Tinder Fungus- Favorite Coal Catcher!

Discussion in 'Fire' started by Joshua1six, May 1, 2017.

  1. Joshua1six

    Joshua1six Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_4120.JPG IMG_4121.JPG IMG_4122.JPG Here is a chunk of Tinder Fungus I knocked off. I collect it when I can and wanted to share for some who may have never realized the free, always spark ready tinder in our woodland :) never had trouble getting a fire started with a ferro rod and steel in the rain and its very lightweight, long enough burning to produce a coal, and honestly is my favorite tinder!

    The trick that works for me is to cut a small chunk, grind er up into a rough powder and set it up on a dry leaf.

    Hit er with a spark shower and it coals up like an incense. Get it into yer nest and its a newborn fire!

    I will also use it for my friction fires. I pack some ground up fungus into the baseplate notch and in a pretty short time when yer poplar dust begins to heat up, the fungus will begin to coal as well. Just adds a little more heat to yer success.

    I hope this was helpful and good luck knockin off the tinder fungus!
     
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  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That chunk ought to last a while.
     
  3. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Is tinder fungus common to particular tree species?
     
  4. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    One of my favourite tinder's. King Alfred Cakes or Crampball fungi appears most often on ash & beech wood but occasionally on other hardwood trees. Huge pieces like so are good for transporting an ember on a long distance walkabout. My preference is to half &/or slice the Crampball & use as you would charcloth with flint & steel once it catches a spark this can then be nurtured into a nice ember. :)
    Regards
    David
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Id love to see photos of that in action if you get the chance. I see those all over but have yet to use them because around here they fruit on birch, and then, well, you have a lot of birch bark to work with.

    Basically, I'm telling you that I am lazy and would like to see your work with this stuff! LOL
     
  6. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    tinder fungus is generic term, various fungi can be used as tinder fungus
    in PA you can try birch polypore, its quite common and easy to identify
     
  7. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    if looking up birch polypore, look up its other uses, edible with medicinal uses (i use the term edible loosely, its not a food source), they also make good bandaids, and can be used as a razor strop,
     
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  8. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've seen a lot of Horse Hoof fungus on birch around the state. Always heard it called false tinder fungus. Generally a light grey. I harvested some last summer but never got a chance to try it for tinder. (A family member tossed it out without realizing I was saving it.) My understanding was the Amadou is processed wet and then dried to produce tinder.

    I know where to harvest some again and that's on my list of things I want to learn about this year.

    So the question is; which species is the one pictured above? Is Horse Hoof fungus able to used for tinder without processing?
    What other tinder fungus species are in my area and what host species are they found on?

    (You mentioned birch polypore as one.)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  9. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    I too know of the Horse Hoof fungus as being a "false tinder fungus" because it needs processing for it to hold a spark; at least that's been my experience. I sliced off thin pieces of the amadou (the fuzzy brown portion of the fungus) and then soaked it in a slurry of wood ash and water. After it soaked I took it out and allowed it to dry. The final part of the process was to hammer out the remaining water before it readily took a spark.

    The only true tinder fungus I'm aware of here in the northeast is from Chaga; which will readily take a spark. I have taken a piece of chaga and also run it over an old nutmeg grater, creating a powder where the spark can rest in. Place that on a piece of birch bark and you should have a ready fire starter. Just my experience. YMMV as the saying goes.

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

    snapper
     
  10. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    In your processing steps you mentioned soaking it in a slurry of wood ash and water. Why is that? I assumed the fungus is already wet.
    This fungus processing is new to me so I would like to do it right.
     
  11. Scotchmon

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    IMG_1470.JPG I dried the processed Chaga in the oven at 200 for a couple hours, then drilled a small dust pocket with my knife . Struck ferro rod to it and the piece readily took the sparks. I am impressed!
     
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  12. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Supposedly there is a protein in the layer that is used for tinder. This protein is somewhat fire retardant.
    The wood ash helps break it down and flush it out quicker than just boiling.
     
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  13. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_1471.JPG
    Thanks for the clarification! Hope I didn't screw it up. So far have peeled the outer skin off and sliced it like thin bread, then into an open container, and up in the rafters of the garage to dry.
    Fun stuff!
     
  14. Joshua1six

    Joshua1six Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome buddy! I'm really glad you took the initiative and found yer way! I never had a problem getting this stuff to take a spark straight from the source, but I bet you really increased the probability of it being spark receptive by bakin it into tinder jerky! Im gonna try that method too! Thank you!
     
  15. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    After processing I put it to my lip and it felt damp so I figured I would speed up the drying time. Hey! I WAS ANXIOUS!!
     
  16. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    Scotchmon - Sorry I didn't see your question. I'm glad it was answered for you. Also happy to hear things are working for you in this situation. Keep up the good work!

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

    snapper
     
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  17. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_1569.JPG BOOM CHAGA BOW BOW
     
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  18. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_1572.JPG IMG_1573.JPG Harvested and processed some for the char tin....BTW... The Condor Greenland axe is awesome!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
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  19. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_1585.JPG Chaga, Horse Hoof, and fatwood, Oh my....
     
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