Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Posted: 4/13/2010 6:14:19 PM EST
Fire steel ,Cotton balls and petroleum no problem !!!

I can make huge roaring fires that I cook chickens with, but remove the cotton balls and the ferro rod is usless....

Question is... How do you make tinder that will ignite with the ferro rod?

BTW... Burch is the only NATURAL way I've been able to start a fire.

Frustrating
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:18:13 PM EST
God gave me gas, diesel, kerosene, cooking oil, dryer lint, and rum.  Why-o-why would you drive your blood pressure up over making a fire?
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:20:15 PM EST
Dried leaves, any type of thin dry grass.

Leaves will usually light with some effort.

Dried grass: make sure it is the thinnest, dryest grass you can find, and work some of it into a bird's nest shape.  Spark it up with your rod, and gently blow when it begins to smolder.  Hope that helps.

Also, check Youtube for videos on this... they are out there.
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:21:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:26:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:32:59 PM EST
Quoted:


The cave man wasn't smarter than we are he just had more experience is all.  

Tj


True that... at least when it comes to learning stuff.  I bet the first guy to figure out fire felt like a million bucks, but I bet it took a long process of trial and error.
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:36:38 PM EST
I'm you tubing right now,
and I've been practicing several different survival skills, but tonight I though i would see  what I could do.

As always TJ a wealth of wisdom, thanks!
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:37:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 6:40:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 4:31:12 AM EST


Thanks Tj, I'd love to hang out with you for a week and  just learn...
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 4:54:27 AM EST
hemlock skelaton branches work awesome. Underneath a hemlock tree you will find lots of very thin little branches down low on the tree as well as on the ground that are dead. Theese little guys burn really well.

If you make your nest with birch bark shavings and theese you will have a fire going in no time!


I
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 5:44:11 AM EST
Tinder Fungus.

See my thread on it.

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=10&f=17&t=566465
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 5:46:50 AM EST
I cheated somewhat and just used less and less of the man made easy stuff and more and more of the natural mother nature stuff.



When TJ said they did not pick a sleeping spot based on fire materials I was reminded how I often look for fire materials as I hike and if I plan to do a one match fire I will often pick up stuff along the trail for making the nest TJ talks about.



To some extent I sometimes cheat when camping.  If I have an mre with me and did not field strip it I have cardboard for tearing into small strips and getting things going.  So where some people see weight that could be lost I sometimes see laziness setting in.



And quality of sparking matters as well.  A few sparks from a rod and your pocket knife is one thing while the super sparker some folks have on here is better than some old matches I have gathered up when cleaning out my parent's house and what not.  I forget the name of the super sparker, I still use the rod in the magnesium block but these days the block is cut in half and I have a small container of shavings and I tend to use a hacksaw blade with the paint removed along the back edge for sparking the rod.



Then again I am out of practice what with cleaning up a building to help family sell it and me moving but now is the time for outside campfires from picking up sticks in the yard and what not so I might have to give it a whirl tonight.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 6:24:55 AM EST
I have to say I'm glad I ran across this thread b/c I was just about to start one on a similar topic. Six friends of mine and I spent the beautiful day yesterday out on my friends property. We set out to do some shooting and just spend the day outdoors. Now I will say that I'm still a novice outdoorsman but love camping and being out there learning about nature and what it can provide. A while back I had bought one of those Swedish Fire steels and had been itching to get out and use it. I finally got my opportunity. When we got there and unloaded everything we started gathering some dead grass, I would say about 8-10 handfuls. Making sure not to pack them too tightly I placed a good amount of dry twigs over them. Then I went to work with the fire steel. I wasn't as instant as I expected but after about 5 minutes I got a flame and started to fuel it with more twigs and dry grass. It felt GREAT to get that fire roaring with nothing more than what was laying around and some steel. I am interested in seeing how much more difficult it would be with damp material.

eta-Hopefully I'm not hijacking but It seemed relevant to the OP
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 6:42:04 AM EST
Easy answer.

Sock lint.

You always wear socks right?

You pull lint off of socks that you wear. Get a small amount with whatever tinder you can collect and you'll start a fire in no time.

