American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Firestarting Gadgets

So I picked up one of these and one of these from Emil Banks of EBPrimitives on eBay a while back and have been playing around with getting an ember from the fire piston into the metal canister to start a fire.

I've had mixed success with the fire piston and Emil has been very gracious in helping me along the way. I now have a much better understanding of the process and can regularly get an ember.

The fire piston is not new technology but it's not something I've played with much. The premise is fairly simple relying on compression to ignite the tinder inside the chamber. If at first you don't succeed, clear the chamber before trying again.

Fire needs oxygen and having a chamber full of smoke from a misfire robs the tinder of the oxygen needed to combust. This is where I was failing. Blowing into the chamber and/or just waving the opening into the air fills the chamber with fresh air and will dramatically improve your odds.

The gist:Put your tinder (charcloth or a piece of EB's fire biscuit,) place the piston into the end of the chamber, and hit the back of the piston driving the piston into the chamber. This compression ignites (should ignite) the tinder. Pull the piston out of the chamber and move the ember from the tip of the piston to the "X" on the metal canister. If your tinder (cedar bark) is dry enough you should be able to just blow on the ember gently until the tinder ignites.

If you don't have the metal canister you can use other natural materials like jute twine, dry grasses, cattail fluff, etc. to get your fire going.

Thanks for reading,



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