DIY Preparedness Projects

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

by Todd Walker

Ever hear a brilliant idea and wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier?

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

On The Pathfinder School Learning Center, Dave Canterbury posted a pic of a bearing block he made using an old soda can as an insert to reduce friction on his bow drill set up. While this idea wasn’t new to me, he suggested I use a piece of fat wood as a bearing block for my set. How brilliant is that!?

I made a bearing block out of a fat lighter’d knot yesterday. It’s a simple DiY project and adds another layer of fire redundancy in my kit.

You can’t walk far in the woods in Georgia without stumbling over fat wood. From previous resource gathering jaunts in the woods behind my school, I knew exactly where to harvest a few lighter’d knots for this project.

Down-and-Dirty Steps

Material and Tools

  • Fat wood knot (lighter’d knot)
  • Soft metal blank
  • Vise
  • Ball pen hammer and 9/16″ socket
  • Drill and bit
  • Wire brush
  • Epoxy

Step 1: Harvest a Lighter’d Knot

Harvest a fat wood knot. You can use a piece of fat wood from the core of a pine tree. It will take a bit longer to shape and finish into a smooth hand hold. You’ll speed up the process if you can find a nature-made hand hold – a fat wood knot.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

A great score on lighter’d knots! My previous bearing block in the center is made of cedar. 

Step 2: Mold Your Divot Blank

Use a soft metal. I used a blank from a metal electrical box. I’ve seen socket blanks made from U.S. coinage.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

Ball pen hammer, 9/16 ” socket, and a vise

Place your blank over an appropriately sized socket from a ratchet set. I used a 9/16″ short socket. Center the rounded end of a ball pen hammer on the blank which is resting on the socket.

Place the whole set up in a vise (hammer, blank, and socket) and tighten to create a dimple in the metal blank. File or sand any rough edges off the edge of your divot to prevent snags.

Step 3: Prep the Lighter’d Knot

If you have a grinder and wire brush attachment, use it to knock off any crust of the knot. Place the knot in a vise for this part. Normal safety precautions: Wear eye protection and gloves. This step also brings out the natural color of the fat wood – if that matters to you.

Next, place the knot in your hand and find where it’s most comfortable. Mark the spot under the knot where you’ll place your divot for the blank.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

Mark the spot for your divot hole

Load the knot back in the vise and drill a hole about a 1/4″ deep to accept your divot blank. Use a paddle bit that is the same width as your divot blank. For me, a 7/8″ bit matched perfectly. The bit size and hole depth depends on the size of the blank you use.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

7/8″ paddle bit was just wide enough

Dry fit the divot blank in the hole. Tweak as needed. It shouldn’t be a very tight fit since you’ll be securing the blank to the wood in the next step.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

Dry fitting

Step 4: Epoxy the Divot Blank

Follow the directions on your epoxy and mix an amount that will fill the divot hole. Place the divot blank on top of the epoxy and set firmly. Wipe up any excess that squeezes out around the divot blank.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

The finished product

After the epoxy sets up, sand off any residue around the hole if needed.

A Brilliant Bearing Block for a Bow Drill Fire Set

Ready for friction fire!

Of course you wouldn’t have access to these tools in a wilderness setting. I’ll be posting on how to make a bow drill set from all natural harvested wood (poplar tree) in the next few weeks. Hope you stick around!

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook pageReady to trade theory for action? Join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #DoingTheStuff when sharing your stuff on Twitter.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bushcraft, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Here’s Your Sign: Turning Trash Into Survival Treasure

by Todd Walker

It’s well documented by DRG that I’m a container freak. Plastic jugs, metal tins, glass bottles, clay pots – I hoard collect them all.

Here's Your Sign: Turning Trash Into Survival Treasure

A small sampling of my metal tin fetish

Wooden pallets – don’t get me started! This free wood can be used to build bird houses, fences, furniture, compost bins, and other useful stuff with a little sweat equity, imagination, and simple tools.

Here's Your Sign: Turning Trash Into Survival Treasure

A bluebird outhouse built from old barn and pallet wood

Yesterday, I received a sign from above pointing out my inability to turn down “trash”...

Here's Your Sign: Turning Trash Into Survival Treasure

Here’s Your Sign! How could I turn down a 14′ x 40′ used billboard!?

If you’ve priced tarps this large at retail stores, you’d spend a decent wad of your hard-earned cash. One box store sells 20′ x 30′ heavy-duty tarps for over 100 bucks. My tarp sign set me back $14. They don’t look this large when you pass them on the freeway.

I won’t be using it with the printed side exposed. The backside is solid black and can be used for projects like ground cover or emergency roof repairs.

I may use this portion as a training aid for our dogs. If I could only teach “Moose” and “Abby” to read.

Here's Your Sign: Turning Trash Into Survival Treasure

Doggy boot camp

I cut a section of the sign and plan to use it as a tarp for my base camp shelter I’m building. Modern debris for a debris shelter. It pays to have a possum mentality!

Here are a few more up-cycle ideas for fellow dumpster divers:

You don’t have to break the bank to get prepared. With consumerism gone wild, people have to have the latest stuff. If you’re anything like me, which I suspect you are, other people’s “trash” is survival treasure!