I showed my son and one of his friends how to do this as they've gone through JROTC basic training and they had never seen or heard of this.

You don't want to ruin your socks by pulling threads out, but the top of a tube sock has quite a bit of lint that you can gather simply and quickly. This stuff will easily ignite and of course with the right tinder underneath it, that will light too.

Think about it, whenever you're outdoors you're wearing socks, right? So you have a expedient way to gather tinder that you always carry on your person.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 7:36:01 AM EST


lint from the dryer screen
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 7:37:49 AM EST
Birch bark is great. Dry grass. Leaves. Tinder fungus. Cat tail. Sycamore pods. If using leaves or grass, rough them up a little in your hands first..rub them together.

Worse comes to worse, you can make a feather stick. Little harder to get the fire started with a spark, but it works.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 7:59:12 AM EST
shred birch bark, take a peice of bark about the size of your two palms, shred it widthwise(into LAYERS), then layers again, then again... THEN trim the sheets into strips about 1/4 inch wideby 3 inches long, then curl them(like ribbon on presents), yo uought to end up with a ball about baseball size, use that.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 8:02:08 AM EST
Quoted:
You know I'm not being a smart ass here but practice...
Tj



It pays to have been a pyro as a kid

Like TJ said: PRACTICE!
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 8:12:11 AM EST
Still man-made, but you can scrape your jeans with a knife and use the fluff as tinder.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 8:38:55 AM EST
I'll have to agree with Tom Jefferson.  Practice.

When I first tried making fires I could run out every mosquito in the county and that was with using lighter fluid.  Went camping at Fall Creek Falls last month and lit every camp fire we make using the little magnesium flint steel thing.  The guy in the camp site next to us brought his kid out to watch.  

practice, learn what you did wrong and practice some more.
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:12:07 AM EST
Wild grapevine bark is a great natural tinder. Make it up into a birds nest and the inside must be broken up and very fine and dry. If done properly it easly catches a spark from my swedish fire steel. HTH, JEFF
Link Posted: 4/14/2010 10:57:34 AM EST
Bic lighters are cheap!



just saying
Link Posted: 4/15/2010 3:06:44 AM EST
Quoted:
Bic lighters are cheap!

just saying


And are just as notorious for failing.  
Link Posted: 4/15/2010 4:50:22 AM EST
A friend of mine is a 1800's rein-actor  and he told me that this is the answer

Early Failures

Many survival or scouting books give different instructions on how one can start a fire with flint and steel. These books suggest various materials that are supposed to catch the spark. I have tried many of them, and I can attest that the people who wrote those books had obviously never tried it! I tried all of the following materials without success : punk (the powdery dry rot from the insides of fallen logs), cottonwood fluff, fine dry grass, fine wood shavings, dry moss, and various lichens. None of these materials worked, although they all made excellent small kindling once I gave up and used a match.

The Problem Solved

For a clue, I turned to my copy of the Oxford Universal Dictionary, which defined tinder as "a flammable substance used to kindle a fire, especially charred linen" [my italics]. At about the same time, I stumbled upon an article on fire-starting by Mr. Warren Boughton in which he describes how to make charred cloth. I followed Mr. Boughton's recipe, and the results were amazing. When a spark hits charred cloth, it creates a tiny red spot, which slowly grows like a glowing fairy ring. It is impossible to blow out ; in fact, the more wind there is the better, as the spark simply gets hotter and hotter. The only way to put it out is by suffocation (which preserves the rest of the charred cloth for future use), or by dousing it with water (which ruins the char cloth). The amazing thing is that with the magic of charred cloth, in windy weather it is easier to start a fire with flint and steel than it is to use a match!

Making Charred Cloth

Here is how to put together your own tinder box, so that you can make a fire the same way that people did two hundred years ago. First, you will need some cloth. Linen is the traditional fabric, but 100% cotton works just fine, and it is a lot cheaper! You must be sure to use only completely natural fabrics. This is for two reasons ; first, synthetics didn't exist two hundred years ago, and secondly, they don't char —they melt, and leave you with a useless mess! Cut the cloth into pieces. I have had success with patches as small as two inches square, but I would suggest that you start with patches that are about four to five inches on a side.

