This last Sunday, I worked on completing my first lesson for the BushclassUSA Intermediate Certification. It was entitled, "Student Practice for Five Natural Tinders" and it involved finding five natural tinders and then lighting them with a firesteel. I went out on a beautiful spring day and collected all of my tinders and then some. I wanted to experiment with a few others as well as those needed for the lesson, so it was a great adventure gathering all the possibles. I did actually explore a couple of different areas and gathered a good amount of material to play with.
So here is my video submission for BushclassUSA Student Practice for Five Natural Tinders. It shows the process of gathering and then lighting five natural tinders. The five primary tinders are birch bark, eastern red cedar bark, cottonwood bark (inner layer), cattail seed head and thistle down. I also tried a paper wasp nest (failed to light), golden rod pith (failed to maintain a ember), a bird nest (great success), milkweed seed silk (success) and the pith of the mullen stalk (success). If you want to skip ahead to where the lighting of the tinders is started, that begins at the 6:35 point on the timeline. This was a great lesson and it is always good to become familiar with natural tinders in the area you spend your bushcraft time. I hope you enjoy the video. It is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to share the whole process for those who have no idea where some of these tinders come from.
There are of course many more natural tinders out there and I will continue to share with you some of my discoveries as I come upon them. So you might consider this part I of a multi-part series. Consider searching out natural tinders in your area and do some experimenting. It's fun and is very much a part of your primary skill set when it comes to bushcraft. Learning to make fire should be at the top of your list. Happy Exploring.