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Thread: Fire Starters And Tinders

  1. #101
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Making activated charcoal is not like you described. It's a lot more than just removing air from the equation. All you are making with your method is charcoal. That is not the same as activated charcoal, which is what is used for water treatment. Activated charcoal is usually heated in a chamber of inert gas then acid washed to remove the fly ash. In fact one method, oxidation, introduces oxygen into the chamber to create it. Activated charcoal and char cloth are steeds of different hues.


  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTree View Post

    ...so well, keeping that concept in mind, just put some cloth in a can, kept from getting ventilation. Put it over a candle or close to a fire, whatever. When smoke tries to force itself out of the can, cloth is done - You're just trying to heat that cloth to burning temperature, yet not letting it actually burn. So it remains intact, but what you have now is some material which catches fire (ember) easier...at a lowered ignition temperature.
    When smoke stops coming out of the can the char cloth is done. When you heat wood for a fire it out gases volatile gases first. These are typical hydrogen, carbon and oxygen in the form of 10CH20. This happens at about 300 degrees and once you have raised the temperature to about 500 degrees these gases undergo a chemical reaction and burn. That process accounts for your smoke.

    Once these volatile gases have been removed from the wood or plant fiber you are left with char. The main benefits of which are that char burns cleaner and hotter. Another advantage is that the cellulose material that was eliminated as those volatile gases were released were moist and having eliminated that moisture, you have something that will smolder when it takes a spark. If the gas was still present the charcloth would burn with a visible flame as those gases went through a chemical reaction caused by the heat.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/env...sics/fire1.htm

  3. #103
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    - Oops, I meant when the smoke stops, not when it starts (charcloth)

    - I always wondered about the "activated" part for charcoal. Maybe that's what more complicated contraptions that people attempt or make is for? I know a feller who always makes charcoal the way I described, and uses it for water from his roof to run into and through before going into an underground cistern. I asked him about this...isn't there more to it? Doesn't it need to be "activated" or have something else done to it? Is his kind of coal still good for drinking water in some ways? He swore to me that what he does is all there is to it. He's been living in the sticks off the grid for several decades, so I respected his word/experience and never looked into it much since.

    Of course, that guy was a little 'off' too, in certain ways. But I learned a good few things from him, and just stuck this one in my hat.

    ...but, does this kind of coal do anything at all for water, in primitive situations? (I do know that activated isn't meant to be antibacterial to a great extent, but for taste and some minor practical effects.)
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 07-26-2015 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #104

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    WalkingTree, you have to be a bit careful with hear-say. I've read some posts from people who believe simply placing a stick of charcoal (bamboo charcoal from Japan, if I remember right) into your cup will filter the water. Yup, without the water even having to pass through it. Complete hogwash.

  5. #105
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Activated charcoal will adsorb (with a d) organic contaminates as well as help with taste. Depending on the size of his roof a simple 1 inch rain could result in hundreds of gallons of water. I'm not sure how he's flowing that much water through a charcoal filter of any kind. While that roof water sounds clean you have to remember that birds can easily poop on your roof as well as any critter that scampers across it.

  6. #106
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Want to hear some thing funny......
    The gutters on the Taj Ma Shed water collection system....has a screen as it starts down the down spout.
    As it is close to the over hanging trees....the gutter fills up with sticks, dirt, leaves and God know what else.....

    Used to clean it out regular, till figured out that the accumulation was actually filtering a lot of dirty stuff out, as the water collected was much cleaner (to look at) than after the screen was had a good cleaning.

    So, If anyone asks .......I just say, "Yeah well I'm using a debris filter....Yeah, That's the ticket!"

    Kinda like ...the ground?

    I still boil it to drink....or used to...have a well now, but still use the collection system to wash up....as its down next to the shed, and I get dirty.
    Shower would have to be filled.... to use...but is still ready as well.
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  7. #107
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Activated charcoal will adsorb (with a d) organic contaminates as well as help with taste. Depending on the size of his roof a simple 1 inch rain could result in hundreds of gallons of water. I'm not sure how he's flowing that much water through a charcoal filter of any kind. While that roof water sounds clean you have to remember that birds can easily poop on your roof as well as any critter that scampers across it.
    Heh...yea!

    The regular practice was to have the water diverted to not be collected, and when it rained we'd wait a while till the rain washed the roof and gutters a bit, then it'd all be directed to go into the system. For each roof (a house and another building) there were two brick and mortar boxes about 2 feet by 2 feet each which were kept full of this (apparently non-activated and worthless?) homemade-in-an-upside-down-metal-trashcan charcoal, about 6 to 12 inches deep. Above and below were screens. And the roof was casually inspected and swept now and then.

    I never suffered any ill effects of any kind, for months of being there, and it's been 6 years since...but then also I believe that most water consumption (excluding laundry and showers etc) involved the water going through a coffee maker, or being boiled in a saucepan because of cooking that food, etc, so maybe that saved me from any funkiness?