Next, you will have to find a small tin can with a tight lid. A small paint tin would work. I have used both a small twist lid tobacco tin and a tea tin with success. You will have to punch two small holes —one in the top and one in the bottom of the can. The holes should be less than 1/8" in diameter. You should have two little twigs on hand, about six inches or more in length and whittled so as to fit snugly into the holes you punched in the tin. Some tongs will be needed to remove the hot tin from the fire safely.

Build a fire, and let it die down until you have a nice bed of roasting coals. (You could probably use a charcoal barbecue for this, if that is more convenient.) If this is the first time you have used your tin, I would strongly suggest that you put it in the fire to burn off any paint or oils that might be on the can. If you don't, these materials will ruin your first batch of char cloth. When the tin is black with peeling paint, take it out of the fire, let it cool, and brush off the ash. You will be left with a dark, mottled steel effect that has a certain charm.

Once your tin has been cleaned out, put the pieces of cloth into the tin, and tighten down the lid. Place the tin on or near the coals, and watch it carefully. The secret to charring cloth is that it is an anaerobic process — the chemical transformation of the cloth occurs only in the absence of oxygen. If air is present, then the cloth will not char ; instead, it will burn to ashes and be useless. As the cloth heats up, it gives off volatile gasses which rapidly fill the interior of the tin, driving out the air. These gasses are then vented to the outside of the tin through the tiny holes in the top and bottom. You will see these hot gasses ignite when they hit the air, and tiny jets of flame will come out of both ends of the tin. A lot of smoke also comes out of the holes of the tin, and this is what you must watch for. When the volume of smoke dies down, turn the tin over ; this will ensure even charring of the cloth, and will usually cause an increase in the volume of smoke. Once smoke has ceased to come out of the holes, then the cooking process is finished. Using your tongs, pull the tin out of the fire and immediately plug the two holes with the twigs. If air gets into the tin while it is still hot, then the cloth will burn to ashes. Set the tin aside and wait ten minutes for it to cool before you open it.

Problems Encountered when Charring

Properly charred cloth should be a uniform black. If there is still color left in the fabric, then you did not cook it for long enough, or the tin was not hot enough. I have found that putting it back in the fire to cook some more yields an inferior product. I would suggest that you start again from scratch. The cloth should not be sooty, although the pieces right next to the holes in the tin tend to be so. The cloth, although weak, should not disintegrate, fall apart under its own weight, or be ashy. Properly charred cloth requires a gentle force to tear it, and it should not leave black marks on the fingers when handled. If this happens, then you have over-cooked the cloth, or air got into the tin either during or after cooking. When cooking, I have found that heating the tin beyond a very dull red can lead to over charring — the tin only needs to be hot enough to induce the smoke to flow from the holes. Although it sounds like it might be difficult to get it just right, it really isn't. Just wait until the smoke stops flowing from the holes, wait maybe thirty seconds longer just for luck, then plug the holes and you will get a usable product. The length of time that it takes to cook varies depending upon the amount of cloth that you have in the tin. I generally do only about a dozen pieces at a time in a small tin, and this usually only takes about five minutes to cook, but I never time it, I always go by watching the smoke.
Link Posted: 4/15/2010 4:54:02 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
Bic lighters are cheap!

just saying


And are just as notorious for failing.  


You know, I've gotten my hands on thousands of bic lighters over the years, and looking back on it, I've never had one fail that could not be contributed to abuse or error.  I've ran them through the washing machine and have them work routinely.  I've found them packed away from 2003 when I was in the Marines, and they still work to this day.  I've been smoking for about 11 years now, in the Marines, offshore diving, all over the world, and I can honestly say, I've never had a REAL Bic lighter fail on me.   Cheap disposable no name lighters are less than stellar.  But the real deal has always treated me right.

But, then again I carry a Bic to back up my Zippo, and a Zippo to back up my Bic....  Like peas and carrots.
Link Posted: 4/15/2010 6:30:06 AM EST
When I have had trouble catching a spark in the rain or wet conditions, I found a hollow tree or log, and reached in an pulled out the dry dust, punky stuff.  