What’s your best method of using other people’s “trash”?

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook pageReady to trade theory for action? Join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #DoingTheStuff when sharing your stuff on Twitter.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Frugal Preps, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

How to Make Ranger Pace Counter Beads

by Todd Walker

“How far have we walked?”

“I dunno know… But that tree looks awfully familiar!”

How to Make Ranger Pace Beads

 

Have you ever wondered while out wandering in the wilderness how far you’ve traveled? Stupid question for today’s moderns. It’s called GPS (Global Positioning System), right!?

But what if technology fails… or Mr. Murphy shows up. You’d be happy to have a little navigational redundancy in your kit.

Additionally, some of us aren’t to keen on beaming our exact location to the eyes in the sky.

Dirt Road Girl and I are stoked about learning a new Doing the Stuff Skill: Navigation using a compass and topographical map. In last month’s local meet up, our group was introduced to the basics of land navigation by one of our members with loads of experience humping packs in the wilderness.

This is not a tutorial for the navigationally-challenged. That tutorial comes after we’ve practiced our new skill for a while. Today, we’re simply making an old-school tool to help determine how far you’ve traveled without technological gadgets.

Let’s get started!

Gather the Stuff

  1. Paracord
  2. Beads (DRG chose to bedazzle her Ranger Beads :) )
  3. Fire
  4. Cutting tool
How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

Guess which beads belong to DRG?

Step 1: Cut a length of paracord

Take into account the width of your beads and the three knots in your Pace Counter. My beads were over twice the width of DRG’s. Therefore, I cut a 40 inch piece of cord. Cut it longer than you think you’ll need. You can always trim the tag portions below your last knot.

Step 2: Thread the beads onto your Pace Counter cord

To save you some frustration and flying beads, try this simple method. Use one of the inner strands of a scrap piece of paracord. This strand needs to be about 18 inches long. Pull the sheath (outer layer) back and “gut” the cord by pulling the inner strands. All 7 inner strands should pull out easily.

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

Gutted paracord

With your Pace Counter cord halved, thread the single strand through the end of the loop. Load the single strand with beads.

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

The bead’s hole diameter needs to accept a double thickness of paracord

Now pull the beads onto the Pace Counter. The beads should fit snuggly. Use some force to get the beads past the eye loop. If they won’t fit, either get larger inside diameter beads or gut your paracord and use the outer sheath only. Craft stores sell beads that will work.

Step 3: Add knots

Once you’ve threaded 9 beads, tie an overhand knot above the beads on your Pace Counter. Be prepared to undo the knots to adjust knot placement – so don’t cinch them down too tight.

The first knot is at the tail end. The second knot is above the first 9 beads (or 10 beads depending on your counting method). You want enough room between the sections to move the beads like an abacus.

With the first section complete (9 beads and 2 knots), load the remaining beads onto the Pace Counter. Tie your third knot above the beads. This creates a loop to hang the Pace Counter from your backpack, coat, or any place you can easily reach.

Step 4: Melt the knots

With a lighter or heat source, melt the tag ends to prevent the paracord from unraveling.

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

Terminating tag ends with a butane cigar lighter – it throws a hot, blue flame. A candle or match works too. 

Paracord knots tend to loosen over time. To make them permanent, heat the knots until the outer sheath welds (slightly melts) together. Keep the knot rotating or you’ll melt through the sheath and inner strands.

CAUTION: Melted synthetic material like paracord is HOT and will stick to and burn human flesh. Don’t touch the melted tag ends until they cool. Just thought you might want to know.

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

My Pace Counter measured about 12″

Here’s DRG’s Pace Counter…

How-to-Make-Ranger-Pace-Counter-Beads

Bejeweled Ranger beads!

How the Stuff Works

The section with 9 beads represents the 100-meter distance. After counting your average steps in 100 meters, you move one bead to the bottom of the section. Once the 9 beads are moved, count another set of your average steps in 100 meters and move the bottom bead of the 4-bead section down to the next knot. That signals that you’ve traveled 1,000 meters.

As I mentioned earlier, we’re just learning how to use non-techie stuff for land navigation. I’ll post a few updates on our progress. Of course, all these numbers are individualized and dependent on several factors (age, fitness level, height, terrain, and the load you carry).

I’m sure many of our readers have more insight and experience with traditional land navigation. If so, chime in with your comments and suggestions. I’m all ears!

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook pageReady to trade theory for action? Join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #DoingTheStuff when sharing your stuff on Twitter.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Categories: DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

How to Build a Bushcraft Tripod for Your Outdoor Kitchen

by Todd Walker

Southern Ice Storm Cooking Check List

  1. Propane cooker and fuel: √
  2. Camp stove and Coleman fuel: √
  3. Lump charcoal for the Green Egg: √
  4. EmberLit stove: √
  5. Firewood: √

We stock up on all these items in case of emergency events like the latest ice storm. Fortunately, we were without power for only three hours. Other Georgians didn’t fare as well.

Our Plan-B cooking methods were in place but were never called into action.

