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HomeSurvivalFireTinder

Tinder Bundles

Tinder Bundles are needed to move from the step where a coal is produced with a bow drill (and many other primitive fire-making methods) and an actual fire. Using a bowdrill, for example, a coal is produced from wood dust. Although this coal is glowing and hot, you can't simply place it against a twig and get the twig to burn. An intermediate step is required. That's where tinder bundles come in.

A tinder bundle is made of very dry and fine fibres. It is formed into a birds-nest shape and the coal is placed into the middle. One then gently blows onto the coal in the tinder bundle until it becomes hot enough to ignite the material of the bundle. The flaming bundle is then quickly placed into an awaiting fire-to-be.

Cedar bark makes very good tinder bundles. Peel off the dry bark and work it with your fingers to shred it up into fine pieces. Don't go too far with this, though - you don't want to turn it into powder!
A finished tinder bundles made from Cedar, waiting for a coal to make a fire.


Photo by Allan "bow" Beauchamp

Here is another tinder bundle made from dried grass and some bulrush seeds. The material has been made into a donut of sorts with the grass and a bulrush stalk was used to bind it all together. The top section of the bulrush has been used to tuck the seeds into the center area.

- by Allan "bow" Beauchamp

 

 


Photo by Allan "bow" Beauchamp

Blowing a tinder bundle into flame. Watch you don't burn your fingers!
Here's three photos showing the process. Here the coal has just been placed into the tinder bundle. Gotta really nurture it at this stage.
More smoke starting. This means the tinder bundle is starting to catch on fire.
Really smoking!
And the flame. At this stage you would transfer this tinder bundle to your ready-to-light fire.
 
Here is another sequence of pictures showing the process of blowing the coal and tinder into flame
(demonstrated by Peter Moc).