Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 4/13/2007 12:53:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2008 1:43:47 PM EDT by pyro6988]
Well I finally got around to do this post.

My dad is a quite a woodsman and has been borderline obsessed with fire starters and tinder.  I think he was reading an issue of back woodman (survival oriented magazine) where there was an article on tinder fungus.  My dad is 59 and has literally been one of the most active outdoors man I have ever known.  He likes a lot of tradition fire starting methods and always trying different things.  He had never heard of tinder fungus.  After 3 months of talking to fellow outdoorsmen, he couldn't find anyone who had heard of it.

We set out on a quest to find this mysterious tinder.  He starting doing research on it trying to find out the areas it grew and the types of trees it was found on.  

The best article he found can be found here:  wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/tinder/tinderfungus/true.html

Here is a good article on false tinder fungus:  wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/tinder/tinderfungus/false.html

And an article on the uses of the it.
wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/tinder/tinderfungus/uses.html

I did not write the above articles so don't give me the credit.

We were able to easily find the false tinder fungus which seem to work quite well too.

It took use over 8 hours and dozens of times (walking and driving) for our first find.  The first one was pretty small and the pieces were around the size of an acorn.  The second find yielded pieces about the size of a golf ball.  Our last find was the mother load. The piece was a little smaller than a football.    

So far we have only found tinder fungus on yellow birch trees.  Yellow birch bark is also a great natural fire starter.  The oils contained in the bark help it light very easily.  It is my theory that most fungus the grow on yellow birch contain these same oils making them burn well.

We have bee experimenting some with it.  The real tinder fungus produces a smell that smells a lot like incense.  The false tinder fungus smoke smells unpleasant and reminds of burning hair.  Neither variety every seems to form a flame but it does get very hot.  A piece the size of the pea burn around 5-7 minutes.  You can blow on it as hard as you want and it won't go out.  The only way to extinguish it is with water.

I'll try to post some of pics of my samples this weekend.

UPDATE  4/15

Here are some pictures of a piece that we found.

The outside has the appearance or charcoal.  




The inside as a rusty color.




I wanted to do a small experiment.  I broke off a small piece to time how long it burned.   It broke off easily with a light strike from a knife.   The sample lit very easily with a match.




With only a light breathe of air for one second you can see how hot it gets.






When it is burning it puts out a tremendous amount of heat.  Holding your hand above it you could really feel the heat.  Here is how it looked after 10 minutes of burning.



I left the piece burning inside for 20 minutes.  I then moved it outside.  After 5 minutes in the rain it was still burning.  This is what it looked like.


After an additional 5 minutes in a light rain it was extinguished.  



Conclusions.

A small piece will burn for a very long time.  I estimate this piece cold have burned for 40 minutes if protected from the rain.      
It burns very reliably.  Every piece I have tested was only extinguished after consuming itself or upon being exposed to water.
It will stay lit if exposed to light rain for a few minutes, but it would need to be protected from heavy rain.  
Family members don't appreciate the smoke when burned inside.


I still need to test how easy it is to light with a spark.


UPDATE  11/2

While out hunting yesterday I was fortunate enough to find a lot of tinder fungus.

I really wasn't looking for it,  but I found 3 yellow birch trees which had a growing on it.  I was able to harvest roughly 7 pounds worth which would fill a shopping bag.  

I still need to do my spark testing.

UPDATE  2/27

I have also tried it in a fire piston with good success.

My dad has been using it with a striker and flint.  He has been able to get it to catch a spark.

No pictures currently but I'll try to put some up eventually.  


UPDATE  3/26

Here are some pictures of some tinder fungus growing on a yellow birch tree.



