Monday 13 February 2012

Part Five. A Closer Look At Flint and Steel Fire Lighting.

Kindling versus Tinders.

There has to be some division between tinder and kindling, otherwise it can become very confusing for the beginner. Tinder is a plant material that will catch and hold a spark struch from a steel with a sharp edged hard rock such as flint, agate, quartz or similar rock.

Kindling is the material that takes fire. This can be dry grass, coconut fibre, teased stringybark, dry leaves, teased rope or similar fibres which are used to take flame from the smouldering tinder. Kindling is also small twigs, sticks, dead dried grass tree foliage, wood shaving created with your knife, feather sticks also created with your knife or any similar dead dried plant material.

A selection of steels including a piece of a metal file files smooth on both edges, and a selection of siliceous rocks L-R quartz, agate, English flint, Australian flint, an English gun flint, and another piece of agate.

TINDER. Ryvardenia Cretacia, a bracket fungus that grows in Australia.

TINDER. Cattail seed head, called Cumbungi in Australia, but grows in Ireland, Scotland, England and Europe.

KINDLING. The teased fibres of the outer bark of the Stringybark tree.

KINDLING. Dried grass.

KINDLING. Sisal rope fibres.

KINDLING. Dried leaves.

Normally when preparing to make fire it is wise to collect at least three sizes of kindling in three different piles, the light kindling such as dreid grass etc, small twigs or similar, and larger sticks. Once your fire is going well, you can add some larger wood to keep the fire going and produce some real heat for warmth, drying clothing, or cooking.

In the same way as the kindling types above are easily recognisable as being similar to one another, so are the tinder types and rocks. Once you know what you are looking for, new tinders, rocks and kindling types will be easier to identify/find.

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