Here’s a great little project to do that will help you out when you want to get a fire going, especially if it’s a bit wet in the woods and you’re feeling a chill, or you want to get the coffee on the go and you need your kindling burning so you can get some heat into the coffee pot.
Make sure that you site your fire in a good spot where you’re not going to set the local area on fire and also make sure that you clear up after yourself, leave no trace is very important with fires as they can scar the land.
Here’s a little how-to from Woodswalker of Bushcraft UK on how to create some great little firestarters, these are good for getting the fire going out in the woods but also strike me as a great environmentally friendly idea for getting your wood stoves at home going in the winter. I know I’m going to get some made and stored away.
I came across this idea when I was messing about with some birchbark. They make excellent firelighters for their size/burn time ratio and could with a bit of ingenuity be primed to take a spark.
Start with some bark and rip it into 1cm ish wide pieces.
Then rip them carefully into 0.5 cm strips. You need four of them.
Fold the pieces exactly in half and with the loop made in one of them, insert the tails of the other.
Do this with another…
And finally the fourth and you will have a square. in theory!
Pull it in tight.
Now this part is the middle and on either side, you must tie four strand crown knots. Sounds complex but really all you must do is loop and trap each of the four strands under the adjacent one. Perhaps researching the knot may help at this point if you are stuck.
Three strands folded over…
Top half complete.
And the other side.
Here is a size comparison to a Bahco folding saw blade.
And a whole load of them which took about 1/2 hour to make.
And the most important part – it burning.
Some of the tightly woven ones have lasted a long time with a consistent flame and are excellent as fire starter after igniting something with a fire steel. You probably could weave it a different way, but this is quite simple.
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As with all things fire, be careful of where you light your fire and make sure that it’s always a manageable size. Remember – Leave no trace.