood pulp.
I learned that wood pulp tip from the winner.
But now I was curious about how cooking fires could have been started by long-ago travelers across the plains.
I later bought flint and steel, then practiced making a nest from dry grasses and watching a spark ignite inside the bundle. It's easy--if you do it exactly right. Trying to rush the process didn't bring success, but only made it longer for me. The laws of nature do not have a fast-forward button. A lot of processes don't.
Perhaps I learned something useful.