Era correct flint and steel question

Discussion in 'Fire' started by Lars Kvanum, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Hi, guys.

    First time user, so I've got a few questions. Tried searching, but one question was left unanswered. Since this looks like an awesom forum I hope for some good replies.

    Now, I'm a reenactor focusing on the viking era. When starting a fire I want to use materials available at that time, and char cloth was not made popular until the 16. century. In any case, cloth was such a valuable comodity you could be pretty sure they would not want to burn it. This leaves me with just a few options to catch a spark from my flint and steel.
    * charred wood
    * pieces of natural fiber rope

    Now, for the coal - I can use any charred piece of wood, right? Could be something just left in the ashes from the previous day? Can I use barbecue coal?

    Will natural fiber make for good tinder?

    Anything else people can think of that was widely available way before Bics and ferro-rods? ;)

    Anyone have any good videos showing how to make the coal catch sparks? I've only found one using crushed coal, but it wasn't too educational.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    Check this guy out on YouTube;

    5B8D9AE8-5F5C-49B3-9D89-9B2DED592F12.png
     
  3. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Ooooh..Nice find. Thanks :D

    EDIT: LOTS of politics in there, but found at least one video on flint and steel :)
     
  4. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Have you ever tried dried chaga for catching a spark, or horse hoof fungus? Both work very well and burn very hot and can catch sparks easily when dried. Both grow on dead birch which tends to be a more boreal tree.

    Welcome to the forum and I’d love to see some photos of your kit and costume for re-enacting!
     
  5. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    He has a video of his whole kit and goes over fire. It’s been a year or so since I watched it but he does the traditional period correct Viking stuff. Welcome to the forum btw.
     
  6. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    Yea I had stopped following him as he got political but the early bids of gear were good
     
  7. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Thanks. Good tip. Birch is in abundance, so I'll have to translate and see if I can find it :)

    I'll update my avatar and upload some pictures when I have. Taking out cameras and stuff is kind of a no-no when camping, so not many picture.
     
  8. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Not Viking era but may help







     
  9. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Ha! Maybe some drawings then lol!
     
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  10. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Do you have any pictures? I can only find the flower called "horse hoof"?
     
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  11. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Haha! I'll see if I can find an artist :D
     
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  12. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    Charred punk wood is what you want. I use birch punk...it is everywhere. Basically, you want stuff that you can crumble in your hand and char that.

    Tree fungus can work also, but that requires some research and practice...some fungus works, some does not, some requires processing. To start out, I would stick with charring punk wood.

    Grasses and such will not catch a spark from a flint and steel. Nor leaves or anything like that. The sparks are short lived and fairly cold...so you need really, really good tinder. The grasses and stuff are what you will blow into flame, but they will not catch a spark.

    I emphatically second the Bjorn Bull-Hansen recommendation.
     
  13. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Horse hoof fungus:

    [​IMG]

    Trama layer you use as tinder:

    [​IMG]

    After treatment it looks a little bit like suede leather, and takes a spark very well.
     
  14. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    This is where I got my punkwood;
    [​IMG]

    This is after I charred it...
    [​IMG]

    This is a Chaga fungus I will harvest in the fall.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Bjørn actually used char cloth, which I don't think there's any support for people actually using. I'll see if I can find any fungus and dry it :)
     
  16. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Thanks. Is this the one called "kreftkjuke"? Also, do you have a good translation for "punk wood"?
     
  17. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Keeper of the Clubhouse swear jar Supporter

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    hello,
    @Lars Kvanum welcome to the BCUSA forum :)
    Regards
    David
     
  18. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    I'll just reply to myself. I didn't know what punk wood was, but have found out. I think. Now I'll have to hunt for rotten wood ;)
     
  19. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Punk wood is different than rotten wood. I had to learn that myself.
    Punk wood is spongy, and stringy. Holding a piece of punk wood is like holding a piece of balsa wood. It's light compared to rotted wood.
    I have seen rotten wood and punk wood on the same stump, so if you find one you'll often find the other.
     
  20. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    This is another traditional re-enactor...not viking, but a lot of the knowledge and skills are the same...here he describes punk wood.

    It feels like sponge....squishy.



    and here he uses the no char cloth flint and steel method...or one method, anyway...not the one I use.
     
  21. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Just wanted to say thanks a lot for all the help. This sure is an amazing forum with very kind and knowledgeable people. I will surely come back and hopefully I'll be able to contribute after a while. Now I need to hund for punk wood. This has been extremely helpful!
     
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  22. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Please do come back.
    We're interested in what you learn.
     
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  23. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Keeper of the Clubhouse swear jar Supporter

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    hello,
    I was reading this thread with interest. I was talking to traders from Sweden & Norway living history, reenactors, LARP (live action role-playing game) & this confirms some details I was taught some years ago. Charcloth whatever it was created from, was used affixed to the shaft of arrows to shoot flames at targets across the battlefield. As it was a lightweight material, when the arrow was in flight, the ember came to life as a very hot ember &/or flame, which in turn would ignite whatever it came in contact with. The charcloth in question must have either been lit from F&S or direct from a small fire or flame created by F&S. So it could well have been also included within a FSK pouch. Who's to know if the arrows were prepped in advance with the charcloth or prior to use on the same day? nevertheless charcloth was in use.
    Regards
    David
     
  24. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    There's website called the Viking Answer Lady that appears to address how this was done. BCUSA is pretty much spot on with punkwood and tinder fungus, according to her.

    http://vikinganswerlady.com/fire.shtml
     
  25. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Being all that I am. Supporter

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    Check out @NWPrimate channel, recently he put up a vid of him charring wood scrapings and using those with F&S. He also uses a lot of other natural materials for char on his channel.
     
  26. Stone

    Stone Supporter Supporter

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    http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/fire.shtml
     
  27. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    Were it me, I'd go with the amadou made from fomes fomentarius trama. Strips of that would be cleaner than charred punkwood and easy enough to light with F&S. You could soak it in water and hardwood ashes then dry to better catch a spark. fluffing it up helps a great deal too.
     
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  28. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sorry, late answer as you already found out some answers.
    I also didn`t notice you were norwegian.

    Horse hoof fungus, "Knuskkjuke", (fomes fomentarius) and Willow bracket, "Ildkjuke" (Phellinus igniarius), was traditionally used as tinder (and to keep the fire place going during the night). Trama layer could be treated with wood ash lye (askelut) or urine, but I`ve had luck with no treatment at all (just soaked in water, beaten with a stick and dried).
    Both fungi are common in Norway.
    Norway actually exported Horse hoof fungus to the continent before the invention of the match.

    I have not seen any older norwegian sources mention Chaga,"Kreftkjuke" (Inonotus obliquus), but it was apparently used by our eastern neighbours (finns and russians). But then as tea/medicine.
    It is quite common on birch(at least up here)

    And punk wood, is translated to "morken ved", rather than "råtten ved"
     
  29. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    Awhile back I did some experimenting with ashed tinder. I mixed wood ash with the scraped trama layer of fomes fomentarius (3 parts ff to 1 part ash about) and that seemed to better help it catch in a fire piston and with F&S.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  30. Lars Kvanum

    Lars Kvanum Tracker

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    Thanks, @Tor Helge :)

    I wanted to send you a PM, but couldn't find the button. The reason was I was thinking of asking some questions in Norwegian, but don't think it's good form to do so in a English language forum. Been living abroad long enough to know how much of a pain we Norwegians can be when we gather :p

    Thanks for the Norwegian names. I'll google and see what I can find :)
     
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