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

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Is Bamboo the ultimate firestarter?

It can be split with a Swiss Army Knife, shaved down into tinder, carved into kindling, and then laid over the fire to burn to length effectively doubling your fuel every couple of minutes. It can be had cheaply at your local home improvement store and is as dry as can be.

The downside? It does seem to burn fairly quickly.

However, a walking stick made of bamboo would provide you with more than ample firebuilding materials to get other found wood to burn. That could make a huge difference in a situation where you and everything around you is wet and the cold is setting in.

There's so much more bamboo can do as a natural resource but using it to build a fire was my objective yesterday and, at that, it passed with flying colors.

Thanks for reading,



At 1:27 PM, Blogger Pablo said...

Good grief. Never thought of that one!

At 1:35 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


I knew you could use bamboo to start a friction fire using the fire saw technique but this, using shavings and a firesteel or lighter, is MUCH easier.

I'd advise to split the bamboo before trying to burn it just because it does have air-tight chambers which could explode sending sharp splinters everywhere. (I don't know whether or not that would happen but the possibility makes me shudder a bit.)


At 4:24 AM, Blogger The Suburban Bushwacker said...

On one of his shows Ray Mears showed how the Sami people of the sub arctic carry hollow stalked plants with them as a lightweight-hot burning fire starter. In the UK I’ve used a plant called cow parsley as it lights a little quicker than Bamboo and doesn’t require and knife work to get in ready.


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