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Thread: Holy Fatwood!

  1. #1
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    Default Holy Fatwood!

    fatwoodfirestarter.jpg

    Got a box at WalMart tonight, $10.

    Ive *never* tried fatwood, but let me tell you this.... IT IS GREAT!

    A lot of flame and burns for quite a while (maybe 5 min). Downside it is smoky but the benefit outweighs that... Also wind has NO ill affect on it's burn.

    Petroleum jelly cotton balls, Coghlands fire starter sticks, etc.. Pffft... From now on, fatwood will be in my pack!

    Ill try to put a video together soon, very impressive!

    HTH,
    Andrew


  2. #2

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    Fatwood is good stuff but, don't limit yourself to one kind of starter.
    Wilderness Survival:
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  3. #3

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    I have to admit, I've been buying that same fatwood from Wally-World for a couple years. It really is outstanding! It's as good as any fatwood I've ever used, including several batches I've acquired via trades with various forum buddies from down south. Really, really good stuff...and pretty cheap, too. A couple sticks, broken or cut in half, is generally enough to get just about anything to catch.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I agree with Peter lynch. I have the same box, I don't know about the contents of yours but mine needs a lighter to get going. The box is several years old. Perhaps it has dried out a bit. Anyway In the condition mine is in i doubt it will light from a spark. Have you tried lighting from a flint and steel, ferro rod or other ignition method? Check it out and let us know. I will try this weekend.
    Karl

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  5. #5

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    I keep the "freshness" of the fatwood in mind. Generally I vacuum package it in quantities suitable for my purposes. If you shave it very finely it can be lit with a steel but I don't use it that way. To get a fire, you of course need: an ignition source > tinder > kindling > fuel. I consider the kindling to be the ideal role for fatwood. Ignition can of course be matches, a firesteel, a lighter, a bowdrill, a fresnel lens used to focus sunlight, etc. Common items of tinder include cotton balls, charcloth, Tinder-Quik, etc. I really like Tinder Card for this. Kindling can be small pieces of wood, fatwood, etc. Fuel is the bigger stuff that serves as the bulk of the combustibles.

    Some things bridge several categories and fill several roles. For instance, Weber Cubes and Esbit tablets can easily serve as both tinder & kindling (and sometimes even as fuel).

    I will say though that very often fatwood will light with just a lighter. I'd hate to count on getting it going with a single match and no other tinder, though.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Sounds like we are on the same page. That's basically how I use it, along with other tinder.
    Karl

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Fatwood can be used just like a mag bar - scrape into a pile and hit it with a spark (think commercially produced Mayadust). Small slivers light easily as well.
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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I'll give that a try.
    Karl

    The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion the the effort he puts into whatever field of endeavor he chooses. Vincent T Lombardi

    A wise man profits from the wisdom of others.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BornthatWay's Avatar
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    Fatwood will light with a lighter no problem. I use a pj cotton ball if I am using a fire steel to take the spark and then put the fatwood on to catch fire. That works real nice to get a fire going for me.

  10. #10

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    Down here it is called lighter knot and it literally grows on trees.

    Most standing dead pines are fatwood. We also have it all over the trails. It looks like driftwood and when you pick it up or tap on it you'll know it is lighter knot by its heavy density. Any doubt can be alleviated with by shaving a little off and smelling it. It has a strong turpentine smell.

    When we are in woods with little in the way of hardwoods to find, we will use lighter knot as a fire wood. But, it does put off a lot of thick, black, stinky smoke. Burns long and hot though. A couple of good sized pieces will last all night.

    I did try using a ferro rod on shaved powder and it works. But, down here you can find dry palm dander even in the rain and once rubbed together and fluffed up it will take a spark like jute twine does. So shaving fatwood isn't really needed.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Great stuff, although I haven't bought any, but as the deer lease in Louisisna is a pine plantation, still a lot of lefy over downed trees from the last cutting.

    Yeah, you can tell by the weight, I just walk along a kick at anything that looks good....solid heavy, fat wood,.... light and rotten....just rotted wood.

    Picked up a couple of logs, showed signs of fire, "wood" rotted off, left almost pure pine pitch heartwood....lighten pine,fire knot, fat wood.

    Shaved/splintered/pounded will light with ferro rod, actual flint/steel little tougher, as the sparks are now where as many....mostly used as kindling.

    Went so far as to make "fire starters" from the sawdust/in a egg carton with paraffin.....but, No, they won't light with a ferro rod, still need tinder.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...=fire+starters

    Great stuff.....but don't rely on just one, method....
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    I lit mine with a regular kitchen match in a good breeze, it only took 3 seconds (literally) for it to flame up.

    I dont think just a spark will catch it, but a mag bar/striker is a sure bet.

    Anrew

  13. #13
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevenBravo View Post
    I lit mine with a regular kitchen match in a good breeze, it only took 3 seconds (literally) for it to flame up.

    I dont think just a spark will catch it, but a mag bar/striker is a sure bet.

    Anrew
    A spark does and will catch it if you shave it as described in previous posts.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Here ya go.

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  15. #15

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    In my own stomping grounds in the western side of the state, pines grow in their millions. But in the east where I live now there aren't many pine trees. A few of my buddies in the south laugh at the idea of buying fatwood...isn't it everywhere? Well, fatwood here is like finding a euchalyptus tree!

    Yeah, it works to shave it like a mag bar. Heck, for it works way better than a mag bar; I never have had much luck using magnesium to build a fire.

    If you have a lighter fatwood lights very easily, as a rule. Fatwood really does vary. Some pieces are pretty dry with just a faint aroma of pitch. Some feel like they were dipped in corn syrup, just runny with pine pitch. The latter will go up like a Roman candle. But any decent fatwood will catch with open flame, so long as you have a small chunk.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    The next batch...if I ever need to make any more of the egg carton/sawdust/wax fire starters, I'm thinking that embedding a cotton ball on the top would provide something to 'catch" a spark....even rub in a tad of PJ......
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  17. #17

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    I cut some up about the size of kitchen matches and it lights really easy with a lighter or with a fire steel if you scrape some up like mentioned before.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    The next batch...if I ever need to make any more of the egg carton/sawdust/wax fire starters, I'm thinking that embedding a cotton ball on the top would provide something to 'catch" a spark....even rub in a tad of PJ......
    I did that a while back. As soon as the wax was poured in, a cotton ball was stuck into the wax with about half of the cotton sticking out. Works great for catching a spark.
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    Thanks for the video Crash! Very informative, now I want to go shave some FW and try a sparker!!!

    You da man!

    Andrew

  20. #20

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    On a side note....I keep a few "trick candles" in the kit.....little suckers are hard to blow out....
    So this is how liberty dies.....With thunderous applause.

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