    But anywho...I've "finally" did some googling on the matter, and so far it seems that activation just increases the surface area and porosity, so that it "cleans more" (and activated has certain volatile compounds removed). This suggests to me that normal charcoal does something, but activated just does it a lot better. I also see that one cannot make activated charcoal in primitive situations, unless you happen to take particular chemicals with you, which need to be handled carefully, but still need to be able to build a totally awesome oven anyway with dirt and rocks, if not using a steam method. Arg!

    Also, from what I'm reading, this makes me think that it would be better to have the stuff we made be pulverized into powder, instead of intact sticks/chunks (?).

    I knew that (activated) charcoal had some positive organic properties, but what I said about it not being very antibacterial is because I believe that you don't want to depend completely on that...wouldn't you still want to boil?

    But now I want to ask...is this stuff we were making really very different than the coals from a campfire??


    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Want to hear some thing funny......
    The gutters on the Taj Ma Shed water collection system....has a screen as it starts down the down spout.
    As it is close to the over hanging trees....the gutter fills up with sticks, dirt, leaves and God know what else.....

    Used to clean it out regular, till figured out that the accumulation was actually filtering a lot of dirty stuff out, as the water collected was much cleaner (to look at) than after the screen was had a good cleaning.

    So, If anyone asks .......I just say, "Yeah well I'm using a debris filter....Yeah, That's the ticket!"

    Kinda like ...the ground?

    I still boil it to drink....or used to...have a well now, but still use the collection system to wash up....as its down next to the shed, and I get dirty.
    Shower would have to be filled.... to use...but is still ready as well.
    Hey...that's right! ('slong as the gunk is the right gunk, I guess.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastree View Post
    WalkingTree, you have to be a bit careful with hear-say...
    Yea...I'm usually a bit more skeptical and thorough before I stick something in my knowledge-box.

    But then...swishing a stick of charcoal around in a cup of water wouldn't do ANYTHING??
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 07-27-2015 at 07:54 PM.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTree
    .is this stuff we were making really very different than the coals from a campfire??


    Apart from possibly being charred more, there is no difference. Charcoal is charcoal. Reducing the size of the charcoal still won't approximate activated charcoal. Charcoal will absorb (with a B) off tastes and smells but that's the only thing it will do. Activated charcoal will adsorb (with a D) organic contaminates as well as absorb (with a B) off tastes and smells. While both will purify water neither will sterilize water.

  9. #109
    Senior Member MrFixIt's Avatar
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    Default Crepe Myrtle bark tinder *FAIL*

    Well, I have pictures but keep getting an error message.
    Anyways, I had been eyeballing the bark on some myrtles. Kinda reminds me of river birch the way it peels off, but is thicker.
    I crumbled some up into a pile, then tried a ferro rod. No go.
    Scraped some magnesium onto it, spark caught, then died.
    I then tried the Bic. It lit briefly, smoldered, then went out.
    I thought maybe this would be a good urban setting tinder, but no, it isn't!
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

  10. #110
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    How long did you let it dry after you peeled it?
    Can't Means Won't

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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    How long did you let it dry after you peeled it?
    Sorry Crash, just saw this...
    I didn't let it dry, it was already very crumbly (is that a word?) and certainly felt dry to the touch.
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

  12. #112
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    My fire starter kit is:
    . Dry wooden shavings of a wardrobe
    . Cotton wool mixed with lip balm
    . Flint and steel

  13. #113
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Harper View Post
    My fire starter kit is:
    . Dry wooden shavings of a wardrobe
    . Cotton wool mixed with lip balm
    . Flint and steel
    Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome
    There is a intro section at:........If you would like to say hello.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...-Introductions
    Last edited by hunter63; 04-11-2017 at 09:49 AM.
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  14. #114

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    Man, that youtube video is really useful.

  15. #115

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    The tinder i prefer is a simple cotton pad soaked in a common cooking oil (rapeseed)...tap it with a toilet paper to get it dry(ish) and its good to go...burns over 4 minutes and costs basicly nothing.

  16. #116

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    Really awsome Youtube video, tnx!


    http://survival-skills.eu/

  17. #117
    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    Default Self-feeding fire

    Came across this idea and was blown away by its simplicity and ingenuity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejfSv3raPDo

  18. #118
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    That looks like a lot, compared to some other available techniques for long fires that take less wood and less setup (?)
    The pessimist complains about the wind;
    The optimist expects it to change;
    The realist adjusts the sails.

    - William Arthur Ward

  19. #119
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENESSE View Post
    Came across this idea and was blown away by its simplicity and ingenuity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejfSv3raPDo
    Actually used a one sided version of the "self feeder" a few times....but was more of a reflector and in one case, a wet wood dryer.....
    Was raining for 5 days....so cut wood was kinda stacked like that, just out side a canvas tarp/fly....Fire would burn, drying the next log and the next etc.
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  20. #120

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    Hello, i think this is probably the mose important think you need to survive )) and ofc water! but for someone like me, the bronchodilators are essential as well.
    Last edited by Ablang; 06-13-2017 at 03:53 PM.

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