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Any advice on horse hoof and chaga gathering?

Discussion in 'Fire' started by CharClothed, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    Chaga I know is in my area but it's so rare to find anymore. I've never seen it and I've looked a lot. Followed the river for it too. Nothing. Don't know if horse hoof is nearby though. Any idea's on finding any of these? I really want to work with them as a fire lighting resource.
     
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  2. YetiJack

    YetiJack Tracker

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    I have a couple of bags full of Horse Shoe fungus. I'd be happy to mail you a chunk.
     
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  3. melbolt65

    melbolt65 Guide Bushclass I

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    I just collected this a few days ago if you want it, let me know. I was following a creek when I found it. It was kind of a damp area. This was a standing dead with no top half of the tree.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  4. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    View attachment 411805 Chaga grows on live birch trees, Horse Hoof on dead ones. The HH seems to be much easier to find and works well when dried, and better yet when charred. Where I have found both, the HH was the easier find.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  5. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    Heck yea! I'll message you my address. Thanks!
     
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  6. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    @CharClothed message me your address , also. I've got some Chaga to get you going, too.
     
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  7. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    You'll have it now.
     
  8. USPCompact45

    USPCompact45 Scout

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    Any chance anybody has any extra chaga lying around they'd be willing to part with? I'd be more than happy to pay for the shipping at least. Thanks as always.
     
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  9. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    So here's a question about chaga gathering. I have 3 really nice nodules on one of my birch trees in the back yard. How long should I let them grow before harvesting? Is there a sustainable way to harvest that will insure continued growth?
    Imagine my giddy suprise when I saw them growing on a stump of limb I cut off to make the bushmans water bottle challenge.

    Adam G
     
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  10. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Lucky you! I really have no idea how long it takes for it to grow, but my guess is a LONG time(years). On the one tree that still has some fist sized nodules there are also a few spots that look scorched(?) and one is beginning to have the telltale charred growth. These I will watch closely. Hopefully it'll happen in my lifetime! Note: I'll turn 60 next month....
    In the last year or so I have not noticed any size difference of the big nodules. Wishful thinking I guess.
     
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  11. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    McQ Bushcraft and Bushcraft Barton both have excellent videos on processing Horse Hoof fungus, it's called Amadu in Canada.
     
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  12. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    All three of these nodules have grown to about 3"×2"×2" in the last few months. Very wet summer, lots of humidity. I know they were not present when I did the bushmans water bottle challenge as I cut the chunk I used for that from the same limb. I guess this whOle backyard bushcrafting thinG is easier than I thought... lol!
     
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  13. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Wow! That is fast growing! The temperature and humidity must help. Where I've found it is in northern Wisconsin which is much cooler and less humid than your AO.
    I wonder when the Chaga "blooms" or spreads spores? I wonder also if one could seed an area around other birch trees?
     
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  14. Lode

    Lode Supporter Supporter

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    Any chance you could post a few pictures please?

    I was unaware that chaga grew that far south of the normal range of the white birch. Do you have an ornamental white birch growing on your property? I've got a ton of black birch around where I do most of my stomping but have never seen any chaga blooms upon miles of searching and probing around. Just attempting to satisfy my curiosity and add to my base of knowledge on this particular fungus. Thanks in advance.
     
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  15. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_1708.JPG Just a few things I've experienced while harvesting and processing the Chaga fungus... The outer layer( charred looking) can be about 1/2" thick. That I pare off until I get to the dense inner part. It will dry faster with this outer layer removed and is easier to remove it before drying.
    I have been able to slice the fungus with a sharp, heavy blade before drying, but once dried, I use a hack saw to slice it. A band saw would probably be ideal. I try to slice it into wafers about 1/8" thick for easy storage in a F/S kit.
     
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  16. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    More Chaga experiences... I have charred some and found that using a tin with a tight fitting lid (with a small hole drilled in side of it that can be shut off) works better than an Altoid tin. The Altoid tin hinges can still allow some oxygen to reach the charred material and given the incredible coal holding ability of the Chaga it could continue to burn away even when off the heat source. Once it is fully charred it is considerably more fragile than in its dried state. Dried, it will hold up much better for transport, and lights readily from char cloth or a bow drill ember. Knowing this, I doubt I will char any more of it.
     
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  17. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Short video showing the growths on the branch. It's not chaga... sigh.

     
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  18. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Ya, not Chaga... double sigh....
     
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  19. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    In my limited experience with Horse Hoof fungus I have had very good results with simply slicing and drying it, without separating the outer(Amadu) from the spore cells. It all readily held a coal and worked well when charred, also.
    Good enough for me, although I have heard of the actual wood ash, water, rinse, etc.
     
  20. Lode

    Lode Supporter Supporter

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    Man... I was pulling for you, hoping you had it going on, and I didn't know what I was confused about with my knowledge base. That's what normally happens, lol.

    I'd had my dreams set on it growing readily on betula lenta(sweet birch) and betula negra(river birch - the tree you've video'd, I have one in my yard as an ornamental) but I've seen no trace of chaga. It may grow on those trees but not around here.

    Dream crusher, signing off.
     
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