Waterproof Fire Starter

by Joshua Stuck



I have seen many examples of fire starters, but I wanted to try and make one that was made out of only primitive materials. I wanted to make sure that it was small and waterproof. Also, it could be used with any primitive coal producing method of fire making, like the hand drill or bow drill, as well as more modern methods, like steel and flint, Ferrocerium Rods, matches and lighters. Here is what I did . . . .

1. Bees wax melted in a double boiler
2. Thin strips of birch bark
3. Char cloth
4. Jute twine pulled apart and made into a small tinder nest (penny used to show size relationship).

Begin by placing the char cloth into the center of the jute tinder nest. Then compress the tinder nest around char cloth as tightly as you can. The size of the ball can be larger or smaller depending on your own personal preferences.

Next begin wrapping the tinder with thin strips of birch bark. When it is finished being wrapped with the birch bark, it should look like this.

Carefully dip half of the wrapped bundle into the wax to seal the bark in place.
Continue to rotate and dip in wax until completely covered. Press down any pieces of bark that may be sticking up as you go so that you end up with a fairly smooth round ball when finished. You now have a completely waterproof fire starter that you can use even in the wettest conditions.

When you are ready to use your fire starter (this was done on a rainy day, on cold wet pavement, in late October, in Northeast Wisconsin), simply cut it in half, pull out the tinder nest from the inside, expose the char cloth and you are ready to go.

This particular fire starter ball was started with steel and flint and burned on this wet pavement for over 10 minuets. Hope this comes in handy for you.



E-mail your comments to "Joshua Stuck " at jstuck@marinette.k12.wi.us

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