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Fire is the thing that separates Humans from all other animals and is so important to us that without it we simply can't survive in a survival situation, it's also something that we take for granted. We have to thank our ancestor Homo Erectus as the first of our species circa 500,000 years ago to gain control of this elemental force, enabling us to rule the world, and spend the lonely nights in safety, rather than cowering in the dark afraid of the night and the predators that ruled it, I tip my hat in respect.
Modern man Homo sapiens uses a variety of ways to make fire but the essence involves using a form of tinder that enables a hot ember/coal to be coaxed into a flame. The majority of fire lighting techniques use modern materials like Char cloth, Cotton buds coated with Vaseline, and Hexi blocks etc. All these materials are man made and don't exist in nature in a natural form. In the abscence of these we have to rely on what Mother nature gives us, so what can we use as a form of tinder?
In the UK we have a few options that are readily available and can be found almost anywhere.
1-- Dried grass- This is the most common and can be found everywhere and is very good if dried and processed correctly, and takes a spark easily.
2-- Fungus- Bracket Fungus- Birch Fungus hold a spark very well giving you time to to make a glowing ember, but it doesn't ignite as fast as dried grass etc, it does give you the ability to carry an ember as it keeps one smouldering for a long time enabling you to carry fire.
3--Bullrush/cat tails are an excellent source of tinder, and one flower head will provide a lot of material for numerous fires.
4--Pine resin-- Superb material and can be found where damage occurs on Pine trees. Don't use it in "block form" scrape it into shavings, this gives you a large surface area and will light even in rain.
5--Burdock seed heads-- I use these a lot as they are very common in my part of the Shire. The seeds have Oil in them and burst into flame with a good spark. You have to be careful processing these as they have sharp barbs protecting the seed heads. Smash the heads up teasing out the fluffy interior.
6--Nettles--gather the stalks when dry and pound till the fibres seperate, leaving you with a mass of string type material, a bit like Hemp and Flax. Takes a spark very well.
7--Dandelion, French for (teeth of the Lion) thank the Normans for the name. Surprisingly good although you only use the fluffy flower head and need quite a few to get any amount, best used in conjunction with other materials. Burns fast so you have to be quick getting it to your kindling.
I tend to use a composite tinder made from a few different species rather than rely on just one. For instance I will gather Burdock Heads, selected dried grasses, resin etc and mix it into a composite mixture and keep it in a pouch. When out walking you can gather these materials and make your tinder mixture at your own leisure when you get home ensuring you have an unlimited supply.
Char cloth, Cotton, Maya dust and Vaseline are superb but they don't occur naturally in the UK and once they run out in a SHTF situation you are up shit creek without a paddle if you don't know what to use in their abscence.
If you want to try a "modern" tinder source there is no better than the material found in your Tumble dryer filter, it ignites with the smallest spark.

Cotton obviously is a natural material, but not in the UK.
I have read that birch bark will burn even when wet. Not tried it myself yet. Has anyone else tried it?
I'm told Duraglit and wire wool take a good spark but I haven't actually tried it myself.
(26 September 2014, 20:34)Dorset Lad Wrote: [ -> ]I have read that birch bark will burn even when wet. Not tried it myself yet. Has anyone else tried it?

Birch bark will burn when slightly wet but one can not just lay a piece of bark down and start a fire by sparking with a ferro rod. One must fuzz the bark up to a very ragged state, them aim the sparks into the prepared area.

Steel wool, or iron wool, as you call it, will provide an ember for starting a fire but will not burst into flame on its own. The wool glows and can be used with proper tinder to get a flame.

Of all the emergency fire started available iron wool is my favorite by far.

You can take the battery out of any torch, walkie talkie, car battery or cell phone and short out the poles with a strand of iron wool and get a fire. You can catch sparks from the spine of a carbon steel knife blade struck by a piece of flint, catch the focused rays of the sun from a polished aluminum can bottom or dump the weakest coal from a fire spindle into it and it will glow until you bring a flame.

Even the weakest spark will catch on iron wool.

In fact, around the shop I have to be careful about accidentally starting a fire in iron wool because I use it to polish metal and it is often near the grinder, where sparks abound.

I am often amazed at all the things people here have "heard but never tried themselves" when they are available, cheap and very much worth the feeble effort.
Cotton wool impregnated with vaseline ( petroleum jelly ) takes a spark really easily. It's dual purpose as it can be used to clean a wound.
That's cool TH, thank you. I didn't know about dandelions, makes sense though. I was thinking of joining a few of these together, and then you said about how you like to join them as a more effective system. Great minds think alike.

One thing worth thinking of in regards to TH's post...why did he write it? I think it's because he recognises that all the other materials, e.g. cotton wool, wire wool, and the alike, might not be around if an event goes on long enough.

Personally, one of the easiest and one of my preferred materials to use for starting a fire is a tampon, fresh out the packet. Just fluff up one end and send a spark into it. The compressed part will burn more slowly, and it's easy enough to hold the compressed part to carry/move the fire to your prepared wood or to your fire-pit. It's even easier if you just light it next to the fire location and then just throw it in. The thing is, if an event goes on long enough, tampons will run out, cotton wool will run out, wire wool will run out, etc etc. This is why TH's post is so important.

Thanks for the info TH, very helpful.
Not all tampons and cotton wool will burn. Test a sample before you depend on it, just as you should test drive all of your equipment and materials.
Another great natural material for fire building is the humble Gorse bush.

The wood branches and stems are usually very dry and a pencil sharpener or knife will quickly produce fine kindling and tinder.

Even the green parts of the bush are rich in oils and resins which are highly flammable and the reason why so many moorland fire occurs which spread rapidly across large areas.
Crackin info TH, just want to say fat wood or Maya wood can be found in the UK if you know what to look for, here are a couple of vids that a good mate of mine posted on you tube,
Member Posts: 1,176
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is he talking about us
a revue of other sites by blackthorn [spy]....