Today, cabin fever struck. I needed some back yard dirt time. What to do???

I know… make a tripod for our fire pit!

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Roast me!

The first two emergency cooking fuels on my list are non-renewable. I’m sure I could make lump charcoal but not something I’ve done before. I don’t count on a method until I’ve practiced it. Always trading theory for ACTION!

Firewood is plentiful and gives us one more cooking option. Now I needed to build cooking equipment for our primitive outdoor kitchen.

Materials and Tools

Here’s what you’ll need to build your own sturdy cooking tripod:

  • Three green saplings – each about 6 to 7 feet tall
  • 20 feet of thin, strong cordage – tarred bank line works great (find it in Hunting and Fishing departments of box stores)
  • Cutting tool to harvest saplings
How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

All you need is wood, cordage, and cutting tools

 

Cut the three saplings and trim branches. The base of my trees were about forearm size with the tops about wrist size. Don’t discard the branches. You’ll use these resources later in your build.

Lay the saplings side by side. Tie a Timber Hitch with bank line onto the end of one of your poles. Here’s an animation for a tying a Timber Hitch.

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Simple Timber Hitch

For this application, skip the half hitches if you’re using tarred bank line. Fold over a 4 inch tag and twist the loop several times. Then pull the long tag line through the loop and cinch it tight about 4 or 5 inches from the top of one of your poles.

With poles laid flat, wrap three revolutions of cordage. Use a stick, screw driver, or attachment on your Swiss Army Knife to pull the loops tight. Now make three more passes and pull tight again. Keep the cord as tight as possible while keeping the poles side by side – don’t allow them to bunch together.

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

The packaging hook is a jewel for pulling cordage tight

Next, thread the cordage between the first and second pole below the previous six wraps. Pull the cord up and over the top of the six cords. Repeat this until you have three revolutions around the six strands running perpendicular to your poles.

Tighten your cord every third wrap. You now have six wraps running horizontally with the poles. Tie off the tag on the sixth wrap with a half hitch.

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Lashing between two poles

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Joint on left needs two more wraps

Spread the poles out and set up over your fire pit. Mark where the ends meet the ground and fold your tripod back up. Place the poles on a wood anvil and trim the ends to a point for a better bite.

Re-install the tripod around your fire pit.

You should have a long tag of cordage dangling down the center of the tripod. Use this to hang cooking pots over the fire. If you don’t feel #36 bank line is sufficient, you could use a metal cable or small chain.

How to Build a Killer Cooking Tripod

Prefect!

Toggle

Make a toggle out of one of the limbs from your sapling. I made mine about 8 inches long. Cut a notch in the middle and secure the bank line in the notch.

Slip the toggle through the wire handle to suspend the pot. You can adjust the pot height by looping the cordage over a pole stub at the top of the tripod.

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Toggle holding cast iron squirrel pot

Hook and Toggle

I also made a hook for the toggle system. Notch the top of the hook safely with a knife and tie a 12 inch piece of line around the notch. Tie a loop in the long tag end for your toggle stick to go through. This hook will allow you lower the pot close to the fire keeping the bank line farther away from the heat.

How to Build an Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Squirrel stew pot ready!

This set up is simple, sturdy, and functional. Wrap your tripod in a tarp or canvas drop cloth to smoke the thawing meat in your freezer. Just a thought.

Only thing missing is a few squirrels.

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. Trade theory for action and join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Frugal Preps, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

100% Wool Army Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

by Todd Walker

I love wool! Here’s why:

  • Wool fiber absorbs up to 36% of its weight and gradually releases moisture through evaporation.
  • Wool has natural antibacterial properties that allow you wear it multiply days without stinking up camp. Not so with synthetics.
  • Wool wicks moisture, not as well as synthetics, but better than cotton.
  • Wool releases small amounts of heat as it absorbs moisture.
  • Wool contains thousands of natural air-trapping pockets for breathable insulation.

Years ago I saw Dave Canterbury make a hunting shirt from a wool blanket. Naturally, I had to make one myself. I ordered two 100% wool army blankets from Cheaper than Dirt for around 20 bucks each. Good luck finding them at that price now.

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

My original hunting shirt

I wore this while working on this fat lighter’d post. A few of our readers requested a tutorial on making one themselves. Hope you enjoy.

Material and Tools

  • A 100% wool blanket
  • Scissors
  • Tread and needle
  • Measuring device
  • Tailor’s chalk

Step 1: Lay out for torso

There’s two ways to get the proper width of your shirt. Place arms by your side and measure around your chest and arms at the widest part of your shoulders. If your measurement is 50 inches, divide that in half and add 4 inches (50/2 + 4 = 29).

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

Measure with layers you’d normally wear

Or you can fold the blanket in half with about a 12 inch offset on the bottom, place it on the floor and lay your body on top of the blanket. Mark the width of your shoulders and give yourself a few of inches over your shoulder length to make your cut. This width is dependent upon how roomy you want your shirt.

Step 2: First cut

With your blanket folded length-wise, the front of your shirt should be about one foot shorter than the back. A longer panel on the back covers your bottom when you sit.

