How to make char cloth

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Category: Activities,Fire lighting


Using char cloth or charred linen tinder for lighting fires dates back to the Palaeolithic times. This is a good tinder to carry when you are doing firelighting with kids, as it is really combustable, and takes a little of the frustrations out of the process.

Especially if you have tried to use normal tinder to light a fire off a flint and striker, it can be quite difficult. So to make this easier, use the char cloth to catch the sparks, an ember forms almost immediately. Then wrap the cloth in a fire nest, and blow gently your fire should burst into life.

Here is how to make char cloth

What you will need:
Old natural linen (like cotton bed sheets) cut into small squares
A small tin – like a tobacco tin
A hot fire
Some tongs

1. Get your ingredients ready

How to make char cloth

How to make char cloth

2. Light your fire

Light your fire

Light your fire

3. Cut up your linen into small squares

Char cloth squares

Char cloth squares

4. Squash the linen into the tin and close the lid tight

Squash the fabric in the tin

Squash the fabric in the tin

5. Place the tin into the fire and leave for about 10 – 25 minutes to cook

Burning char cloth

Burning char cloth

6. Remove the tin using the tongs and leave somewhere to cool

Removing char cloth tin from the fire

Removing char cloth tin from the fire

7. Open the tin – if the cloth starts to glow, replace the lid again and leave until it is cooler

Char cloth cooling - notice the glow? This one needs a bit longer.

Char cloth cooling - notice the glow? This one needs a bit longer.

8. When the cloth is cooled it can be stored and used to light a fire by catching a spark

Char cloth will easily catch a spark

Char cloth will easily catch a spark

If you want to learn more about fire lighting you may be interested in these items:

The Mighty Eagle Firelighting Kit

The Mighty Eagle Firelighting Kit

Fire Lighting Kit

This kit contains all the things you need to make a fire with and without matches. It also contains a detailed instruction manual for how to light the best campfires, and our popping corn basket More Info

The Mighty Eagle Fire Bow Kit

The Mighty Eagle Fire Bow Kit

Fire Bow Kit

How to light fires the old fashioned way. This kit shows you how to make a fire using the stone age method of a fire-bow. Included are the key wooden elements, detailed instructions and more. More Info

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June 6, 2012 | Activities, Fire lighting | No comment