We've done a bit lately together with shelter building in the snow and other little bits and pieces, but she has asked about making fires, with rubbing sticks together and by using sparks.
So Yesterday I went for a short walk on my own, I grabbed some dry hay and straw as tinder and set off to find a sheltered spot. I made a nest with my tinder and started to make sparks with my ferro rod, nothing was taking, I needed some cotton or something finer to take the spark, good job my daughter wasn't there to see how unprepared I was!
So today I set about making some char cloth to make fire lighting a bit easier. Char cloth is fabric that has been burnt without oxygen and can be used for tinder, it is made using the same method as turning wood into charcoal. Below is the step by step as to how I did it.
|The materials I needed, an old T shirt, a biscuit tin, a hammer and a screw.|
|This is essential the material must be 100% cotton|
|I knocked a hole in the top of the tin. Not always essential depending on what tin you're using. This one seals shut so might pop open if I didn't.|
|I'll keep the screw so I can block the hole up later on.|
|I rolled the shirt up and cut it into strips. The tin is packed quite full with this.|
|I then put it on the gas BBQ outside. A fire would be more practical if I had one going, but the gas ring works fine. the painted penguins didn't last long.|
Char cloth is also great if you're trying to start a fire with a flint and steel as well, you only need a tiny square of cloth sat on your flint if you have your tinder set up ready.
Tonight we took it outside and I showed the girls how quickly it caught a spark and then got them to blow into the tinder bundle to get it to catch. They loved seeing it go up in flames.
So next I need to make up a fire bow set to show them how to make fire by rubbing sticks together! It's been nearly ten years since I did this last so I'll have to see how much I remember!