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

The front panel of this new shirt is just over 36 inches long

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

Cut the width mark the full length of your folded blanket

Mark and cut the width of your shirt.

Step 3: Cut the neck hole

Make a center mark along the ridge of the fold. Now measure out 4 to 5 inches on both sides of the center and cut a slit in the ridge. In the center of this neck hole slit, cut another 6 inch slit perpendicular to the first slit on the front panel.

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

It now looks like a poncho

Try it on. Your head should go through easily. Tweak as much as needed.

Step 4: Cut the sleeves

Measure around the top of your shoulder to the middle of your ribcage. Take half of that measurement for the width of your sleeves where it will connect to the torso portion.

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

The factory hem is on the hand end of the sleeve

My sleeve dimensions:

  • 14 inches wide at the body – ample room for arms to move about
  • 6 1/2 inches at the hand end
  • 24 inches long from should to hand end – this length give me a generous cuff on the sleeve which can be rolled over my hands when needed

Double the leftover material from your torso, measure and mark the width, and cut two sleeves.

Step 5: Sew it together

If you’re good with a sewing machine on wool, go for it. I’m not. I hand stitched my first wool shirt. I used a blanket stitch on the edges and all seams. Here’s the blanket stitch tutorial I used. 

Turn the shirt inside out if you don’t want seams exposed. Once sewn, turn it right side out. Be sure to double or triple stitch stress points on your shirt.

Note: When stitching the sides below the sleeve, I stopped at my waist line. This allows me to reach my pant pockets, sidearm, and knife without lifting my shirt.

Stitch some short pieces of paracord to the v-cut in the neck for closure. I also added this same feature the sides below my waist to close the slit if need be. (Melt the ends of the cord to prevent unraveling)

I wanted to make this new shirt with a hood but didn’t like the design. Any suggestions are more than welcome. If you make one for yourself, we’d like to hear how it turned out.

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. Trade theory for action and join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Self-reliance | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Blowing The Lid Off Char Containers

by Todd Walker

If you don’t like something, change it. This isn’t easy to do in some area of life. Especially when applied to stuff beyond our control.

I’ll spare you the philosophical mumble floating in my head. You’re welcome!

You want practical, field tested, physical stuff that works. Today I want to show you a simple modification you can make to your char container.

In controlled settings, charring cloth on my fish cooker in my outdoor kitchen, my Altoids char tin worked like a gem. In the field, not so much. Something caused the lid to blow at a most inopportune time… while in the fire.

No longer starved of oxygen, the fire triangle was complete and a natural chain reaction occurred: char cloth ignites and I blow my lid!

Taking a gamble on theory is a sucker’s game. Time to…

Purge Your Preps

Doing the Stuff with your gear is the only way you’ll discover what needs to change. That’s the process of trading theory for action. Act. Analyze. Adjust.

Don’t depend on any gear in your kit, BOB, kitchen, shop, or any other place without proving your preps. Taking this action will cause you to lighten your load, devolve, and simplify.

Here’s an easy fix to keep you from blowing your lid!

Blowing My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Easy button fix ~ 500 count .22 cal. pellet container

“Leave lame containers behind!” was my thought. To prevent you from racking your brain to find the almost-perfect charring container, allow me to show you mine. DRG and I began the hunt. Nothing. We scoured store isles I had no business walking down – ever!

Then, in a stroke of brilliance, an “Aha Moment” occurred.

I blurted out, “I’ll use one of my pellet tins!” The lady next to me pretended not to notice my outburst.

When I got home, I emptied a 500 count .22 caliber pellet tin into another container. Don’t have a pellet container with a screw-on lid? Sporting goods stores sell these for under $10. Pellet rifles and pellets are a great addition to your preps anyway.

Dirt Time at Walker Woods

I made some char pads to prime my new tin. Scraped off the brittle, chipped logo from the lid at home, grabbed my bushcraft kit, and headed to the woods.

Here’s a pictorial guide to my journey:

Blowing My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Punk pine!

With only a few pieces of charred cotton pad in my new tin, I pulled up my mental map of resources near my Dirt Time Camp. There was an old dead fall 70 yards away as I recalled.

If you haven’t formed the habit of making mental maps, or you’re just plain forgetful, keep a journal in your kit to jot down what, where, when, how, and why to help you find resources near your Dirt Time Camp.

Punk wood makes great natural char material. Find wood that is partially rotted but not deteriorated to dust.

Blowing My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Punk wood in the tin

Place small pieces of punk wood in your char tin with any existing charred material. In this case, the punk is on top of a bit of char cloth and char pad I’d made previously.

Blowing-My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Smoke coming from the pin hole in the top

Screw on the lid and place in the fire or coals. Watch for smoke (wood gas) coming from the small hole in your lid.

The wood gas will combust if making contact with flames from you fire. Not a problem. The material will char anyway.

Once the smoke (or flaming wood gas) stops coming from the hole, your material is charred. Remove the tin from the heat source and allow to cool.

I took advantage of rare Georgia snow to cool my char container.

Blowing-My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Chillin’ char tin

Test your charred material. Throw hot sparks from your ferro rod into your tin. You should get a several glowing embers.

