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November 2015 Issue

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About Alexander Theberge

Alex is the former creative director of The Maine Sportsman. An avid fisherman and professional photographer he enjoys everything about the outdoors.
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Fowler’s Fire – Part 2

Our story so far: Zachary Fowler is in Patagonia in 2016, competing against nine other contestants in the History Channel’s reality television show “Alone,” attempting to survive the approaching Andes winter by maintaining a warm fire in his hand-constructed hut. After his initial failure to light the damp tinder, Fowler “went berserker” and wore a “sizeable divot” in his ferro rod, but succeeded in lighting his first fire. Enjoying his pot of warm fish-head soup, he reflected on the struggle to light that first fire. He knew he had to figure out a way to keep the embers glowing all night long, so he could get his fire flaming each morning. He remembered reading about maintaining a fire, in a small paperback book, back in Appleton, Maine before the start of his adventure: As I lay there at night in my shelter thinking about how to best keep a fire going, I remembered an old book I had picked up at a garage sale. I recalled it so vividly that I could practically see in my hands the yellowed paper and paperback cover of the booklet, which was about 3/8ths of an inch thick, and which featured an illustration of a wood stove on the front cover. It was a book about firewood, fireplaces and how to best run different styles of wood stoves and open fire places. A page in the book sprang to mind. It showed an open fireplace with three round logs piled against the back of ...