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Thread: Transporting Fire

  1. #1

    Default Transporting Fire

    One way to have fire is not to let the one you have go out or transport it where you need it. What is needed is something that will smolder a long time. I have no expertise at this but I did see it done on TV once using tree fungus. I also had the experience of having a load of cottonwood firewood catch on fire in the back of my pickup that I would put out and a mile later was burning again so when I walked by a cottonwood stump today that was killed by tree fungus I thought I’d put it to the test.

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    Conditions today where good to put it to the test. Lots of things work in warm weather but today it is damp and 34 degrees, perfect. I lit the fungus and a large piece of cottonwood bark. After about an hour the cottonwood went out but the fungus was still burning good. The cottonwood may have worked better in warmer environment or in a can with other pieces but the point of the test is doing it under field or survival conditions.

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    4 hours later fungus is still burning.

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    Blowing on it makes it glow hot enough to build a fire.

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    I could not tell you what type of fungus it is except that it is common around here. Next I will try just using a fire drill to make a ember directly in the fungus. For now I just want to see how long it burns. It’s still burning and I will post again when it has burned up.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 04-21-2010 at 09:37 PM.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've been experimenting with fungi more and more (thanks to Gene).

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  3. #3

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    The temperature has dropped to 24 degrees, its been 10 hours and only burnt about 1/3 of the way. This is more than enough to burn through the night to have a fire in the morning or hike all day and have fire when you arrive.

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    Just blow on it and it’s hot.

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  4. #4
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That looks like a horseshoe or false tinder fungus to me. There are just so many fire uses for that little guy. You can even use it to boil water!!

    http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/surv...ngus/uses.html

  5. #5

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    Interesting! Not that it matters, but, offhand it looks like some type of Ganoderma species, maybe an "artist's conk.

    Regardless, it's cool to see how long that stuff stays burning.

    I find many dry shelf type fungi that will take a spark and smolder forever just like that. They're pretty bountiful and can be found dry most all year.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    Interesting! Not that it matters, but, offhand it looks like some type of Ganoderma species, maybe an "artist's conk.

    Regardless, it's cool to see how long that stuff stays burning.

    I find many dry shelf type fungi that will take a spark and smolder forever just like that. They're pretty bountiful and can be found dry most all year.
    I havn't started fires with sparks (on purpose) but I would think this stuff would not start good that way unless broken up, dried or something. YCC would probably know but I know I had to hold a flame on it a long time to get it lit.

  7. #7

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    The ones I sparked from were roughed/ ground up with the point of a knife. If I remember correctly the true tinder fungus/ Innonotus obliquis? took a spark right off with no roughing up.

    I'm just amazed at how it burns, almost like incense.

  8. #8

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    I am definately going to experiment some more with it. I always have counted on fire drill as my backup when I run out of matches so I will be trying to drill into fungus directly without fireboard to see if I can light it. I think it is worth a try and will be a nice trick if it works.

  9. #9
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I'm definately interested in what you find with the drill. The true tinder will catch a spark without being ground up, but it works more quickly if you do grind a little dust. I mostly use it to form a coal bed in my grass tindle for starting twigs to burn. I have a picture of it somewhere (I think) where I caught it up using a ferro rod.
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  10. #10

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    The fire drill experiment failed. I think the fungus I have is too wet. The spindle got very hot and I had wood embers but the fungus did not catch. I tried it from both sides eventually drilling through it. It may work if drier or warmer but I only do things that I can count on working. It may be the kind of fungus I have but this stuff is hard to light.

  11. #11

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    Crash did it! Thought I would link to his thread.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...ad.php?t=11706

  12. #12
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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  13. #13
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Wonder how it would do inside containers of various types?

    I have heard of people transporting embers in birch bark cones, sometimes cow horns insulated with ash, and old timers had cast iron pots made just for this use. They had holes in the lid.

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