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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Fine Art of Making Fire....

I have a little routine I follow sometimes, when I'm in the mood for a fire. On my way back to the point I grab the necessary tinder ingredients to make a fire. I never really break my stride, just grabbing a handful of this past fall's goldenrod, now dead and dry as cotton, a piece or two of sassafras and handful of beach leaves, paper bag brown but still clinging to the beach limbs. No matches are required nor is a lighter. This is friction based fire making in a purer more simpler form.


and I'm not talking Castaway style fire making either....

No, what I'm talking about is flint, steel and char-cloth. I purchased what is called a "striking iron" a very long time ago. It's a piece of hardened steel. Mine has a shape that allows me to wear it across the joints of my right hand. Flint is just any piece of flint I might happen to come across. Today I noticed a piece of gray flint as I was walking across a gravel driveway. I bent over and picked it up. I see flint everywhere. Last item is charcloth. I make my own charcloth. I cut up any old pair of blue jeans into 2" square pieces. Put the pieces into an old tin can. Cover the opening in the can with foil and poke a few holes in it. Toss the can into a fire and let it sit and smolder until the smoke just about stops. Take the can out of the fire and let it cool. Sometimes it might take an hour or two. What you have inside the can is carbonized pieces of blue jeans.  Put a small piece of charcloth on your flint and strike with the iron. If your aim is true a red hot sliver of iron will land on your charcloth and your on your way.

I know...I could just as easy grab a book of matches or a lighter and arrive at the same end, but that just isn't  nearly as rewarding. It's  a hobby of mine and hobbies need no justification.  So if you've got the time, take a walk back to the point while I build a fire....



  1. Very cool! And since you're obviously such a multi-talented guy, we have to assume that's you on the guitar, too! ;-)

  2. Got to give credit where credit is due...the "guitars" are Sean Sency and Mike Pocci, aka "Socci and Pency", two guys from Cleveland Ohio. I do own 5 guitars though and have been playing for over 35 years.