Blowing-My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Embers on charred punk wood

Satisfied with the glow, screw the lid back on to extinguish the embers. This tin rides in my bushcraft kit. No worries about the lid popping open when you screw it!

Blowing-My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

 

Your gear and kits should evolve and change as you add skills and knowledge. You may half the stuff in your pack just adds extra weight. But you’ll never know what needs to change until trade theory for action.

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. The Doing the Stuff Network community can be found here: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Join us!

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the “Top Prepper Sites“! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Gear, Self-reliance | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

A Waterproofing Hack That Guarantees Fire

by Todd Walker

What’s the best tinder material when making a fire is essential?

The best answer is dry, fibrous material which catches a spark even in wet conditions. Fire starting woes are compounded when the dry stuff isn’t available. Every bushcraft, camping, hiking, or emergency kit should include redundant layers for making fire.

The usual suspects for combustion tools include:

  • Lighters
  • Fero rods (ferrocerium), AKA firesteels
  • Flint and steel
  • Magnesium bars
  • Fire pistons
  • Plain ol’ matches or storm matches

A flic from your Bic doesn’t guarantee fire. It may produce a flame (depending on conditions) but you’ll need dry tinder in your fire lay to get warm. Preparing a fire kit ahead of time will help you avoid a freezing night or worse.

Commercially produced fire starters are available. Why pay 8 to 10 bucks for a pack waterproof fire starter tabs when you can make your own? I’ve been making my own out of jute twine and wax for years.

A 500 foot roll of jute twine cost less than $10. Plus, you can never have enough cordage. The same goes for wax. If you don’t have wax on hand, poach a few crayons to melt from your child’s school supplies. Just so you know, peeling paper sleeves is tedious and time-consuming. Save time and buy some paraffin wax from the canning isle at your store. I used soy wax I have for candle making.

Here’s how to make your own waterproof emergency tinder bundle…

Gather Stuff

  1. Jute twine (10 to 12 feet) – find the thicker twine if possible
  2. Wax (half-handful)
  3. Double boiler and stove (heat source)
  4. Nail or metal pin like a door hinge pin
  5. Variable speed drill (not necessary but I like power tools)
Step 1:

[Skip this step if you've ever melted wax in a double boiler] Set up your double boiler with enough water in the bottom container to make the top container float. In my shop, I use an old camp stove. Your kitchen stove will work. To avoid igniting the wax, don’t use open flames or high heat directly on a pan with wax in the bottom.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Double boiler set on a camp stove

While bringing the water to boil, prep you twine.

Step 2:

Measure and cut about 12 feet of jute twine… about 2 arm spans for me. Roll it around 3 of your fingers to make a loose bundle. Place the entire bundle in the melted wax. Flip it over to completely saturate the jute. The twine is very absorbent and won’t take long to soak up the liquid wax.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Your coated bundle should look something like this

Set bundle aside and prepare your drill.

Step 3:

Don’t attempt this step unless you have variable speed drill. You don’t really need a drill to make the bundle. You could wind the twine around a nail or metal pin by hand. But it is way more manly to do it with power tools!

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

A door hinge pin chucked in my drill

Place the drill in a vise. Tie one end of the twine to the head end of the pin with a basic slip knot. Do this fairly quickly after removing the bundle from the wax. The longer you wait, the more stiff the waxed twine becomes.

With one hand on the trigger of your drill and one holding the tag end of the twin, slowly squeeze the trigger to begin winding the twine around pin. You’re trying to coil the cord almost to the drill bit opening on your first pass. When you reach that point near the drill, guide the twine back towards the other end. I make my bundles oblong – skinny on the ends and fat in the middle.

Step 4:

Remove the pin from the drill. Hold the bundle in your hand and press it gently down on a hard surface causing the head end of the pin to emerge from the top of the bundle. Grab the head end and pull. If you used a smooth metal pin, the bundle will slide off with no resistance.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Slight pressure needed to remove the pin

 Tie the loose tag end at the middle of the bundle leaving a 1 inch tag to hang free. This loose tag end is where you’ll start unrolling pieces from the bundle. 

Step 5:

While the wax is still liquified, hold the knot end of the bundle and coat with the remaining melted wax on all sides. Hang it from the knot with a clip to dry. Once dry, repeat this step two times.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Use something other than your fingers if you don’t like hot wax on your skin. Some do ;)

Now, to make your time productive between dippings, create a Paracord-Duct-Tape-Lighter. I know, it’s a bonus DiY Preparedness Project for you. You get 2 for 1 today… No extra charge!

Bonus DiY Tip

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Remove that pesky child-safety thing from the lighter

Grab the child-safety strip that runs over the striker wheel with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Twist up and out of the lighter housing. This step makes it easier to get flame when your fingers and hands are numb from cold.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Create a loop of cord at the base of the lighter

Cut a piece of paracord a little over double the length of the lighter. Burn the ends to prevent fraying. Make several wraps of duct tape (Gorilla Tape) around the lighter.

DSCN0324

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Use a carabiner to attach the lighter to your kit

Add a whistle or other useful emergency items and attach it to your kit. No more fumbling around for fire when you need it!

