Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fatwood Fire

Fat Wood Fire:
It has been called the gasoline of the forest and for good reason! This stuff goes from tree to fire with only a few minutes of preparation with only a knife and ferro rod needed.If you are unfamiliar with where to find fatwood or how to harvest it I have an older article where I collected a bunch of fat wood and tulip poplar inner bark which shows the process- Natural Fire Starting Elements Collection (LINK). So without further delay a video of a fatwood fire in wet conditions (flurries falling and you can see the moisture on the lid of the can where I'm lighting the fire) along with step-by-step instructions following the video.

Need Help Getting Your Fire Started? Try a few of these methods:  Dryer Lint Tinder Bundle  (LINK); Gorilla Tape Tinder Bundle (LINK); Rub Cloth (LINK); Dragon Ball Fire Starters (LINK); Char Cloth (LINK); Solar Ignition (LINK); One Stick Fire (LINK); Fire Pad (LINK); DIY Fire Starter: Cotton & Petroleum Jelly Modification  (LINK); Camp Fire vs. Survival Fire vs. Cooking Fire (LINK); Building a Sustainable Fire In Wet Conditions (LINK); Split Match Trick (LINK); Survival Resources 4x Fresnel Magnifier (LINK).

So How Does One Get Go From Pine Tree To Fire In Wet Conditions.....Fat Wood
1) The first step is to simply find fatwood and to do that yo need to find a downed pine tree with a branch near the base or down hill as I demonstrated in my article titled: Natural Fire Starting Elements Collection: (LINK). You can also find fatwood in the stump or roots of a dead pine as well (this is often where you will find large amounts!).
2) Clear away the old dry wood so that only the solid resin is left (the more translucent the fatwood the better). This is a great way to practice your fine batoning and carving skills to get the maximum amount of fatwood out of your dead limb of choice.
3) While I was collecting the fatwood I decided to try the Mora Bushcraft Black out for feather sticking and was surprised by how well it performed, if you haven't picked one up as a primary or secondary knife I highly recommend it (I don't highly recommend many knives but I have put that knife through a torture test over almost two years and it is still  alternates in as my EDC or at a minimum is my pack knife).
4) Today I decided to take out my fatwood stash and go out into the snow storm and make a fire. So I took out my BHK Short Trail and got to work making a few more finer shavings (this little neck knife is great for fire prep and fine carving tasks- never leave home without this little knife).
5) While you can get fatwood shavings to light with great fat wood you will need to process it down further with marginal fatwood. To further process fatwood simply take the 90 degree spine of your knife and begin to scrape off a pile of what I call "Fatwood Dust".
6) The amount shown here I is just about the perfect amount of fatwood for getting a fire going (assuming you are making a split-wood fire and not just picking up wet/frozen sticks off the ground- if that is the case you will need a much larger pile of fatwood dust to bring the other items up to combustion level.
7) So light snow on the ground, flurries continue to fall (I believe you can see them in the video above) and 100% humidity are the current conditions. Perfect for a fatwood fire!
8) Strike your ferro rod into your fatwood dust and within a few strikes you should have a flame. If your ferro rod doesn't throw sparks like this picture you really need to look into a firesteels.com ferro rod (FireSteels.com Rod I Recommend! LINK)  
9) From ember to flame in less than a second

10) Once you get a good flame going add a few of your shavings and grow the fire nice and slow treating it like its life or death (because one day it may be).

Don't Have Time To Collect Your Own Fatwood? Buy Some Here

The gasoline of the woods is without a doubt a part of any well rounded fire kit (See Mine Here- LINK) and will work well in all weather conditions including a driving rain or snow. Fatwood is easy to find, easy to keep in your kit, has a pleasant smell (amusing you like the smell of Pinesol) and works well in all weather conditions at starting fire. There are varying qualities of fatwood so making a dust type tinder bundle seems to always work regardless of the quality so when in doubt start with a dust type tinder bundle. So how many of you have experimented with fatwood and what were your results.
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1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, Joshua! Never heard it called 'gasoline of the woods' but I like it! We stumble over it everywhere here in GA.