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Razor
02-06-2004, 21:29
Here are some that are pretty prevalent in the northern US:
Bark from a white birch
The dead branches from a fir or hemlock tree
Pitchy knots from a dead, rotting evergreen tree
Rodent and bird nests

Anyone want to add more fire starting/sustaining tips?

The Reaper
02-06-2004, 21:40
Unnatural sources:

Pocket lint (or cotton dryer lint, if packing in advance).

Steel wool.

Smokeless powder.

Magnesium chips.

Powdered Thermite (requires initiator).


Had some unintentional success starting fires with Star Clusters, Parachute Flares, Trip Flares, White (HC) smoke grenades, cannister CS Grenades, Flashbangs, Arty, Boobytrap, and Hand Grenade Simulators, etc.

TR

Smokin Joe
02-06-2004, 22:44
Originally posted by Razor

Anyone want to add more fire starting/sustaining tips?

Dry Pine needles
Dead fall oak or aspen

Team Sergeant
02-07-2004, 10:40
Old dry bird’s nests can provide very useful tinder.

The Team Sergeant

Truth be told, I always carried a little “Bic” lighter in my field kit.

It’s tough enough starting a fire when you’re cold; it’s down right next to impossible to do when you’re wet and cold.

Now I know there’s a slush point that butane may not work, but if you carry a small Bic lighter in your pocket (close to the body) it will not reach that point while you’re still alive.

lrd
02-08-2004, 16:08
I volunteer at a 17th century living history museum. One of the skills we teach our guests is how to make cordage from local plant fibers. The 17th c. militia re-enactors who come through tell us that, though they prefer not to, they have unwound the cordage to use as tinder. Do you carry any type of natural fiber rope that you could sacrifice if necessary?

The Reaper
02-08-2004, 17:57
Originally posted by lrd
I volunteer at a 17th century living history museum. One of the skills we teach our guests is how to make cordage from local plant fibers. The 17th c. militia re-enactors who come through tell us that, though they prefer not to, they have unwound the cordage to use as tinder. Do you carry any type of natural fiber rope that you could sacrifice if necessary?

lrd:

If you are working with, or looking for hemp, you are on the wrong site.

TR

lrd
02-08-2004, 18:01
Originally posted by The Reaper
lrd:

If you are working with, or looking for hemp, you are on the wrong site.

TR If I was working with, or looking for hemp, I'd have gotten in trouble a long time before now. lol

Team Sergeant
02-08-2004, 18:08
Originally posted by lrd
I volunteer at a 17th century living history museum. One of the skills we teach our guests is how to make cordage from local plant fibers. The 17th c. militia re-enactors who come through tell us that, though they prefer not to, they have unwound the cordage to use as tinder. Do you carry any type of natural fiber rope that you could sacrifice if necessary?

Negative, the only ropes I know of that we use are constructed of nylon and we all know what that smells like when burning.

Psywar1-0
02-08-2004, 18:25
LRD,

Jamestown? Used to work at Fennimore House in Cooperstown NY doing 18 Century Native Interpretation.

There is a fungus that grows in the North East on Birch Trees that is a great tinder. Its black, looks burnt, but isnt and is called amazingly enough, a Tinder Fungus. You can use it in large(Pencil eraser) sized chunks to transfer fire from place to place, or if powdered for catching sparks from Flint and Steel or Fire Bow.

I like to use powdered fungus inside a "Birds Nest" of shreadded ceader bark. After catching a spark and getting the inital flame, add some birch bark, then small wood. In my 18th Century kit I carry enough small twigs, bark and fungus (wrapped in an oilskin) to start a fire. I prefer Sassafras for the twigs, and they can be used as something to chew on if need be.

lrd
02-08-2004, 18:50
Originally posted by Psywar1-0
LRD,

Jamestown? Used to work at Fennimore House in Cooperstown NY doing 18 Century Native Interpretation.

There is a fungus that grows in the North East on Birch Trees that is a great tinder. Its black, looks burnt, but isnt and is called amazingly enough, a Tinder Fungus. You can use it in large(Pencil eraser) sized chunks to transfer fire from place to place, or if powdered for catching sparks from Flint and Steel or Fire Bow.

I like to use powdered fungus inside a "Birds Nest" of shreadded ceader bark. After catching a spark and getting the inital flame, add some birch bark, then small wood. In my 18th Century kit I carry enough small twigs, bark and fungus (wrapped in an oilskin) to start a fire. I prefer Sassafras for the twigs, and they can be used as something to chew on if need be. Historic St. Mary's City, Maryland. Home of the largest 17th c. militia muster on the east coast. ;) If you're ever in Southern Maryland in October you should try to come by. We even had a piper year before last. His own guys shot him right off the bat. I liked him.

Most of the tours we have during the year are 4th-6th graders. We try to teach them a little bit of what the Chesapeake Tidewater indians taught the first settlers. Making cordage is easy, once you know how, and you can make it out of all kinds of materials. You can never have too much string.

Psywar1-0
02-08-2004, 19:04
Interpretation has its ups and downs, The most rewarding thing I did was help in the construction of Birch and Elm bark Canoes. Screw Poncho rafts. Im going in style LOL

Speaking of string, Spruce roots are great, wet them, splt them in half and then use to bind. When they dry are very tight.

vampire03
02-25-2004, 19:12
I'm sure some of you know this already but here goes. The peanut butter oil from a MR.e (do not knead the package ) can be used . And the creamer (coffee) is also very flammable,just hold over a flame and pour.WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Watch dem finga's. Just think of the things we've ingested, make's you think.