Waterproof Tinder Bundle continued…

Your bundle will resemble a honeycomb (or drug smuggling cache) with three layers of wax.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

The finished product

Step 6:

To use, find the short tag end at the middle of the bundle from Step 4. Untie and roll off a 2 inch section. The wax will crumble but won’t affect the waterproofing. No worries, the whole bundle is waxed.

Process the piece by pulling and fraying the individual strands to create a fibrous, hairy looking nest. This only takes a few minutes. Time well spent if using a ferro rod or other sparking device. Of course, if you’re lighter works, you can simply light the cord and make hot chocolate.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Below is a comparison of waxed and unwaxed jute. They both ignite immediately by a ferro rod but the waxed version will give you a much longer burn time. You need all the advantages you can get when building fire.

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

Non-waxed fibers burned in less than 15 seconds… like flash powder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

The waxed twine had to be extinguished to prevent burning a spot on my board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build it… and it will burn!

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. The Doing the Stuff Network community can be found here: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Lots of good stuff going on here… check it out!

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the “Top Prepper Sites“! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

The Woodsman’s Secret to a Well-Hung Ax

by Todd Walker

There may come a day when axes top the list of must-have tools for harvesting wood. I can see a couple of pending scenarios where owning a well-hung ax is preferred. And no, the Zombie Apocalypse ain’t one of them!

The-Woodsman's-Secret-to-a-Well-Hung-Ax

My top reason appeals to manliness – and self-reliance. My “prepping” paradigm continues to shift from consumerism to self-reliance at a startling pace. With the river of shiny survival stuff flooding the banks of the preparedness community, I began to realize my need to go balls to the wall on traditional skills. Forgotten skills. Like how to properly re-handling an ax.

A point of pride for ax aficionados is how well a cutting tool is hung. The way in which an ax is mounted on a wooden handle (haft or helve) is called the hang…. and getting the hang of it takes practice.

Question: Do you want to be known as the woodsman with a well-hung cutting tool?

If so, here’s how to…

Get the Hang of it

I own a fiberglass handled sledge-hammer and splitting maul. Those tools are mere blunt objects that serve a purpose. Box store axes fall into this same “blunt object” category. But a real ax is a work of art, a thing of beauty, and a joy forever. And art work deserves to be hung well.

I refuse to buy or ever consider owning an ax without a wooden handle. Call me old-fashioned, but I like the feel of a hickory handled striking tool. Tradition matters! So does performance.

Before the turn of last century, a good ax head often came without a handle. Woodsmen, lumberjacks, pioneers, and homesteaders had their favorite handle pattern they created from wood staves. The tried and true designs became family heirlooms.

Why?

Because a well-hung ax feels right in your hands. Balance, angle, flexibility, length, weight, and diameter combine for the perfect hang.

Choose Good Wood

The traditional wood used for an ax, adze, and hammer is hickory. When selecting a handle, pay close attention to the run of the wood grain and color. You’re big box hardware store may have a decent handle. I lucked up and found one at a local “Ace is the place” store. This handle will be hung on an old ax I bought at a yard sale a few year back. Nothing special – but almost free – and works for my application.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Some stuff needed to hang an ax… the adze and froe were added for no apparent reason.

No matter where you get your new haft, check the run of the wood grain from the side view. Grain running perpendicular to the handle won’t last long. Look for grain running parallel the whole length. A few stray grains won’t hurt.

Now check the butt end of the handle. Grain running vertically on the end is what you’re after. Horizontal grain in striking tools won’t absorb constant shocks.

The Definitive Guide to a Well-Hung Ax

Vertical grain on the left. Image source

Avoid painted or varnished handles. Paint covers a multitude of sins. A clear varnish can be sanded off if it meets good wood standards and an eye-ball test.

Color Counts

Hickory heart wood is reddish in color. You’re likely to find this in low-grade handles. Look for white sap wood handles. My handle has hints of heartwood but is mostly made of the outer white wood.

Size Matters

The size of your handle depends on the weight of your ax. For our purposes here, we aren’t dealing with specialty S-shaped hafts for broad axes. Today we’re talking about axes used for chopping, splitting, and self-reliance tasks.

Haft length depends on the job and personal preference. Longer handles (36″) for felling and chopping large timber, shorter for lighter work. How short? Pictured below is my Wetterlings Ax. Sadly, I didn’t find this one at a yard sale.

The-Woodsman's-Secret-to-a-Well-Hung-Ax

Wetterlings Backwoods Ax measures 16″ long

Hanging Procedures

Gather your supplies. You’ll need a handle, wooden wedge, wood glue, hammer or wooden mallet, rasp, sand paper, gloves, saw (hacksaw or reciprocating metal blade), punch, boiled linseed oil, and a vise helps. Don’t have a vise? Improvise with two sections of 4×4 to support the ax-head.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Some stuff need to hang an ax

First, remove the old handle. Saw it off near the bottom of the ax-head. Use a large diameter punch and hammer to drive the remaining wood out of the eye of the ax. I used a section of 5/8 all-thread. If epoxy was used on the head on the last handle, you may have to remove the wood with a drill.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Don’t clamp the ax-head in the vise unless you don’t mind it being scared. Rest it over a gap in the vise to remove the wood.

