Fire building is a key survival tool and is essential for human survival. Fire building is a core survival skill, that you need to master. The first step in building a fire is making a tinder bundle.
A Tinder Bundle
A tinder bundle is as important as the fire source itself, such as a lighter, ferro rod, bow drill, Fresnel lens or matches. If you already have your fire source, the tinder bundle should be the next thing on your list.
Tinder Bundle Material Selection
The tinder bundle serves as your fuel source and is the key to making a bigger fire for cooking, warmth, or whatever purpose you may need it. A tinder bundle can usually be categorized into
- Dry grassy materials
- Tree bark (like birch)
When selecting your tinder bundle materials from the categories above, remember these important items.
- The material needs to be flammable!
- The tinder material needs to be dry! To ensure dry tinder, avoid picking up your materials from the ground, as they may have residual moisture in them. Use your hands to check the prospective tinder for moisture or hold it against your nose, if the tinder feels cold against your nose, it probably has too much moisture in it.
- Look for tinder materials that have many fine edges. Fine edges will catch fire faster and will enhance your tinder bundle.
Crafting a Tinder Bundle
When you have the tinder material ready, you can shape it just like a birds nest. When you bundle it together, make sure that it is not so tight, that air cannot circulate in it, or so loose that it falls apart.
Take some of your extra tinder material, such as dry grass, and break it or grind it up into smaller, finer pieces, making a small pile or ball with it. Place this wad, of fine tinder, in the middle of your “birds nest” tinder bundle, to serve as your initial fuel that will help ignite the full tinder bundle.
Igniting your Tinder Bundle
When starting a fire, there are 3 things parts to the formula.
- Ignition source (lighter, ferro rod, bow drill or matches) – If you opt for a ferro rod make sure to get a large thick ferro rod, that will last you a long time, won’t break as easily and is harder to lose!
- Fuel (tinder bundle)
- Oxygen- Oxygen be provided by the air around you, if that is not enough you can blow gently into the hot ember or fire. You may also swing it around gently. When crafting a fire, balance is key. Too much air can blow the fire out, or make it flare out of control. Too little oxygen and your fire suffocates and goes out.
The equation looks like this:
light the tinder bundle with your ignition source + supplying the ember or flame with the right amount of oxygen = Fire
When practicing your fire building, always do it in a safe location. with no flammable materials lying around and keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher readily available… just in case, you are too good at making fires!