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Thread: How I make Char Cloth - the easy way.

  1. #41
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  2. #42

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    The problem with char cloth is that it is not tinder. It's not even along the lines of cotton balls or dryer lint. It's basically half of an ignition device. Useless by itself, but compatible with a sparking device. However, it still requires tinder, and good tinder at that. You pretty much will need a birds nest with very dry, small, burnable fibers. A little red ember on a patch of burnt clothing doesn't produce much to get a flame going.

    Therefore if you have the char cloth on hand, AND a sparking device, then you still have to go out and find your tinder. Why not just keep cotton and your sparking device on hand? A char tin full of cotton will last just as long, only you won't need dry tinder either, you can light sticks directly with the cotton.

    To me, char cloth would be one of those rare things that you would create on the fly when you had limited materials on hand and weren't sure how you'd get your NEXT fire going. It's definitely not something you should carry out in the field to get your FIRST fire started. I mean you can, it won't hurt anything, but I find it pointless.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    If you are using a ferro rod I agree that char cloth is an unnecessary step.

    Now if using flint (rock)and steel (knife blade or striker steel....NOT ferro rod) it will catch a spark much, MUCH, easier.
    Flint and Steel does NOT produce the shower of intense sparks a ferro rod fire steel does.

    To totally discount it is very wrong....as store bought ferro rods are not always around, flint (a generic term for any sparking rocks) and be picked up off the ground in many places....You just need a piece of steel to strike.

    Any and all fire starting methods require some sort of tinder..........even if it an esbit tab.
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  4. #44
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    The problem with char cloth is that it is not tinder. It's not even along the lines of cotton balls or dryer lint. It's basically half of an ignition device. Useless by itself, but compatible with a sparking device. However, it still requires tinder, and good tinder at that. You pretty much will need a birds nest with very dry, small, burnable fibers. A little red ember on a patch of burnt clothing doesn't produce much to get a flame going.

    Therefore if you have the char cloth on hand, AND a sparking device, then you still have to go out and find your tinder. Why not just keep cotton and your sparking device on hand? A char tin full of cotton will last just as long, only you won't need dry tinder either, you can light sticks directly with the cotton.

    To me, char cloth would be one of those rare things that you would create on the fly when you had limited materials on hand and weren't sure how you'd get your NEXT fire going. It's definitely not something you should carry out in the field to get your FIRST fire started. I mean you can, it won't hurt anything, but I find it pointless.
    Opinions certainly vary. I find that most people that discount char cloth or charred material have very little experience with it.
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    Senior Member DomC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    The problem with char cloth is that it is not tinder.
    I beg to differ. Tinder is easily combustible material used to ignite fires by rudimentary methods, thus char cloth is considered as TINDER.

    DomC
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomC View Post
    I beg to differ. Tinder is easily combustible material used to ignite fires by rudimentary methods, thus char cloth is considered as TINDER.

    DomC
    Very good point.

    tinĚder [tin-der]
    noun
    1.
    a highly flammable material or preparation formerly used for catching the spark from a flint and steel struck together for fire or light.
    2.
    any dry substance that readily takes fire from a spark.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tinder
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    I hear from a good source that charred cattail fluff makes a good spark catcher. Been going to try it but usually end up with a pocketful of fluff which ends up making a mess. LOL. This is before I get a chance to char it.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    I hear from a good source that charred cattail fluff makes a good spark catcher. Been going to try it but usually end up with a pocketful of fluff which ends up making a mess. LOL. This is before I get a chance to char it.
    Charred cattail fluff makes a great tinder. I read on-line about somebody using it and thought - "No way. It'll just burn up". So I tried it - works fantastic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Charred cattail fluff makes a great tinder. I read on-line about somebody using it and thought - "No way. It'll just burn up". So I tried it - works fantastic.
    Sounds like a plan, anytime I can resupply from the land, that is a good thing.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by DomC View Post
    I beg to differ. Tinder is easily combustible material used to ignite fires by rudimentary methods, thus char cloth is considered as TINDER.
    DomC
    It's considered tinder by definition, but char cloth can not be brought to a flame by itself. They consider paper tinder too. It's also very difficult, if not impossible, to bring to a flame from a spark. I've done it with paper towel, but regular copy paper is very difficult.

    I just watched a guy last night demonstrating his char cloth skills. First off, he started with a tinder nest of really fibrous dry material that he brought from home. He strikes the char cloth with the flint and steel. It gets an ember. He blows it into the nest and it eventually goes out. This was his "demonstration" video, and he was experienced. It's just not that easy. He eventually got it lit, but it's a really impractical way to make fire.
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  11. #51
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    I suppose you could watch someone waste three matches or empty their BIC and come to the same conclusion. There is far more at play than just the combustible material. Moisture content, type of tinder, wind and experience are just a few of the things that will impact success. In the end, if you don't like a given method then don't use it. Fire good. I don't care how you make it.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    I just watched a guy last night demonstrating his char cloth skills. First off, he started with a tinder nest of really fibrous dry material that he brought from home. He strikes the char cloth with the flint and steel. It gets an ember. He blows it into the nest and it eventually goes out. This was his "demonstration" video, and he was experienced. It's just not that easy. He eventually got it lit, but it's a really impractical way to make fire.
    1) Just because some one make a video doesn't mean they are anything except 1) a guy, 2) guy with camera ...that's it.