Turn the ax-head upside down and drive the old wood out through the top of the eye. The eye on axes are tapered from the bottom to the top – small to large. The old rotted handle on this one was easily removed.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

First fit with the new handle

Insert the new haft into the eye from the bottom opening. The ax-head will leave marks on the wood showing you how much wood to remove for proper seating. It needs to sit on the shoulder of the new handle. Mine needed to go another two inches to make that point.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Taking off wood with a rasp

Remove the new handle again and grab your rasp. You can use power tools to remove the excess wood. Be careful not to take too much off though. You can’t glue saw dust back on.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Final fit… after removing extra wood three times.

Once you have a good fit on the haft, apply wood glue to both sides of your wooden wedge. Don’t coat the entire wedge. Spread the glue on the bottom half of the wedge to prevent squeezing glue out of the slotted kerf end of the handle.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

I leave about a 1/4″ of the handle above the ax-head.

Use a block of wood or a wooden mallet to drive the wedge into the slotted end. This creates even pressure on the wedge to keep it from splitting. Cut the remaining wedge and excess handle off. I leave about 1/8″ to 1/4″ above the head.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

Metal wedge across the wooden wedge

Drive a metal wedge small enough to expand the wood without splitting the handle. Hardware stores sell metal wedges in various sizes for your application. Don’t use nails or screws. Ever seen an ax-head with nails bent over the top edge in an attempt to keep it mounted? NOT pretty… or safe!

Counter sink the metal wedge with a punch. Some folks skip the metal wedge for worries of splitting the handle at the top of the eye. A proper sized metal wedge shouldn’t split the kerf portion. I like the added security.

The-Definitive-Guide-to-a-Well-Hung-Woodsman's-Ax

If your haft came from a box store, it’s likely varnished. Sand the varnish off with 180 grit sand paper. Apply 2 or 3 coats of linseed oil to the wood. Generous amounts should be used at the top eye area.

The-Woodsman's-Secret-to-a-Well-Hung-Ax

Applied to latex gloves and spread on the haft

Latex gloves come in handy for this task.

The-Woodsman's-Secret-to-a-Well-Hung-Ax

Nothing like a woodsman’s well-hung ax!

The-Woodsman's-Secret-to-a-Well-Hung-Ax

Not bad for an “almost free” yard sale find!

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. The Doing the Stuff Network community can be found here: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook. Lots of good stuff going on here… check it out!

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your  vote on the “Top Prepper Sites“! You can vote daily by clicking here or the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcrafting, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Gear, Homesteading, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

Uncle Otha’s DiY Fat Lighter’d Torch

by Todd Walker

Uncle Otha was fond of fat lighter’d. He grew up in the first Great Depression, served in WWII, and told campfire stories around his pot of squirrel stew simmering over an open fire. He was a frugal Doer of the Stuff!

One of his trademark skills, besides being the best camp cook ever, was improvisation. He made use of stuff that we (his nephews) often overlooked. Here’s one of his fixin’ ideas. It wasn’t original to him. Pioneers used these years before we arrived on the scene. So, to preserve a lost skill, he passed it down to us.

Fat Lighter’d Torch

Our camp was often illuminated by rustic lighter’d knot torches. A Coleman fuel saver. And way cooler than modern white light. Very Daniel Boone-ish!

You obviously need fat wood to make a lighter’d torch. Don’t have fat lighter’d in your woods? Here’s suggested substitutes from commenters on this post from: Alaska – birch bark; Pacific NW – all coniferous trees; Parts Unknown – dead mimosa tree. The key ingredient for fat lighter’d is the flammable resin. Since it’s in abundance in my neck of the woods, that’s what I use.

Tools and Supplies

  • Cutting tool (axe, knife, saw, hatchet)
  • Fat wood
  • Dead pine branch
  • Fire

Step 1: Find a dead pine tree with a 3 to 4 inch diameter base where it attached to the tree trunk. I found a tree downed by a storm two years ago behind my school. You can use a dead limb on a live tree as well.

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

My hatchet from my Junk in the Trunk emergency vehicle kit came in handy.

Cut the torch pole about 6 to 7 feet long. This length allows you to anchor it in the ground and provide an elevated light.

Step 2: Remove about a foot of bark off the knot end of the pole (where it met the tree trunk).

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

I’m using a baton on my axe… not swinging toward my leg!

Once the bark is removed, split the end into four quarters with your cutting tool. Make the splits about a foot into the pole.

Step 3: Collect strips of fat wood in various sizes – from shavings to pencil sized.

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

 

Step 4: Spread the splits on the end of your torch pole (step #2) and begin insert a piece of lighter’d at the base of each split to create four distinct quarters of wood. These gaps provide air flow as the torch burns. Sprinkle shavings of fat wood down in the cracks as you insert the larger pieces. Don’t pack the splits too full of kindling pieces. Fire needs air.

