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

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fatwood Bundles

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder it's time to start thinking about firestarting equipment and skills again. This is something that's always near the front of the mind (after all, smoke deters the mosquitoes during the summer) but as the temperatures drop in the next couple of months it should move right back up there.

I started bundling my fatwood and jute twine sometime last year to streamline my firestarting gear and to insure I had enough tinder to get a fire started in any situation.

Four or five fatwood sticks wrapped with a couple of feet of jute twine give you tinder (fluffed up jute,) kindling (split pieces and fuzz sticks of fatwood,) and small fuel sticks if you still need them.

I suppose you could also wrap a few pieces of charcloth in the middle of the bundle and strike a light right into the bundle and blow it into a flame. Think of it as a primitive/natural match. It may be more trouble to manufacture something like this than it is to just bring matches but it might make a nice show for the kids or folks you camp with.

Often I'll scrape a piece of fatwood for my tinder, split the remainder for my kindling, and pile one or two pieces to feed the fire as it gets going.

These bundles are easy to toss into a pack and I'll usually carry a few in my bedroll for emergency firestarting use should I need it.

Thanks for reading,



At 8:15 AM, Anonymous said...

Interestingly, "fatwood" seems to be a term used in more southern areas of the US. Up here in NH the word is not in common use, though it is well known that pitch burns well and is useful for starting fires.


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