Chaga tinder fungus

Discussion in 'Fire' started by upthecreek, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    Had a very generous forum friend send me 2 tinder fungus samples. Chaga should be added to everyone's fire kit if you can get you hands on it. I have to see about making some tea yet, but I know how to use it as a coal extender.

    tinder fungus goodness - YouTube

    Creek :42:
     
  2. Infidel

    Infidel Guide Bushclass I

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    If you only have two pieces dont make tea. It is very good and I have used most of what I had to drink. The bad part is ......there isnt any chaga around where I live either.
     
  3. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    I was kinda thinking the same thing..I usually carry green tea anyways. :)
     
  4. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Chaga can catch a spark from F&S. Its one of the best natural uncharred tinders IMO. If you can't do this with a chunk turn the chaga into dust. You can hit the rock onto the steel directing sparks into the dust or steel on rock as one spark will fly into the dust sooner or later.
     
  5. DeriusT

    DeriusT Scout

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    Another fungus that is an excellent tinder fungus (for those of us who live in non chaga areas) is horseshoe fungus. In my experience, it will take a spark just as good, if not better in some cases than chaga. Chaga has to be dried out to grab a spark from traditional flint and steel, but horseshoe fungus will take a spark right off the tree.

    I have no idea if it has the drinkable tea or medicinal properties like Chaga does? Anyone know?
     
  6. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine bush nut Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's Great stuff for sure, Yes found on White birches. The True stuff makes great tea too. Great Video Brother Creek.
     
  7. Flintlock

    Flintlock Guide

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    Yes, it apparently induces bushcraft halucinations. My experience with Fomes fomentarious differs considerably from yours.
     
  8. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    Would you care to share some of your experiences? Any pics? :D
     
  9. Flintlock

    Flintlock Guide

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    I've shared quite a lot here. What do you wish to know?
     
  10. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    I made 6 quarts of tea from a 1"x2"x2" chunk of Chaga. Longer brew times with each successive qt (made 1qt at a time) n the 1st two had strongest n most complex taste. Think next batch I'll start w/ 1" cube n add a lil fresh to each following batch. Might grind it like coffee rather than leaving it in chunks. First qt brewed just less than a boil about 2 hours n 6th brewed for 5hrs.

    I've used it for Flint Fire but luv the tea n have so many other tinders.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  11. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Is horseshoe fungus the same thing as hoof fungus?
     
  12. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    bushcraft halucinations....just being funny bro.
     
  13. Caburai

    Caburai Tracker

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    I am seeking hard some tinder chaga in my area - New England - to add in my primitive fire kit.
    However the harder I try to find, the harder it gets to find. It seems no tree has it.
    Can anyone give some clues on how to find it?
    Has anyone in New England area found it and can tell me where?
    Thanks
     
  14. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    What state do you live in? It does grow in our area. It mostly grows on yellow or white birch.


    On Yellow birch in the Dacks.

    [​IMG]

    On white birch in CT.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jnaylr7578

    jnaylr7578 Scout

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    even if you make tea with it you can dry it again and still use it for tinder with no problems.
     
  16. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    It would be so cool to run across a fungus like that. Appreciate the pics WW
     
  17. Caburai

    Caburai Tracker

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    Well, I live in Massachusetts, I went in some local and state parks and could not find.
    I don't know, maybe I am looking for the wrong thing.
    thanks.
     
  18. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    Thanks! Blew right past trying that. Guess I'll brew it in chunks like I was told to n quit grinding it like coffee. Can still use the dust, I just find it much more awkward than a slice on top of flint.
     
  19. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    I'm gonna have to try and brew me some tea too. Another reason to start a fire I guess!
     
  20. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    I've never found Chaga in parks or anywhere that Birches are few. What you are looking for is stands of Birch, the bigger the better. Bigger as in more trees and bigger as in larger trees.

    The amount of Chaga you find on a 4" or less dia Birch isn't worth cutting the tree down for. So look for 8"+ dia trees. Yes, you almost always have to cut down a live tree to harvest Chaga. Also, Chaga is hard as a rock. Birch wood is soft. So cut it out of the tree n pack it out. Trim off the extra Birch wood at home.
     
  21. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I respectfully disagree with some of your post. I never needed to cut down a tree to harvest chaga. Here is some I pryed off a White birch using a long stick as it was out of reach. The stick is included within the photo.

    [​IMG]

    This Chaga was removed using a hatchet with little harm to the tree. The Chaga on the other hand isn't good news for birch.

    Chaga growing on a Yellow Birch - YouTube

    I have found chaga on a single birch tree not within a large stand but agree more host trees will increase the chance. Chaga isn't always hard as a rock but can be woody. The best chaga is a softer yellowish growth. Chaga will have a hard black outer crust, softer yellowish inside and yes a hard darker brown component. Some can have greater amounts of hard/woody material. Just depends. This Chaga cut easy with a Mora 746.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  22. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Can chaga be cultivated?
     
