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Thread: What's in your tinder box/bag?

  1. #1
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    Default What's in your tinder box/bag?

    After 13 years of coveting and wishing - yes, it's taken awhile - I am finally the proud owner of a Kelly Kettle.

    I first saw one in action when as a group we did the Great Glen unsupported and my friend's KK kept 10 of us supplied with hot water all week. Ever since then I've wanted one but never got round to it.

    But now I have two - well, a base camp s/s Kelly and an mkettle for soloing: pressies to myself on starting a new contract after too long looking.

    Anyway whilst I've always carried firsteel, lighter etc, I've never bothered much with tinder, kindling and so on. But with my new toys (just arrived and as yet unplayed-with), I need to take firelighting a bit more seriously, or at least be better prepared.

    So what do you carry in your tinder box or bag; what materials do you swear by for the various stages of getting your fire going, and how do you transport them to stay dry and ready for use?

  2. #2
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    I carry a small plastic bag with cotton balls with vaselene pressed into them, as well as the old trusty firesteel.
    Geoff

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    I use 1/2 a Zip natural firelighter. Made from wood pulp and wax. I say 1/2 because a whole one will still be burning long after you`ve made your coffee. Just scrape some fluff up off them and strike with a firesteel. Works for me everytime.
    My cherished tinder box is a Hudson Bay tobacco tin, bit of flint, bit of charcloth, bit of jute string, and a steel striker. A bit of a faff when a firesteel or a turbo lighter works so much better, but I just love the old fashioned way of doing it from time to time. Very satisfying.
    The older you get, the older you get, the older you get. Damn! Where was I?........ Where`s my glasses? Who the hell are you?

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    Tumble Dryer fiber/lint (very dry stuff) massaged with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) 1 spark and wooooosh
    Click on my Mini-Me to visit my Blog


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    For use with my Woodgas stove, I always carry a couple of the Zip firelighters as noted above along with birch bark and a small bag of dry twigs. Nothing fancy but it works and the Zip firelighters ar a lot easier to make that all the home made versions.
    Chris


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    Indevidually wrapped Zips, disposable lighter, cedar and pine bark with resin deposits (found loads last week), bits of an Ikea natrual wood CD rack, small tin of Vaseline, beach drift wood cut into very small pieces all kept in a small exped drybag.


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    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Indevidually wrapped Zips, disposable lighter, cedar and pine bark with resin deposits (found loads last week), bits of an Ikea natrual wood CD rack, small tin of Vaseline, beach drift wood cut into very small pieces all kept in a small exped drybag.
    And if all else fails 5 litres petrol

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainlad View Post
    And if all else fails 5 litres petrol
    We always have a good fire though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    bits of an Ikea natrual wood CD rack
    this one is new to me. is this the preferred tinder used by british bushcrafters?
    how does its ease of use and availability compare to waxed cotton balls, or punk wook?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlander View Post
    this one is new to me. is this the preferred tinder used by british bushcrafters?
    how does its ease of use and availability compare to waxed cotton balls, or punk wook?
    Just been out back with the buzz saw adding an Ikea wooden Venetian blind to the mix, you know they say Sweden is almost like Canada so how can it be wrong I hear most bushcrafters go mad for Swedish stuff.


  11. #11
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    Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....................
    I wonder if B&Q sell enough stuff to make one similar?
    Click on my Mini-Me to visit my Blog


  12. #12
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    Small bottle of paraffin. Not dangerous like petrol, but gets the party started every time. Also fuels my stove.
    PWC
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  13. #13

    Smile tinder and kelly kettle

    i collect the short and curly hairs from the dryers at my local launderette (i have the concesson from the proprieter). i find they fire up a treat and have never let me down yet. i also chopped some old fence up into sticks, from my garden that had fallen into disrepair. this also worked a treat but the black fumes and smog created didn't go down too well with some of the purists who were still rubbing two sticks together while i enjoyed a well-earned brew.

    one of these tips is not true, remember call my bluff, fwank muir, etc (thats not a rude word by the way) .

    happy kettling (oh no thats something the metropolitan police enjoy a little bit too much, allegedly).

    enjoy your kelly, i love mine

  14. #14
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    Small strips of bicycle inner tube. You need a lighter to get it going but it will burn hot and long even when wet.
    John

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    Best thing I've found is barbecue matches, they are about 8mm square with a match head, and come in packs of 8-10 something like that, the body is a cardboard type mat'l really good as tinder for any fire.