Problem solved started right up.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 5:04:04 AM EST
Quoted:
A friend of mine is a 1800's rein-actor  and he told me that this is the answer

Early Failures

Many survival or scouting books give different instructions on how one can start a fire with flint and steel. These books suggest various materials that are supposed to catch the spark. I have tried many of them, and I can attest that the people who wrote those books had obviously never tried it! I tried all of the following materials without success : punk (the powdery dry rot from the insides of fallen logs), cottonwood fluff, fine dry grass, fine wood shavings, dry moss, and various lichens. None of these materials worked, although they all made excellent small kindling once I gave up and used a match.

The Problem Solved

For a clue, I turned to my copy of the Oxford Universal Dictionary, which defined tinder as "a flammable substance used to kindle a fire, especially charred linen" [my italics]. At about the same time, I stumbled upon an article on fire-starting by Mr. Warren Boughton in which he describes how to make charred cloth. I followed Mr. Boughton's recipe, and the results were amazing. When a spark hits charred cloth, it creates a tiny red spot, which slowly grows like a glowing fairy ring. It is impossible to blow out ; in fact, the more wind there is the better, as the spark simply gets hotter and hotter. The only way to put it out is by suffocation (which preserves the rest of the charred cloth for future use), or by dousing it with water (which ruins the char cloth). The amazing thing is that with the magic of charred cloth, in windy weather it is easier to start a fire with flint and steel than it is to use a match!

Making Charred Cloth

Here is how to put together your own tinder box, so that you can make a fire the same way that people did two hundred years ago. First, you will need some cloth. Linen is the traditional fabric, but 100% cotton works just fine, and it is a lot cheaper! You must be sure to use only completely natural fabrics. This is for two reasons ; first, synthetics didn't exist two hundred years ago, and secondly, they don't char —they melt, and leave you with a useless mess! Cut the cloth into pieces. I have had success with patches as small as two inches square, but I would suggest that you start with patches that are about four to five inches on a side.

Next, you will have to find a small tin can with a tight lid. A small paint tin would work. I have used both a small twist lid tobacco tin and a tea tin with success. You will have to punch two small holes —one in the top and one in the bottom of the can. The holes should be less than 1/8" in diameter. You should have two little twigs on hand, about six inches or more in length and whittled so as to fit snugly into the holes you punched in the tin. Some tongs will be needed to remove the hot tin from the fire safely.

Build a fire, and let it die down until you have a nice bed of roasting coals. (You could probably use a charcoal barbecue for this, if that is more convenient.) If this is the first time you have used your tin, I would strongly suggest that you put it in the fire to burn off any paint or oils that might be on the can. If you don't, these materials will ruin your first batch of char cloth. When the tin is black with peeling paint, take it out of the fire, let it cool, and brush off the ash. You will be left with a dark, mottled steel effect that has a certain charm.

Once your tin has been cleaned out, put the pieces of cloth into the tin, and tighten down the lid. Place the tin on or near the coals, and watch it carefully. The secret to charring cloth is that it is an anaerobic process — the chemical transformation of the cloth occurs only in the absence of oxygen. If air is present, then the cloth will not char ; instead, it will burn to ashes and be useless. As the cloth heats up, it gives off volatile gasses which rapidly fill the interior of the tin, driving out the air. These gasses are then vented to the outside of the tin through the tiny holes in the top and bottom. You will see these hot gasses ignite when they hit the air, and tiny jets of flame will come out of both ends of the tin. A lot of smoke also comes out of the holes of the tin, and this is what you must watch for. When the volume of smoke dies down, turn the tin over ; this will ensure even charring of the cloth, and will usually cause an increase in the volume of smoke. Once smoke has ceased to come out of the holes, then the cooking process is finished. Using your tongs, pull the tin out of the fire and immediately plug the two holes with the twigs. If air gets into the tin while it is still hot, then the cloth will burn to ashes. Set the tin aside and wait ten minutes for it to cool before you open it.

