Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: SCOUTS-L Digest - 11 Oct 1998 to 12 Oct 1998
Re: SCOUTS-L Digest - 11 Oct 1998 to 12 Oct 1998
Tue, 13 Oct 1998 11:24:22 -0400
Kevin Woods <kswoods@CHRISTA.UNH.EDU> wrote:
> Subject: Starting Fires 2 (sparks!)
> Part 2
> As noted earlier the council also provided 2 older flint and steel sets.
> These also did not work. I do not believe one stone was flint.
Stone other than flint will work too. It is not simple to raise a spark with
the old fashion flint and steel, so don't feel badly if you were unabel to do it.
> We improvised and used 2 spark strikers commonly seen. One is a block with
> magnesium (Campmore about $7) that you shave into your tinder and the other
> has a small plastic handle that you strike or scrape for sparks.
> These worked very well. Does anyone have other suggestions?
The BSA flint and steel kit currently sold works well. $5 I think.
> They provided us with wood shavings and the kits had a horse hair kind of
> material. Will dryer lint work? Other suggestions?
Dryer lint will catch a hot spark from the current flint and steel kit, but is
not terrific at the cooler spark from the traditional flint and steel. The
best thing to use to catch and hold a spark is char-cloth. Put some cotton
cloth in a "chew" tin with a couple of small holes in the top. Place in the
fire. The cotton cloth with char without burning up and will catch a spark
really well. I do carry a film can with dryer lint in my emergency kit with
the new style flint and steel.
Once you have a way to catch the spark, a really nice tinder bundle can be
made from jute package cord. Cut 6" lengths of the twine and unravel them.
When you have enough to make a tennis ball size bundle, this will work really
well to bring the spark (in a piece of charcloth) to flame, or the "coal" from
a fire drill. Dig a hole in the ball with your thumb to receive the
spark/coal. Once you place the charcloth and spark, or fire drill coal into
this hole, blow into it gently until it catches. Blow up and away from your
face - that is hold the ball out in front and above your face so that when it
catches fire it doesn't burn you.
A neat trick is to hold the ball in your hand and spin your arm around -
forcing air into the ball and creating a ring of smoke. When you stop
swinging it, it will generally burst into flame, so be sure you are holding it
from the bottom and away from you... :).
Tim Hewitt, Scoutmaster
Troop 350, Old Orchard Beach, Maine