    2) Impractical way to make a fire?.....LOL...Char cloth has been around since , Oh I don't know....Fire?....So there is a valid reason to make and use it.

    All ways are not for everyone.....some have better luck with some ways than others.
    So I'll put you down as...
    Ninje...char cloth bad.

    Personally I think fire pistons are just silly........

    Some day I may relate my char cloth cigarette lighter story.
    Last edited by hunter63; 07-22-2014 at 09:57 AM. Reason: splin'
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  13. #53

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    I guess what I'm trying to get across is that char cloth is better served when used as a means to get future fires going once in the field. Not as something to start out with it.

    Sure, if you want to test skills and use flint and whatnot then that's fine. But it's not like you'll ever stumble upon flint in the wild and happen to have charcloth and a piece of steel on you. That's a completely unrealistic scenario.
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  14. #54
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    I guess what I'm trying to get across is that char cloth is better served when used as a means to get future fires going once in the field. Not as something to start out with it.

    Sure, if you want to test skills and use flint and whatnot then that's fine. But it's not like you'll ever stumble upon flint in the wild and happen to have charcloth and a piece of steel on you. That's a completely unrealistic scenario.
    That's just a wrong assessment.......You don't like char cloth, I get it....
    Carry on.
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    Well, rocks that spark are just about everywhere. It wouldn't be unrealistic to have charcloth and a knife or cut up the bottom off a T-shirt and make charcloth. If you were in the proverbial, "gone to survive in the woods with only a knife" you could certainly make it happen. Not unrealistic at all. In fact, knowing how to do just that when you have only a knife would be one way to save your bacon. You'd obviously have to get your first fire going with flint and knife but the rest would be pretty easy to do. Just a matter of heating the cotton cloth until it off gases without letting it catch fire. I doubt Grog carried an Altoids tin with him back in 6000 B.C. or whenever. And....if you are in the habit of carrying charcloth it would be snap.

  16. #56

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    While I've not personally tried this, or needed to do it, I heard that scraping denim can yield a fluff of cotton which can be used to catch a spark and turn it to flame. This would be a step up from an ember. Might as well do that with the fabric rather than turn it to char cloth, since either way you'll need a way to put a spark to it.

    I'd love to take some of you guys out to the desert with me sometime. It's nothing but rocks as far as the eye can see. Small rocks, big mountains, and everything in between. I'd then send you out into the vastness and say "You go find me the rock out there that sparks on your knife". By the time you come back with it my body will be nothing but a bleach white skull and scattered bones, that's how long I'll have been dead for.
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  17. #57
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Now you are just being silly......
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    I guess what I'm trying to get across is that char cloth is better served when used as a means to get future fires going once in the field. Not as something to start out with it.

    Sure, if you want to test skills and use flint and whatnot then that's fine. But it's not like you'll ever stumble upon flint in the wild and happen to have charcloth and a piece of steel on you. That's a completely unrealistic scenario.
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    While I've not personally tried this, or needed to do it, I heard that scraping denim can yield a fluff of cotton which can be used to catch a spark and turn it to flame. This would be a step up from an ember. Might as well do that with the fabric rather than turn it to char cloth, since either way you'll need a way to put a spark to it.

    I'd love to take some of you guys out to the desert with me sometime. It's nothing but rocks as far as the eye can see. Small rocks, big mountains, and everything in between. I'd then send you out into the vastness and say "You go find me the rock out there that sparks on your knife". By the time you come back with it my body will be nothing but a bleach white skull and scattered bones, that's how long I'll have been dead for.
    We get that you don't care for char cloth, but you are just flat out wrong about its usefulness to countless others. As has been said - it won't be everybody's cup of tea.

    I must say though that it seems as if you are arguing just to try and prove you are right and those that disagree with you are wrong. I don't believe that is the point of disagreements in this thread, although if somebody posts something that is "flat out wrong" they will be called on it. An example of that would be my posting about the expiration date on Quick Clot. I was glad that somebody corrected me, as it may certainly help me in the future. Everybody will have their preferred methods of doing things. All that means is that they personally prefer doing things a certain way. It does not mean that your fire, my fire, or the next persons fire is any better or worse - just started in a different manner.
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    Senior Member DomC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasurvivor View Post
    I'd love to take some of you guys out to the desert with me sometime. It's nothing but rocks as far as the eye can see. Small rocks, big mountains, and everything in between. I'd then send you out into the vastness and say "You go find me the rock out there that sparks on your knife". By the time you come back with it my body will be nothing but a bleach white skull and scattered bones, that's how long I'll have been dead for.
    I would'nt have to venture far...I'd open my Hudson Bay Tobacco tin and produce my steel striker, pieces of chert, charcloth, jute twine and spark you up a fire...

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    You see, it pays to be prepared and survive. Being an ex submarine sailor I learned that every valve on that boat had a backup valve. The back-up to this is a BIC & LMF ferro rod in my pocket...

    Dom
    Last edited by DomC; 07-22-2014 at 01:46 PM.
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  20. #60
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Great kit, Dom......like the brass box my self.
    I have dug up a piece of a rock (I gonna call it flint as it did spark) and was used to start the camp fire for the weekend.

    Walk around on any roof that has a rubber room cover with "washed river gravel) and I gonna guess you can't walk 10 ft before you fine a rock that will "spark".

    One of my patch knives is also a "fire steel"...(NOT a Ferro rod)

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    I'm gonna sign off this thread as we are in the downward spiral toward the drain......
    Y'all have a good one.
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