Link Posted: 4/13/2007 12:57:37 PM EDT
I got some tinder fungus with my firepiston.  I guess I have some reading to do to get some more.
Link Posted: 4/13/2007 2:10:09 PM EDT
Good post, I had never known of those links.  I bet they are over a year old, because of an incident I had in 2006.  I heard some pounding near my home, and went to investigate.  About 400 yeards from my house I found a man with a froe and a rock alternately chopping into a Birch tree, and shaking it at my dog. He was hostile sumbitch, and kept busting on tree after I told him to stop. He used the term "tinder fungus" and claimed he DISCOVERED it (like Columbus discovered America).  Then he argued w/ me that I didn't own the fungus as it was too far (1/4 mile) from my house?? He "needed it" and I didn't, he said! I had a 1911 on a belt clip in front of my pants, and I intentionally let my coat open up for display.  One quick glance, and he got much more reasonable. He offered to buy the fungus.  I see some lessons here: 1. Internet info makes problems.  2. Winning stupid arguments is easier with a 1911.  3. Once the whole world sees the value of fungus, open warfare may break out in the woodlands of America!!
Link Posted: 4/15/2007 8:19:58 AM EDT
bump for my update
Link Posted: 4/15/2007 8:58:11 AM EDT
Cool, I gotta remember to give that a try. Thanks
Link Posted: 4/15/2007 10:00:44 AM EDT
I've been using that stuff for years. I have 8 chunks of it sitting on the backsplash in the kitchen right now, and I just gave away a bunch more.

It makes good tea, too. Break off some of the black outer stuff and boil it. Doesn't take much. The water will turn coffee-colored. The same chunks can be re-boiled several times. There are some, including alexander solzhenitsyn, who believe that it has anti-cancer properties.
Link Posted: 4/25/2007 10:10:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
I've been using that stuff for years. I have 8 chunks of it sitting on the backsplash in the kitchen right now, and I just gave away a bunch more.

It makes good tea, too. Break off some of the black outer stuff and boil it. Doesn't take much. The water will turn coffee-colored. The same chunks can be re-boiled several times. There are some, including alexander solzhenitsyn, who believe that it has anti-cancer properties.


I didn't know you could make tea with it.  I might have to try it sometime
Link Posted: 4/25/2007 10:39:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2007 2:37:54 PM EDT by chronium76]
The iceman they found frozen in the alps had some in a firemaking kit.  He was dated as thousands of years old.   The fungus can be lit and travelled with.  A essential tool that could mean life or death in prehistoric times shit even today.  Very cool I learned about it when I was a young lad in the Boy Scouts.

EDIT for crapy spelling
Link Posted: 4/25/2007 11:59:45 AM EDT
If you live somewhere there is none Jas Townsend has some, along with other fire making items used in the 18th century. Neat catalog.
Link Posted: 4/26/2007 4:34:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By callgood:
If you live somewhere there is none Jas Townsend has some, along with other fire making items used in the 18th century. Neat catalog.


good link

Thanks for posting it
Link Posted: 4/26/2007 4:47:50 AM EDT
yea they are cool, i have used them in conjunction with a bow drill, thanks.
Link Posted: 4/26/2007 6:45:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2007 5:26:18 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 8/21/2007 8:06:26 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 8/21/2007 9:20:13 AM EDT
Good post.  I will keep my eyes out for this stuff.  Hunting season is just around the corner.
Link Posted: 11/2/2007 6:17:37 AM EDT
This is also the preferred material to use for a fire piston.  
Link Posted: 11/2/2007 7:25:41 AM EDT
Very cool thanks for the info. I'm going to see if I can find any around me and try it out.

Link Posted: 1/18/2008 5:23:49 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 1/18/2008 6:16:18 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/18/2008 7:17:41 PM EDT
i have heard of this before and found some on my large pecan trees . but it would only burn if i keep a tourch on it.
have not experemented with it on hot coals.
Texas.
Link Posted: 2/27/2008 4:40:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2008 4:41:58 AM EDT by pyro6988]
bump for the update
Link Posted: 3/3/2008 4:46:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2008 8:56:00 AM EDT by pyro6988]
I would like to make an offer.

The first five people who email me will receive some tinder fungus.