Kind of proven my point about the trolls on this site, you and I both know this thread has nothing to do with what I said in my forum review based on my experiences and everything to do with what was said on P2S.
Quote: bigpaul
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RE: is he talking about us
yes, I came across this twerp on another forum, usual delusions of grandeur which seem to go hand in hand with being a troll.

Yes the twerp who exposed you for being a lier and a troll lol, funny how you’re the one to get banned from every respectable forum but I’m the troll.
Yesterday, 09:34
Post: #3

Quote: Steve
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RE: is he talking about us
He has some useful links though, check this out:

If other people are going to put the hard work in the least I can do is spread the knowledge and give credit where it’s due.

Quote:Yesterday, 09:48
Post: #4

Member Posts: 12,559
Joined: Oct 2011
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RE: is he talking about us
yes but its only links, not his own work.

Never claimed it to be.

Quote: Barneyboy
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RE: is he talking about us
,don't think that trolls are a prob here

Then you’re part of the problem, quite recently bigpaul trolled a guy for posting reviews and advertising a site offering good customer service. What it amounted too was jealousy at some of the tools the guy was showing off, this became apparent when bigpaul chipped in with his saving his pocket money to buy a knockoff MOD survival which is no comparison to the Kershaw being talked about in the thread.
Quote:Yesterday, 11:50
Post: #6

Tartar Horde
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RE: is he talking about us
Yes it seems freedoms of speech are not liked by many people who feel more comfortable in sites that control everything you say or think, they can't handle the hurlyburly of us lo

Freedom of speech is a grand thing, with all freedoms comes responsibility the lack of self restraint by people here is probably one of the reason you guys are bitching about not getting any new signups compared to other forums.

Quote: bigpaul
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RE: is he talking about us
" I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it".
Yet here you are bad mouthing me and my right to say what I want on my blog……… oops caught you out in another lie.

Yesterday, 13:50
Post: #8

Quote:City Slicker Posts: 798
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RE: is he talking about us
So he's obviously come on here, probably been an utter tool & we've basically told him to bugger off & he spat his dummy out. That's the way I interpret his supposed review anyway.

I got stalked for a post I made on UK self defence laws, go read it and decide for yourself.

Quote:Straight Shooter
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RE: is he talking about us
What was this persons handle on here ? would be useful to make an informed view and an appraisal of who this is, and what good ...if any he/she did whilst here on the site . I am now holding my breath ! (i am not much good at this ...please hurry )

Good for you, showing maturity and waiting to gather all in the information so you can make an informed opinion.
Yesterday, 14:08
Post: #11

Quote: bigpaul
Member Posts: 12,559
Joined: Oct 2011
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RE: is he talking about us
neither of this pair have an original thought in their heads, they just rant and rave about others on their petty little blogs, blogs which usually have no right of reply. talk about in their own little world. usually it is better to avoid and ignore such people, you are unlikely to ever meet them Post SHTF, they style themselves as "preppers", "survivalists" or "bushcrafters" but they are nothing of the sort.

From the guy who claimed there were no trees in Plymouth and announced to the world your plan to hold off the rest of your hungry village with a sharp tongue and a pistol crossbow roflmao “priceless”. I’m getting out and about and doing stuff some of which I share on my blog, what are you doing BP? What was your last valuable contribution to this site? Advertising a cheap copy knockoff of a knife, the original of which needs work upon arrival to be useful?

Quote:Yesterday, 14:11
Post: #12

Straight Shooter
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RE: is he talking about us
NO on second thoughts could not give a fucking shite.....i have resumed breathing normally
I had such high hopes as well.

Yesterday, 19:42 (This post was last modified: Yesterday 19:43 by MaryN.)
Post: #14

Quote: MaryN
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RE: is he talking about us
What a pompous, self-opinionated little person. Do we know who he is?
________________________________________And he can't spell either!

And here you are offering a pompous self-opinionated post! Right back at ya buddy Wink
My punctuation sucks as well, good job I’m not charging.

Quote: Devonian
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RE: is he talking about us
(Yesterday 19:42)MaryN Wrote: What a pompous, self-opinionated little person. Do we know who he is?

He is a member of SUK, but hasn't logged on since early February...
Here’s Johnny!! (not for long)
Yesterday, 21:06
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Quote: Skean Dhude
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RE: is he talking about us
Don't worry about who he is. Who cares. Although I don't agree with what he says, well, I wouldn't. Until we start making something of the site then it is pretty much just a talking shop.

We need to kick start it again after that six month period of being down. I can't do it on my own.

From the amount of traffic this thread has given me and some of the truly childish comments people have tried to post as a response (all anonymously), I guess plenty of people care and the butthurt is flowing. Until the Red Hand Gang stop attacking everyone who tries to offer something to the site, all you’re going to be stuck with is a talking shop……. As the Red Hand Gang are your only active posters I guess you’re screwed, walls of text of people saying they’re doing this that or the other but no pics or video’s showing them doing so…………. Hey I just flew to the moon and back I’d post pics but you know opsec and that!! roflmao.

Another thing to consider is giving credit to sources when you people lift threads from other forums not doing so really hurts your credibility, not that it’s bothered you people so far which is probably why this place is not getting any sign ups.

I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for the sudden influx of traffic from this thread, see I don’t care what you guys think of me, you can make your threats, leave your silly comments for me to filter out and troll away to your hearts content it just proves my point in the forum review. Meanwhile I’m just doing my thing, I’m out in the woods, I’m working the garden, when I go foraging I pick more than a few scabby apples out a ditch.

Y’all have fun now, Good Luck to you in the future.
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