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

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tinder Prep

It's been about a week since a discussion of fire has come up...

Dan and Spen at JRE have loaned me a Bark River TUSK for a few days to try it out, form some opinions, and write about them here and on Knifeforums.

It's been pretty hectic around here lately with parties, sick kids, and a sinus infection but today I'm going to set aside some time to get out back and prep some natural tinders and maybe some of the homemade variety to give you an idea what sort of setup you'll need to catch your spark whether it be made from a Firesteel, a hand drill and hearth setup, a piece of flint and a steel, or even a fire piston.

Without tinder you're just wasting effort getting that ember/spark. Having properly prepared tinder will dramatically increase the chance of your ember/spark becoming a nice roaring fire.

I've read lots of discussion online about various natural tinders working "best" and have some problems with that line of thought. What I have seen, through experimentation, is that almost any material, when properly prepared, WILL take a spark and can be blown into a flame. You need lots of surface area with the ability to circulate plenty of oxygen. That means your material should be nice and fluffy whether it be cattail down, cedar bark, dry grass, or even cotton balls. Mashed down tinder just won't work.

The weather's looking a bit overcast today so getting tinder dry enough to ignite could be a real challenge. I'll pull out the Hilleberg 5XP to provide me with some shelter in case of rain. It's also been treated with Permethrin so that should provide me with a little bit of bug protection.

We'll see...

Thanks for reading,



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