Problems Encountered when Charring

Properly charred cloth should be a uniform black. If there is still color left in the fabric, then you did not cook it for long enough, or the tin was not hot enough. I have found that putting it back in the fire to cook some more yields an inferior product. I would suggest that you start again from scratch. The cloth should not be sooty, although the pieces right next to the holes in the tin tend to be so. The cloth, although weak, should not disintegrate, fall apart under its own weight, or be ashy. Properly charred cloth requires a gentle force to tear it, and it should not leave black marks on the fingers when handled. If this happens, then you have over-cooked the cloth, or air got into the tin either during or after cooking. When cooking, I have found that heating the tin beyond a very dull red can lead to over charring — the tin only needs to be hot enough to induce the smoke to flow from the holes. Although it sounds like it might be difficult to get it just right, it really isn't. Just wait until the smoke stops flowing from the holes, wait maybe thirty seconds longer just for luck, then plug the holes and you will get a usable product. The length of time that it takes to cook varies depending upon the amount of cloth that you have in the tin. I generally do only about a dozen pieces at a time in a small tin, and this usually only takes about five minutes to cook, but I never time it, I always go by watching the smoke.


I tried the Char Cloth and that's the best stuff out there!!!!

I've also learned a lot about the tinder process... Tinder is the key!
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 6:07:00 AM EST
I just found out that the seed pods from my Catulpa tree make an outstanding high heat timber for starting fires.  That, and some wax shavings from old candles have so far been incredibly good for starting even the biggest of logs in my fire pit this year.  Look around and be creative.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 6:28:56 AM EST

This is the truth, right here. Thing is, whoever wrote this was talking about REAL flint and steel not the ferrocerium stuff that everybody calls flint. Flint and steel throw a lot less of a spark than ferrocerium. Char cloth is about the only thing I know of except for some very special fungus (mentioned elsewhere in the thread) that will catch a spark from flint and steel.

Even with ferrocerium, catching a spark with natural materials and blowing it into a fire can be dicey. Especially if your material isn't BONE DRY.  Anybody who regularly spends time in the woods pays careful attention to his fire kit. One should never HAVE to just pick up materials and make a fire. You should ALWAYS have tender in your kit and when you make a fire, you dry out more tinder next to that fire.

I haven't seen the inner bark of a red cedar tree mentioned yet. One of my favorites.


Quoted:
A friend of mine is a 1800's rein-actor  and he told me that this is the answer

Early Failures

Many survival or scouting books give different instructions on how one can start a fire with flint and steel. These books suggest various materials that are supposed to catch the spark. I have tried many of them, and I can attest that the people who wrote those books had obviously never tried it! I tried all of the following materials without success : punk (the powdery dry rot from the insides of fallen logs), cottonwood fluff, fine dry grass, fine wood shavings, dry moss, and various lichens. None of these materials worked, although they all made excellent small kindling once I gave up and used a match.

The Problem Solved

For a clue, I turned to my copy of the Oxford Universal Dictionary, which defined tinder as "a flammable substance used to kindle a fire, especially charred linen" [my italics]. At about the same time, I stumbled upon an article on fire-starting by Mr. Warren Boughton in which he describes how to make charred cloth. I followed Mr. Boughton's recipe, and the results were amazing. When a spark hits charred cloth, it creates a tiny red spot, which slowly grows like a glowing fairy ring. It is impossible to blow out ; in fact, the more wind there is the better, as the spark simply gets hotter and hotter. The only way to put it out is by suffocation (which preserves the rest of the charred cloth for future use), or by dousing it with water (which ruins the char cloth). The amazing thing is that with the magic of charred cloth, in windy weather it is easier to start a fire with flint and steel than it is to use a match!

Making Charred Cloth

Here is how to put together your own tinder box, so that you can make a fire the same way that people did two hundred years ago. First, you will need some cloth. Linen is the traditional fabric, but 100% cotton works just fine, and it is a lot cheaper! You must be sure to use only completely natural fabrics. This is for two reasons ; first, synthetics didn't exist two hundred years ago, and secondly, they don't char —they melt, and leave you with a useless mess! Cut the cloth into pieces. I have had success with patches as small as two inches square, but I would suggest that you start with patches that are about four to five inches on a side.