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    I have a fondness for BBQ gel dispensed into small bottle to light my Woodgas. Also go with MK's idea of strips of inner tube. Neither will light from a fire steel but then if you have the conditions for one, you'd not need the gel or tubing. Not really had a good go with cotton wool and vasaline, as I hate the feel of cotton wool.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  17. #17
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    Default What's in your Box?

    High folks, not sure if I read it on here, or Poss BB, but instead of the Cotton wool ball and Vaseline trick, this is a good idea too that works every time.
    Heat a Tea light untill compeletly molten, I used another Tealight below the one I wanted to use.
    Then get some of those circular Face Wipe cotton wool pads, you know,, the ones that every outdoors type uses.....
    Then simply dip half way into the molten wax, I then fold them, but you don't have to.
    Flat, easy to light, and a 5 min burn. Ok, a bit of a Faff about, but thats what it's about, eh folks???? Thanks, Andy

  18. #18
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    My tinderbox usually has charcloth in a small tin (which is used to replenish the supply on a fire), some sisal twine balls, and a tube of cotton smeared with vaseline. If I'm on the go I'll pack birch bark or shredded cedar bark into it as I use up other things.

  19. #19
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    Interesting reading, thanks everyone.

    My wife got some Zip firelighters from the supermarket and I had a go with them last weekend but ther are a grey waxy block that smells of petrol. Mixed success at lighting them with firesteel and they don't fluff up when scraped; more of a crumbling effect. but they go up like a fireman's nightmare when lit with a lighter. I'm not fond of them though.

    I'll pick up stuff you suggest and try as many of them as I can.
    Thanks again everyone.

  20. #20
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    There's also a version of the firelighter blocks you can buy that don't smell so strongly as the standard ones, but I don't think it matters too much outdoors as everything will soon smell of woodsmoke anyway.
    I like using cotton wool with vaseline as they stay alight when it's stormy whilst attempting to light fires/trangia with shivery, damp fingers.
    I also carry a small flannel to use to prevent burnt fingers moving hot pots etc, which doubles up as wash up cloth and to wipe soot off.
    I carry a storm kettle and wood in a cheap canvas bag which also keeps all the cooking essentials and firelighting bits and pieces together.
    The woods would be silent if no bird sang except those that sing best.

  21. #21
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    Default Dried fungus..there Ive said it.

    Dried Fungus..can't remember its flippin name. Its dark brown, ball like shape looks like an elongated conker or a small kidney. Catches sparks easy, it smoulders for ages and dry birch bark catches a flame off it with some puff. Native Americans, I believe used it to transport fire??.. Thats a natural way... Waxed storm matches for more urgent coffee stops!!! ...I also like making lights (stone age candles) from dried moss talow wax/animal fat and scallop shells. Great for the kids (in us) to do!!! HA HA my girlfriend just read this over my shoulder...Dont you go nicking my porcini mushrooms for your fire making... Ps. she thinks I'm mad.
    Last edited by Teign Beaver; 29th-April-2011 at 10:45 AM. Reason: There is NO 'h' in porcini..she tells me!

  22. #22
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    The flannel is a good idea, Helen.

    I bought a couple of thin silicone mats to be heat shields under the kettles but they aren't successful. The one under the base camp Kelly was burned to a crisp first time I used it. Melting/burning point of slilicone is about 220 deg C - so lots of heat in the firebox. The mat under the mkettle fared better but I don't think will last more than a few fires. These were used on stone slabs. I doubt they'd protect grass well enough to be worthwhile and they're not up to protecting fingers, given the damage sustained.

    Ho hum. A flannel it may well be for me, too.

  23. #23

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    I have a small drybag which contains a Mora carbon knife, Woodlander folding saw with firesteel attached, small peice of innertube, fluff from the tumble dryer and a few pine cones.

    I allways carry small pieces of dry wood in the body of the KK so I know I can always have at least one brew.
    The main thing I always make sure is in my kit is a pump dispenser with alcohol hand gel. If the other bits of tinder aren't working I can put a few squirts on and

    You could always use it to clean your hands with too

    Martin

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    Quote Originally Posted by jandude View Post
    The flannel is a good idea, Helen.

