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razor sharp

natural tinder for spark and friction based fire starting

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this is a short tutorial on natural materials for tinder to make fire without chemicals. its not all encompassing but i used some natural materials that are pretty common throughout the country. hope you like it.

 

the first 3 pictures are of the 3 materials i used. picture 1 has one of last years nettle stalks, 2 has some standing dead grasses and 3 is of a cedar tree. you can stick you knife behind the bark of the cedar and peel it off in strips.  with the nettle stalks you want to pound them between a rock and a hard place, or two sticks, whatever you have handy. start by slowly rotating the stalk while working your way up and down its length.(the same way you would get the fibers to use for cordage)

once you have broken it up roll it in your Hands until the woody parts fall out and your left with a fine fibrous little ball of string.

you do the same with the cedar bark and the grasses. the lighter and fluffyer(sorry, lack of a better word :hugegrin:) it is the better. do the same with the dry grasses. now the dry grasses dont catch as easily as the nettle or cedar fiber but it catches flame real easy once the fluff has ignited. you dont need both the cedar and nettles, you can use either one as well as dried dogbane, milkweed or any number of fibrous wild plants.

make a birdsnest/taco with the bundle with the grasses to the outside.

now the part you need to know is to make sure the tinder is folded over like a the roof of a cave so it can catch the flame from the tinder that you hit with the spark.

now all you need to do is spray your sparks into the little cave.  unlike a coal  wind is not your Friend for the spark based fire method. so make sure your well sheltered from the wind. if you are using friction then just drop your coal into the little cave, hold it up and gently blow it into flame. this tinder works great for lens based fire starting also.

there you have it, no chemicals, all natural. but it can be hard as hell if its soaking wet so make sure you have a backup firestarter like a bic lighter. cheap, easy and dependable for hundreds of fires :hugegrin:

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~ Dang razor sharp...  That's a ton of info you just posted there.  8| 

 

Thanks for the excellent pictures too! Those pictures really perfectly demonstrated the technique you described!  :thumbsup:

 

I'm obviously not working with what I find to get it broken down into that fibrous state.

 

Great tutorial. You helped me out a lot.  :thumbup:

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~ I'm going out and looking for tinder. See y'all.  Hope no golf ball sized hail falls on my head.  :P  I'm gonna find it, and give it a while to dry out, and try my fire thing Monday or Tuesday....

 

Thanks a million, razor.  :thumbup:  it's all coming together in my brain.

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it was my pleasure Taken. it would have been easyer to make a video but i cant upload/download the things worth a crap. someday ill come out of my cave and learn me some of that fancy technology stuff

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thanks everyone, i could have spent alot of time on different tinder and tinder additives(like cattail fluff ) but i wanted it basic, quick and easy. there are so many different materials out there that work as im sure a lot of people on this sight know. but this will get someone started.

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~ I can't wait to go out looking for some of the stuff you posted. I'll do it tomorrow if the weather is ok. I think I know where a cedar tree is... Who cares if it's in a public park?  :hugegrin:

 

I have a stretch of off days, so now I have something to do. I also want to find some dead grasses like you showed. Green stuff is popping up everywhere, and the brown stuff is going to be hard to find in a few days. Especially after all this rain. I want to be able to make those bird-nest-looking tinder bundles like you made. That is my goal. THIS week.  :P

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youll get it, i have faith. and sometimes you can just peal off the fibers on the tree without damaging it. in december at one of the parks i frequent i filled two grocery bags with cedar bark that was about to fall off the trees. id try some different plant stalks you see that are dead but still off the ground. some will work, some wont. youll just have to experiment. you will become "the crazy plant lady "down the block the kids all talk about :rofl:

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Good content Razor for a survival forum. Every once in a while we actually do add content.  :D

 

I like to think good tinder is something that if I touch my bic lighter to it it will burst into flame. That for me is the key in order to get fire with the least effort and the most success. The time it takes to prepare for the spark or ember is the most crucial for success.

 

The most difficult for me is the fire bow or friction methods because of lack of mobility due to old age so I dont even try it. My point is with out the best tinder the effort for an ember or spark would be lost or a waste of time. My best success is the flint and steel or flint and mag stick method.

 

thanks again my friend.  :arigato:

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Good content Razor for a survival forum. Every once in a while we actually do add content.  :D

 

I like to think good tinder is something that if I touch my bic lighter to it it will burst into flame. That for me is the key in order to get fire with the least effort and the most success. The time it takes to prepare for the spark or ember is the most crucial for success.

 

The most difficult for me is the fire bow or friction methods because of lack of mobility due to old age so I dont even try it. My point is with out the best tinder the effort for an ember or spark would be lost or a waste of time. My best success is the flint and steel or flint and mag stick method.

 

thanks again my friend.   :arigato:

thank you swede, now that ive got my camera/computer figured out i might try to start posting more content :hugegrin:

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thank you swede, now that ive got my camera/computer figured out i might try to start posting more content :hugegrin:

 

We need to get together so you can show me how to make a fire drill.  I really want to learn how this is done.  After you get the ember, sounds like it is very similar to using a magnifying glass - give it some nice dry tinder and BLOOOOOOOOWWWWW.

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~ Ok, I went to a target rich environment... to find some natural tinder a couple of hours ago...  (no sign of gerbils)  :unsure:

I have no idea what any of these plants are, but I cut anything that looked like it would burn easily. AND with the intention of working with it, and breaking it DOWN into a fibrous material.  :yes:

 

firstpictinder.jpg

 

 

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im sorry, i cant zoom in or anything. i think the dry stuff is curly dock but honestly cant tell. you will find out when you beat/roll the stalks if they will work. your on the right track. if you can find milkweed or nettles they both work great. the last years dry dead nettlestalks will have tiny little thorns toward the base. they wont sting you but it helps when looking for them.

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featherytndr.jpg

 

My pics are are way larger, but I can't get image shack to Load them big. When I try to resize them they all come out to this size, and when I load them the regular size, image shack tells me that they are too big to upload...  sad042.gif

 

I don't know WHAT this stuff is, but it is feathery, and the stem looking stuff did break down good when I smashed it with a rock.

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april5tinder1.jpg

 

~ Basically, I just smashed it and rolled it with the rock (against that brick) and rubbed it between my hands into this bowl. The more I worked with it, the finer, and more fibrous it became. The tops of the stems worked better, the bottoms were way to woody to break down much further.

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Thats called the learning prosses, just the fact you figured out what part of the plant worked better is awsome knowledge you will never forget. keep it up, youll be a pro before long.

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birdnestliketinderbundl.jpg

 

I was able to make a  "bird nest" type tinder bundle (sorta like razor made)  after working with it for about twenty minutes or so...  Still, it was so windy, I had to put it back in that pan to light it. the pieces were so fine, that the wind was blowing them away. (I'm thinking I need a stainless steel mixing bowl or dog food bowl in my survival pack...) I always seem to be using one when making fire.  :P

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