Next, you will have to find a small tin can with a tight lid. A small paint tin would work. I have used both a small twist lid tobacco tin and a tea tin with success. You will have to punch two small holes —one in the top and one in the bottom of the can. The holes should be less than 1/8" in diameter. You should have two little twigs on hand, about six inches or more in length and whittled so as to fit snugly into the holes you punched in the tin. Some tongs will be needed to remove the hot tin from the fire safely.

Build a fire, and let it die down until you have a nice bed of roasting coals. (You could probably use a charcoal barbecue for this, if that is more convenient.) If this is the first time you have used your tin, I would strongly suggest that you put it in the fire to burn off any paint or oils that might be on the can. If you don't, these materials will ruin your first batch of char cloth. When the tin is black with peeling paint, take it out of the fire, let it cool, and brush off the ash. You will be left with a dark, mottled steel effect that has a certain charm.

Once your tin has been cleaned out, put the pieces of cloth into the tin, and tighten down the lid. Place the tin on or near the coals, and watch it carefully. The secret to charring cloth is that it is an anaerobic process — the chemical transformation of the cloth occurs only in the absence of oxygen. If air is present, then the cloth will not char ; instead, it will burn to ashes and be useless. As the cloth heats up, it gives off volatile gasses which rapidly fill the interior of the tin, driving out the air. These gasses are then vented to the outside of the tin through the tiny holes in the top and bottom. You will see these hot gasses ignite when they hit the air, and tiny jets of flame will come out of both ends of the tin. A lot of smoke also comes out of the holes of the tin, and this is what you must watch for. When the volume of smoke dies down, turn the tin over ; this will ensure even charring of the cloth, and will usually cause an increase in the volume of smoke. Once smoke has ceased to come out of the holes, then the cooking process is finished. Using your tongs, pull the tin out of the fire and immediately plug the two holes with the twigs. If air gets into the tin while it is still hot, then the cloth will burn to ashes. Set the tin aside and wait ten minutes for it to cool before you open it.

Problems Encountered when Charring

Properly charred cloth should be a uniform black. If there is still color left in the fabric, then you did not cook it for long enough, or the tin was not hot enough. I have found that putting it back in the fire to cook some more yields an inferior product. I would suggest that you start again from scratch. The cloth should not be sooty, although the pieces right next to the holes in the tin tend to be so. The cloth, although weak, should not disintegrate, fall apart under its own weight, or be ashy. Properly charred cloth requires a gentle force to tear it, and it should not leave black marks on the fingers when handled. If this happens, then you have over-cooked the cloth, or air got into the tin either during or after cooking. When cooking, I have found that heating the tin beyond a very dull red can lead to over charring — the tin only needs to be hot enough to induce the smoke to flow from the holes. Although it sounds like it might be difficult to get it just right, it really isn't. Just wait until the smoke stops flowing from the holes, wait maybe thirty seconds longer just for luck, then plug the holes and you will get a usable product. The length of time that it takes to cook varies depending upon the amount of cloth that you have in the tin. I generally do only about a dozen pieces at a time in a small tin, and this usually only takes about five minutes to cook, but I never time it, I always go by watching the smoke.


Link Posted: 4/20/2010 7:25:22 AM EST
You also need to be constantly collecting tinder as your are moving, and drying it with your body heat if needed.  If you only start looking for it when you want  a fire you may be out of luck.
Link Posted: 4/20/2010 7:40:44 AM EST
Quoted:
You also need to be constantly collecting tinder as your are moving, and drying it with your body heat if needed.  If you only start looking for it when you want  a fire you may be out of luck.


There ya go!  My hunting woolies have a good layer of old dried and ground up birch bark, ceder bark, dried grass and wood shavings that I am always adding to and using in the pockets.  I would be lost if someone cleaned those pants!  In warmer weather I just start looking a few hours before I want to make a fire and start adding various tinder to my supply.  Old jute string which has been unraveled a bit catches a spark very nicely and also can be used to tie a tag on to a deer so some of that is always in my kit also.
Top Top