Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kindling Wood

In my 15 liter dry bag backpack, I always carry a fire kit. My kit contains at least three ways to start a fire and in addition to this, I carry a Ferrocerium fire striker rod around my next in case, for some odd reason, my fire box is lost or if I have to jettison my backpack during a creek/river crossing.

In addition to tender, I always carry kindling. When the jungle is wet, it is extremely difficult to keep a fire going without having some completely dry kindling.

I sometimes split small pieces of kindling wood. Sea Hibiscus and other 'white' softwoods are superb, but when not available, I have pre-cut bamboo (grass family actually, not wood).

I do this at home at a prep. I can and often do add to the amount of bamboo fire kindling when in the jungle, but I want to have a container with a supply of dry kindling in addition to whatever I can find in the field.

Jungle survival kindling
Bamboo is first sawed to a length that fits the container.
Next, I take my knife and split it into thin pieces. I do this
by batoning the back of my knife. When it's just bamboo,
I normally use the palm of my hand. If I'm batoning a harder
material, I'll use heavier wooden baton.

Empty pill containers work nicely for keeping kindling dry.
When opening the pill container the first time (medicine,
vitamins, or whatever) I like to just a sharp knife and cut
in a manner that allows the foil to remain on the rim. This
forms a bit better waterproof seal later on.

If there is a bit of room left in the top of your container,
you might as well cram it with extra rubber bicycling innertube
strips. These don't have to be kept dry actually, but you can't
have too many. They are wonderful for keeping a fire going.

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