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Discussion in 'Firecraft' started by Riven, Aug 2, 2019.
At present I am teaching multiple people of all ages nearly every day - at Castell Henlys and at Top of the Woods campsite - and have only had a few that needed me to "guide their hands" (ie hold their hands and do the strikes for them) mainly young children with poor manual dexterity.
Having said that, this summer I have had 3 five-year-olds succeed without help.
All used the charcloth on top of the flint method, though I also demonstrate the "down strike" method. I even reverse grip and down strike to shower my arm with sparks to show they do not hurt!
I do not get paid at Castell Henlys but get through masses of flint and char cloth, not to mention hay for tinder bundles!
The look on folks faces when they make fire is worth it!
Char cloth is easiest to source and make.
It's also more reliable, especially if it's made from pure linen which reaches a higher heat to ignite the secondary tinder / kindling with.
Having said that it is good to try it with amadou or King Alfred's cakes as well.
Found this on YouTube. I like that as he's using horse hoof fungus straight from the tree. I think it's worth a look
Interesting, I've never tried it with fungal saw dust.
Worth knowing about.
Anything to get a fire from flint and steel. Next thing I'm considering is selling my soul to whoever
Just finding time to go for a bit more flint as my pieces are too small now
I have used a mix of Chagga dust and charcoal dust ... not as good as charcloth....
Just got charcloth, had flint and steel ready, couple of strikes and bingo .... ember established!!! Too easy
Now I need a tinder bundle, paper birch should be ok, right?
It should be ideal!
I generally just use dry grass, torn tissue or a mix of those and birch bark...
Surface area. The tinder needs to be fine enough so ignition of the smallest strands is nearly instantaneous.
Best here is a handful of spruce twigs off the main tree trunk to be driest.
Then bash the bejeezlies out of them between 2 rocks to get XXX fine wood fiber and pitch resin.
Can't ever count on grass being dry here if you can find enough.
Nothing is dry in Wales unless you dry it yourself - I prepare everything in advance!
There's enough suberin wax in birch bark so it burns after 30 days submerged.
However, fussing with a piece of bark in the pouring rain wouldn't be a thrill.
Tried yesterday with charcloth. Too easy to get an ember. What can I try next? Got some amadou but that seems a lot harder. Anything else I could use?
King Alfred's Cakes?
If I find some I'll definitely try that. Thanks
Proof is in the pudding........charcloth and birch bark for tinder bundle
Oooops, tells me file's too large.
Bear with me.....
Here we go..
Hah!! Finally figured out how to get amadou to take a spark the easy way!!
Just char it and it's as easy as charcloth. In fact, I used the first bit, thought it hadn't taken a spark and put it back into the tin just to find that it was nearly gone by the time I succeeded with the second bit. It was quite windy at the time.
Now I need to go and find more horse hoof fungus
I really struggled to find King Alfred's Cakes (I'm in Farnborough, Hampshire) and there just don't seem to be many Ash trees now, let alone fallen branches However, on a recent trip to the New Forest, I (literally) stumbled upon a fallen branch from an Ash which had a good number of them, so I liberated a couple to try with.
Apparently Ash used to be the third most common tree in England, but I can only guess that Ash Dieback has had a much bigger impact than I (and I suspect many others) appreciated.
Still plenty of Ash around us and plenty of cramp balls. However, we also have ash die-back and I suspect it will have a devastating impact on our woodlands over the next few decades.