Monday, March 23, 2015

Twig Bundle Fire

Mors Kochanski teaches a twig bundle fire as a means to carry your fire lay with you, control your fire to maximize its effectiveness and move your fire if needed. There are several things I like about this fire lay mainly the rapid manner in which you are able to achieve a sustainable fire and it is also an effective means by which to carry your fire lay with you as you walk. The first traditional method didn't work as well as I would have liked but the second one worked much more effectively (Granted the first fire was all wet hardwoods whereas the second fire was made up of all dry softwoods with tinder in between the two twig bundles. So let's start out with the two videos and then we will dig into the process a little deeper.

Hardwood Twig Bundle Fire:

Softwood Twig Bundle Fire with Tinder In-Between The Bundles:

Hardwood Twig Bundle Fire Tutorial
1) Gather your two large bundles of smalls and pencil sized materials all oriented with the thinner end facing in one direction and secure them together loosely with cordage (I used jute twine but highly recommend bank line as it has a little more fire resistance.
2) Secure the two bundles together with the thinner sides of twigs in opposing directions (like I say in the video tinder between the two bundles would greatly aid in this fire lays combustibility but not needed 100%).
 3) Place your tinder on your platform and prepare for ignition.
4) I chose to supplement my cattail tinder bundle with tulip poplar inner bark and fat wood mixed in to give another layer to the flash tinder.
5) Use your ferro rod to ignite your tinder
6) Position your twig bundle over the tinder bundle and lay it against the brace.
7) You should have fairly rapid ignition and use physics and gravity to your advantage by using the brace.
 8) Once you have ignition of the twig bundle you can start to add fuel to the fire to create a fully sustainable fire.

Dry Softwood Twig Bundle Fire:
1) Gather your materials, tinder for the tinder bundle and for between the two twig bundles
2) Place tinder in-between the two twig bundles
3) Place the second twig bundle on top of the tinder
4) Secure the twig bundles and tinder together, not extremely tight but still secure.
5) Prepare your tinder bundle and place it on the platform for ignition
6) Ignite your tinder bundle using a ferro rod or selected fire starter (this picture show the reason why you don't buy cheap ferro rods- it looks like a fire breathing dragon).
7) Allow gravity and physics to work and get full ignition of your tinder bundle
8) Place your twig bundle directly over the open flame to once again allow physics to work as fire wants to climb
9) Once you have full ignition go ahead and add fuel to the fire to ensure you have a long term sustainable fire.
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I have to say Mors Kochanski is a man full of great ideas! 7'-8' Flames in a matter of minutes, something you just cant get from a standard twig fire in a matter of a few minutes. In addition to the rapid combustibility of this fire lay it is also a great means by which to carry your fire lay with you between camps, meaning you would only need to secure fuel once you reach your next camp location. Of all the fire lays I have covered so far on the blog I believe this one is the most versatile, easiest to manipulate, easiest to control and with minimal prep offers one of the fastest sustainable fires around. Couple this fire lay with internal tinder and a large natural tinder bundle or a single "sure fire" alternative and you would have extreme difficulty failing to achieve a fire with this fire lay. Next week I plan to dig deeper into more traditional fire lays for split wood fires so those posts should be fun to prepare for this week! Be sure to add this fire lay to skills that you own as it works well and with just a few minutes of collecting will give you a massive fire for rapid rewarming, signaling or scaring away unwanted animal life.

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