Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Fire Success

The World is Always Burning

This is just a quick post about an experiment that worked tonight. I have plans for some more meaty posts later.

Fire building has always been difficult for me and it is something I've put a lot of time into trying different things because I *want* to be good at it. There is another link I need to add to the blogroll and I'll do that shortly, but the host of RealitySurvival made an awesome fire building video. I've been playing with that method and it has been working really well for me. You can check that out here (it's longer than it needs to be, you'll get the idea within the first few minutes):

There is a BushcraftUSA video that is similar and shorter, but uses the same method of kindling prep and stacking. It just doesn't have the extra cool factor of having a bottle of water dumped on the kindling.

One of the important points brought up in both videos is to not add your next bundle until you see the flames start to burn through the top. Have faith and let the fire grow.

So for my tinder, I tried a bundle of jute twine and I got some small flareups using the fire steel but not a good flame. In a fit of inspiration, I grabbed a piece of charcloth and got that lit with the steel. Then I put the jute knot on top of the charcloth, blew that into flame and then put my pencil lead sized twigs on top and it pretty well burst into flame. The material I had was so dry that I worked my way up to a sustainable log fire in less than 2 minutes.

I'm not real sure how well the jute would have worked if my kindling was wet like in the first video. I have a feeling the flame might not have burned long enough. A few nights ago it was rainy out and I used a Vaseline soaked cotton ball with damp kindling and the methods described above worked fantastic. Those Vaseline cotton balls burn for a very long time.

So what I learned was that jute twine has potential and charcloth is still great stuff. I made a bunch more of it tonight.

As a side note, I didn't fluff out the jute like the guy in the charcloth video linked above did. I tied mine in a kind of knot like shown in the picture. I bet his method will work better if I can figure out how to quickly break down the jute twine like he has it. Also, I found that video to illustrate the making and usage of charcloth for this post. I didn't watch it before tonight so it wasn't where I got the idea for the twine or for using charcloth to light it. However his method of breaking down the jute into fibers looks much more effective than what I did, but also much more time consuming.

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