    I bought a couple of thin silicone mats to be heat shields under the kettles but they aren't successful. The one under the base camp Kelly was burned to a crisp first time I used it. Melting/burning point of slilicone is about 220 deg C - so lots of heat in the firebox. The mat under the mkettle fared better but I don't think will last more than a few fires. These were used on stone slabs. I doubt they'd protect grass well enough to be worthwhile and they're not up to protecting fingers, given the damage sustained.

    Ho hum. A flannel it may well be for me, too.
    You could get a plumbers soldering mat - made from woven fibreglass (I think) I bought mine in B & Q but other DIY stores are available. they can withstand temperatures up to 750 degrees Celsius

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/rothenberg...ring-mat/54910

    And I use tumble drier fluff for tinder. Might try it with vaseline, but haven't needed to yet!
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  25. #25
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    A firesteel...obviously and..

    a couple of unopened tampons.

    Once these are opened up, there is an abundant supply of compressed cotton.
    Keltoi and associates - The sick and the wrong!

  26. #26
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    Birchbark and wood splinters from chopping logs...works for me.
    --
    Andy

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    I have just discovered Swedish (I think) tinder card. Lakeland Bushcraft and other places sell it. Superb!. Score it up the middle, open it out and fluff it up a bit and it will light easily with a spark. Burns for ages - even a small piece.
    PWC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teign Beaver View Post
    Dried Fungus..can't remember its flippin name. Its dark brown, ball like shape looks like an elongated conker or a small kidney. Catches sparks easy, it smoulders for ages and dry birch bark catches a flame off it with some puff. Native Americans, I believe used it to transport fire??.. Thats a natural way...
    "Fomes fomentarius" or Horses Hoof

    [/IMG]
    Last edited by Mountainlad; 13th-May-2011 at 07:16 PM.

  29. #29
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    Here's another one to add to the 'things that catch a spark' list. Every year usually in early spring, at some point we get an unearthly smell coming out of the woodburner in the lounge and it fills the room to the extent that we have to evacuate until it clears. I was pretty sure it was caused by a crow falling down the chimney and cooking, feathers and all on the top of the baffle plate. mmmmm nice. I just happened to have some pigeon feathers (dont ask) in my garage, so to test my theory I set light to them to see if it made the same smell. It did, Yuk. So that was the mystery solved and I will get round to putting a cage on the chimney pot more sooner than later.
    Impressed at how the feathers burnt I dug out my flint stick and fired a few sparks at some of the remaining feathers. The downy stuff at the base of the feather caught and went straight to a flame and this spread to the 'proper' flight feathers and it all burnt for a good while.
    Just another one to add to the list.
    Paul

  30. #30
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    I'm gunna need a bigger tinder box/bag



    To make a Substitute for Tinder made with Linen.
    Dissolve three ounces of salt petre in a pint and an half of fair Water in a Kettle or Pan over clear Fire: Then thoroughly wet twenty-four Sheets of smooth brown Paper separately in the hot Liquor, and lay them on some clean Place to dry. When you have Occasion, you may put a Piece in your Tinder-box, and using the Steel and Flint, it will catch like Wildfire.
    Click on my Mini-Me to visit my Blog


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    I usually prefer natural (free) materials such as birch bark, crampball fungus, dry grass etc. but also include some strips of innertube for days when it is pouring with rain, also some of the tinder-card mentioned above. BBQ matches are pretty good and don't smell bad. Zippo make individually wrapped 'food-safe' bbq lighting cubes which you might like to try for a quick win.
    Not all those who wander are lost

  32. #32
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    A firesteel, some bits of Zip firelighter, cotton wool, birch bark, anti-bac. hand gel and small (1" x 2" approx) sections bicycle inner tube. I like to have options...
    Favourite method at the moment is to smear some hand gel onto a piece of inner tube, gel takes the spark and gets the tube going. Beware though - gel is alcohol based and burns with an invisible flame and can stick to skin when alight (so I'm told by someone with experience of it happening!).
    Paul.

    Canoeing is a series of brews seperated by stretches of water...