I also crush and sprinkle dried pine resin in with the kindling. Not necessary, but adds to the heat.   

Step 5: Make a feathered stick of fat lighter’d and insert it in the top of your torch. Feathering makes more surface area and easy lighting.

Resin-Rich Fat Lighter'd: Nature's Most Prized Firestarter

Feathering fat lighter’d

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

Notice the dried chucks of pine resin to the right.

Step 6: Light your torch. Apply proper safety procedures with any fire. I burned mine at home over our backyard fire pit.

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-TorchThis torch didn’t burn very well. It needed wider gaps in the four splits. Tweak yours as needed.

Here’s a peek at my next “Doing the Stuff” project… Replacing axe handles. I’ll have it up by Friday!

Uncle-Otha's-DiY-Fat-Lighter'd-Torch

This is the small camp axe I used in the this fat lighter’d torch tutorial. The latex gloves have a purpose. :)

Enjoy your fat lighter’d torch responsibly and pass on your skills to the next generation.

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. The Doing the Stuff Network community can be found here: PinterestGoogle +, Facebook, and by using the hashtag #DoingTheStuff on Twitter.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your  vote on the “Top Prepper Sites“! You can vote daily by clicking here. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

An Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

by Todd Walker

To build a fire, you need three items: fuel, heat, and air (oxygen). Eliminate air from the fire triangle and all you’ll get is smoke and charred material.

That’s the point, right? We’re making char cloth.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Char cloth in a tinder bundle

Charred plant-based material is created by using two sides of the fire triangle – heat and fuel – and withholding oxygen.

It’s a simple process that takes little time but creates valuable a starter for fire building. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own char cloth. As a bonus, I’ve included my accidental char pads made from 100% cotton makeup remover pads!

I made this DiY fire piston and needed char cloth for a test run. It was an epic fail! Well, not epic really. I made the groove too deep on the wooden shaft causing the o-ring to loose air pressure when I slam the piston together.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

My failed attempt at a DiY fire piston – I’ll let y’all know when I work out the kinks.

You learn by Doing the Stuff with your DiY gear. Fail forward, remember! I’ll share what I’ve learned on this fail in a later post.

For now, let’s make some char cloth… and char pads.

DiY Char Cloth Material List

100% cotton fabric – I used an old bath towel (turned shop towel). You can use a bandana, t-shirt, dish towel, or, as I discovered, makeup removers.

Metal container – Altoids tin, paint can with lid, or bucket. Your container doesn’t need to be air-tight.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: A Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Cutting tool, cloth, container, punch

Heat source – Camp fire, grill, fireplace, backpack stove, or any fire will do. I used my cooker with a spare grill grate to support my tin.

Step 1: Cut up strips of cloth into 2×2 inch squares. Procession not required.

Step 2: Punch a small diameter hole in the top of your container to allow smoke/gas to escape when heat is applied. This step could probably be skipped with Altoids tins as the lid hinge holes allows smoke/gas to escape as well.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Any sharp, pointy object will work

Step 3: Loosely layer the cloth squares in your container. A tightly packed tin may not char all the surface area of your material. I placed 7 squares of thick towel in my tin.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: A Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Step 4: Close the lid and set the container on your heat source. In under a minute, you should begin to see smoke streaming from the vent hole. This smoke/gas is flammable and will ignite if it comes in contact with the fire source.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: A Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

When the smoke or fire stops coming from the vent hole, your char material is ready.

Your cloth should only take a few minutes (3 to 5) to fully char.

If you open the lid while the container is in the fire, you’ve added the third side of the fire triangle and your material will burn instead of char.

Step 5: Remove the container from the fire and allow to cool. Open the lid and remove your charred material. The charred cloth is delicate, so be careful when separating.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Charred cloth is ready!

Now to test the charred cloth. I used a modern ferro rod. Char cloth will catch a spark from old school flint and steel as well.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad TutorialBefore you lay sparks to your char cloth, gather and build a dry tinder bundle. It’s been raining for two days here. I found some dead grass and leaves under shelves behind my shop and shaped it into a bird’s nest. I placed the char cloth inside the nest and showered sparks on the char.

Once lit, cup the bird’s nest in your hands and gently blow into the bundle. Done correctly, you will create…

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Fire!

Store your char cloth in a sealed container in your fire kit. I dug around in my surplus B.O.B. box to find an empty 35mm file canister. In my rummaging, I found a package of 100% cotton makeup remover pads purchased years ago.

Aha moment! What can I say. Thought they’d come in handy one day. And they did…

Accidental Char Pads

These pads are marketed for removing makeup and nail polish without leaving cotton fibers behind. I loaded my tin with 5 pads and followed the same procedures for making char cloth. This won’t work with plain ol’ cotton balls.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

I’ll bet the ladies already have these on hand.

To my surprise, the char pads caught and held a spark even better than the char cloth.

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Puffy char pad

Doing the Stuff with Fire: Easy Char Cloth and Accidental Char Pad Tutorial

Film canister filled with char pads

And yes, this is one of the reasons I pack Killer Cotton in my emergency kits.

If you enjoyed this DiY preparedness tutorial, please share it with your friends! As always…

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

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