The ability to start a fire can mean the difference between life or death, but even in the best of scenarios, it will mean the difference between relative comfort or absolute misery. Of all the elements needed to start a fire, tinder is the most critical because it allows you to make up for poor fuel, kindling, and ignition sources.
Tinder is an easily combustible material that burns very hot. This allows it to ignite your kindling material, which burns for longer, allowing you to finally ignite your fuel source, typically logs. Tinder also burns very quickly so you should have plenty of hand before attempting to start your fire. The last thing you want is to have your fire on the verge of starting, and then running out of tinder. I usually aim for three times the amount I think I’ll need to get my fire going.
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So how do we find tinder in a survival situation? It’s a lot easier than you might think. Generally, you want something that burns easily and has a large surface area. In case you missed physics class, that just means it should be shaved, shredded, or torn as finely as possible. Some excellent options are:
- Birch bark
- Shredded paper or cardboard
- Steel wool
- Cattail fibers
- Gauze bandages
- Finely shredded plastic or rubber
- Punk wood
- Bird nests
- Tobacco (cigarettes or cigars—not chewing tobacco)
- Dandelion heads
- Certain fungus
- Sanitizing wipes
- Dry grass, pine needles, or leaves
- Char cloth
- Trioxane or hexamin
- Magnesium or other alkaline earth metals
- Animal dung
- Seed down
- Saw dust
- Cotton balls, tampons, or maxi pads
- Plastic bags
- Cigarette filters
- Pine bark
- Hair or fur
- Bird down
- Rope, string or twine (natural or synthetic)
- Dead Spanish moss
- Nearly anything flammable, such as kindling sized sticks, once covered with petroleum jelly, shoe polish, ChapStick, paraffin wax, lard, pine sap, or any accelerant like gasoline can be used as tinder as well.
Preparedness Hacks: Once a nuke is heading your way, you might think that there isn’t much left to do, but you would be wrong!
Because we will show you America’s natural nuclear bunkers that are also EMP proof. When the sirens start wailing, all you need to do is pick the closest one to your home, where you can take cover before it hits.