  23. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Awesome video Creek! It's funny Matt and I just used it for tea but have never used it as a tinder.
     
  24. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Maybe try some with your F&S.
     
  25. sweeper54

    sweeper54 Scout

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    Today's Chaga Harvest

    Found this on THREE trees today. I cleaned out 10 lbs of primo chaga and I still have the biggest piece to go.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. -Darkside-

    -Darkside- Scout

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    dang thats a lotta chaga!
     
  27. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Nice pile-o-chaga. Aw shoot I gotta go chaga huntin' as getting low.
     
  28. piney

    piney Bushmaster

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    Wow. I am having a tough time finding it in NJ.
     
  29. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It only grows on a small % of trees even within it's preferred host species and has a life cycle measured in a few decades so going to say no but can't be 100% certain.
     
  30. Caburai

    Caburai Tracker

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    I wish I had a friend like yours.
    thanks
    Caburai!
     
  31. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    I'm lucky to have a few good ones
     
  32. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    Thanks Woods Walker. Haven't been chasing Chaga long but those have been my experiences. Hopefully my future experiences are more like yours!
     
  33. sweeper54

    sweeper54 Scout

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    Look near water

    That's where I found a lot of mine. Having said that the pile in the pic we found driving back roads.

    A word of warning here, this is best done with two people in the car. We all know how bad text'n and drive is, Chaga hunt'n while driving is right up there.:46:
     
  34. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Chaga and Pignut Hickory nuts.

    [​IMG]
     
  35. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    Besides finding it on birch trees, I'd always been told that chaga can be found on maples. I'd never seen it for myself anywhere other than on a birch until this past weekend. I was out with a group of students in the Catskills of NYS and I saw some on a maple off the side of the trail. I was pretty sure I found it as we hiked in so I made a point to look for it on the way out and, sure enough, it was growing on the side of the maple; although out of reach. I looked around and didn't find any other maples with it but there was definitely that one so I guess it's true. I also found it growing just off the trail on a couple of birches and pointed it out to my students; who really seem to like learning about this stuff!

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

    snapper
     
  36. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    That's cool. Never heard it would grow on a maple. Most folks around here, including wood guys..have never even heard of it.
     
  37. sweeper54

    sweeper54 Scout

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    Just read it also grows on elm, beech and ? one other tree.

    We hauled another 35 pounds out today and spotted about 20 more on the way out.

    We just finished a great bowl of potato leek soup foraged on the hike.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  38. upthecreek

    upthecreek Guide

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    Chaga lovers coming out of the woodwork! It's cool to see. Mother nature is a wonderful provider,
     
  39. sweeper54

    sweeper54 Scout

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    We saw a couple nice piece of chaga today but they were a bit too high, they'll be there another day when I drag a ladder in. For those of you who haven't cut it from the tree yet, some of the best stuff will remain on the tree and you have to dig that out.
    Cleaned out some chaga today and now have 30 lbs primo chaga drying.
     
  40. Binalith

    Binalith Scout

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    if you don't dig it out it will grow back. chaga is actually kind of rare from what I gather. and you don't need a hell of a lot.
     
  41. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

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    I've read the same thing about it growing back. And yes there is a limit to it's abundance. So I would encourage people to not harvest any more than what you need. As more people learn about it, more people are going to harvest it and it could get to the point where it is almost nonexistant except up here in Alaska in remote Birch stands. So harvest responsably and only as needed.
     
  42. sweeper54

    sweeper54 Scout

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    mtn joe

    You might want to read this study

    http://www.fsl.orst.edu/mycology/PilzPage_files/Pilz2004ChagaReport.pdf

    (On page 14)

    Regardless of the assumptions inherent in these calculations and the factors that remain unknown, it is obvious form the calculations in Tables 1-4 that the biological chaga resource is immense, and unlikely to be over-harvested to the detriment of the species Inonotus obliquus any time in the near future. That said, it is the responsibility of all the stakeholders (harvesters, processors, buyers, retail companies, resource managers, administrators, legislators, the conservation community, and the general public) to participate in an open dialogue about how to best configure harvest of the chaga resource to benefit local communities and their economy without impairing the available resource or the environment. To that end, a list of recommendations is proffered in the next section.
     
  43. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

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  44. J.Woodsman25

    J.Woodsman25 Tinder Gatherer

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    Chaga in California?

    Hey guys! I did some research on Chaga in the recent past and seem to remember that it can't be found in California. Does anyone know for certain if that is true? Thanks!
     
  45. Smokey Radley

    Smokey Radley Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Definitely grows back if you don't take the 'root' In other words don't dig down till you hit wood. Mark the spot and come back in a couple years! I've found it in the darndest places. My last find was when I was hanging down over a creek bank looking for a fish to spear, and there it was. Just about had to go swimming to get it. Also found a soccer ball sized one while hiking. You should have seen that happy dance. My buddy though I was crazy for packing out the extra weight. (+30 miles) Sigh. Silly ultra lighters.
     

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