  33. #33
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    1. Firesteel
    2. Cotton wool with Vaseline
    3. Very thin pieces of birchbark, picked of birches that grow on the place where the Berlin wall stood.
    4. These individually packed lighters that women abuse. (I do not know why they they were made without wax before they are packed and sold. So I have to put them in hot wax before use.) If these pieces are burning, they will keep the wax where it has to be.
    Last edited by Dull Knife; 22nd-November-2011 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Grammar, I hope, this was the only mistake.
    Dull Knives are the most dangerous ones.

  34. #34
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    RE: Helen, using a Tea Towel, nice one. Just a thought, I saw a video, on Bushcraft on Fire, good website, and the bag he made,to carry all the kit in, is his " Glove" Neat idea. hope the link below works:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b2XS...feature=relmfu
    Thanks folks, and checkout some of the other videos, interesting, Andy.
    Just rewatched this video, and he doesn't use the glove!! must be on another video, sorry folks, but a good watch too....
    Last edited by AndyJ; 22nd-November-2011 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Gloveless!

  35. #35
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    Duplicate post
    PWC
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  36. #36
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    Firesteel, cotton wool soaked in vaseline and small twigs which I pick up and dry... oh and a couple of firelighters... just in case!
    Kazbunny
    Don't dream it... DO IT!

  37. #37
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    I use magfire. A couple of strips folded in half kept in a tobacco tin. Pulled apart and fluffed up lights no problem with firesteel or lights as is with a lighter. Good long hot burn and lights when wet.
    http://www.tamarackgroup.co.uk/cgi-b...%23a8725#a8725

  38. #38
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    I have a fire sparker, char cloth in a small tin with additional cloth to make more, tree fungus as mentioned in previous posts, and one that I haven't seen posted on here which is bullrush ( wait till the bullrush has lost its solid formed shape and has become all fluffy this is like a natural cotton wool and catches a spark well and will blow hot but does not burst into flame so have your small split twigs at hand ready.
    I normally have small twigs in a pocket as this helps reduce moisture as you walk/canoe.
    Also with your knife you can scrape bark shavings to assist the initial fire.

    Please note: the. Bullrush becomes fluffy as a type of Maggot eat their way through it, so if you intend keeping some pull it apart and remove maggots.
    Last edited by Wilding-Glendye.Dave; 29th-January-2012 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Update information

  39. #39
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    Late to the party but I have waxed paper from BackPackingLight and following a recent tip and test 1/2 a natural (non-smelly) zip lighter per firestart. Also so jute string and fat wood but these are not used often.
    Alan
    Went the day well?



  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainlad View Post
    "Fomes fomentarius" or Horses Hoof

    [/IMG]
    I'm sorry..Ive only just seen this Mountainlad ! Thats the one! dried Bracket fungus does it too, I believe.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teign Beaver View Post
    I'm sorry..Ive only just seen this Mountainlad ! Thats the one! dried Bracket fungus does it too, I believe.

    Got to be honest looks like Daldina concentrica otherwise known as coal fungus, cramp balls or King Alfred’s cakes. Nice top btw :-)

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=kin...w=1024&bih=672
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  42. #42
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    I use Swan Vestas matches. First I light a candle and cover the matches to half way up their stem with the moulting wax and then allow them to dry. This in the first instance keeps the matches dry, but also allows the match to burn for considerably longer, thereby giving you more time to ignite your tinder. Geoff

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushcraft paddler View Post
    Got to be honest looks like Daldina concentrica otherwise known as coal fungus, cramp balls or King Alfred’s cakes. Nice top btw :-)

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=kin...w=1024&bih=672

    Yes..I recognise the 'concentrica' bit! Coal fungus, used to transport fire. Cramp balls!!! OUCH.

  44. #44

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    Cotton wool and firesteel.
    I do have a tin of Fatwood shavings to. A large "pinch" of these and they go just as well as the cotton wool.

  45. #45
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    For my Kelly and Yukon, I always carry a good few lumps of birch bark.

    For the Kelly, I stuff it up inside, along with feather sticks or other kindling. The yukon, just has my normal bag of "bits"; birch bark, cotton wool that has a few drops of paraffin added, and I always carry a firesteel and a couple of re-fillable lighters.
    I prefer to use my fire-steel but I often just dive in and light up with a lighter to be honest!

    cheers

    Steve


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

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