I'll pay shipping so it will cost you nothing.

I would like you to add your experience with it in this thread if possible, but it isn't required.

Email me if interested.

Requests received from:
Jazzemt
Vinosaur
DCLXVI
otarmilitantzero

All five pieces spoken for.
Link Posted: 3/3/2008 5:29:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2008 5:30:45 PM EDT by acman145acp]
pyro6988
I can't remember if it was this thread or one rodent did on tinder fungus but while me and the boy were on a hike last yr or the year before~. I spoted some in a tree and got him to build a fire with it. One of the few times i actually had a camera handy and got some good pics.

Not sure the variety we got is the exact stuff but it burns forever.....
Link Posted: 3/12/2008 4:03:31 PM EDT
My fungus came in the mail! I'll see what it can do this weekend.
Link Posted: 3/12/2008 5:39:54 PM EDT
Thanks for bumping this one. I was out in the field a few days and found a chunk the size of a volley ball, but wasn't sure if it was TF. Now I know it was, so guess where I am going after work tomorrow! Now if only I can shimmy up that damn tree....
Link Posted: 3/12/2008 6:16:44 PM EDT


Link Posted: 3/16/2008 12:46:31 PM EDT
I just finished playing with my fungus. A big thanks to pyro6988 for sending out todays test.

Heres what came in the mail.


A close up of one of them.


I cut up a small chunk and shaved off some magnesium into a pile. Its pretty windy today and my shavings kept blowing around.




After a few strikes of the sparker I had smoke on the left side!

Then I added a few leaves and a bit of cotton for fun. There was fire but its not showing up in this pict.


It works!


AAR:
This stuff is pretty cool. I would be a great way to transport a coal and smells pretty good to boot. It is not as easy to fire up as a cotton ball and vaseline though. I kept the test to a real small fire due to a lack of space in my urban environment. This stuff smolders for a long time using a small amount. Once this fungus gets going wind wont put it out.
I'll try this again when I get a chance to go camping later this year.
Link Posted: 3/17/2008 4:20:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By otar:
I just finished playing with my fungus. A big thanks to pyro6988 for sending out todays test.

Heres what came in the mail.
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0001a.jpg

A close up of one of them.
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0002a.jpg

I cut up a small chunk and shaved off some magnesium into a pile. Its pretty windy today and my shavings kept blowing around.
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0003a.jpg

i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0004a.jpg

After a few strikes of the sparker I had smoke on the left side!
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0006a.jpg
Then I added a few leaves and a bit of cotton for fun. There was fire but its not showing up in this pict.
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0009a.jpg

It works!
i136.photobucket.com/albums/q170/otar15o/tinder%20fungus/IMG_0010a.jpg

AAR:
This stuff is pretty cool. I would be a great way to transport a coal and smells pretty good to boot. It is not as easy to fire up as a cotton ball and vaseline though. I kept the test to a real small fire due to a lack of space in my urban environment. This stuff smolders for a long time using a small amount. Once this fungus gets going wind wont put it out.
I'll try this again when I get a chance to go camping later this year.


Nice report.

Glad you are enjoying it.
Link Posted: 3/26/2008 1:44:12 PM EDT
bump for the update
Link Posted: 3/28/2008 3:42:14 PM EDT
Awesome post.

I have been looking around for birch in my area.  The river birch bark is easily ignited with a ferro rod.

http://practicalsurvivor.smugmug.com/photos/268706220_Eow4A-S.jpg

I cannot wait to find some fungus.  Do you guys find the fungus more often on yellow birch ?

When you get a chance, try river birch bark.  It peels off like paper.  

http://practicalsurvivor.smugmug.com/photos/268706234_mPgiK-Th.jpg

Link Posted: 4/18/2008 4:45:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2008 4:45:36 AM EDT by pyro6988]

Originally Posted By predator_44:
Do you guys find the fungus more often on yellow birch ?



I have only every found it on yellow birch, but it is supposed to grow on other species.
Top Top