I’ve written before about natural tinders, and I’ve got a few new ones to add to the list. On our recent (and totally awesome) trip to the Isle of Arran with Arran Bushcraft & Survival, we found ourselves in some different habitats and found some new natural tinders on our wanders.
The main camp was based in a conifer plantation of Sitka spruce and larch. To one side of the forest was an area of native broadleaves, and to the other side and top was moorland.
We found some honeysuckle outer bark, gorse, bracken and blow grass (this is a local name for a moorland grass). We lit all of them with a firesteel.
After pulling and teasing apart, the honeysuckle outer bark lit easily, as did the blow grass. This is Stef lighting a fire using the blow grass.
The bracken we first tried was dead but had been laying on the ground and struggled to burn, so we used some standing dead bracken, rolled it into a bundle and it lit without too much effort. This is Jason putting larch twig kindling onto the bracken.
The gorse proved a little problematic; it was difficult to form a bundle and the sparks kept falling through. So, wearing gloves, we squashed the gorse together into a bundle and after a few strikes got it to light!
We teach natural tinders on our 2 Day & 5 Day Bushcraft Courses, the IOL Bushcraft Competency Course and also our 2 Day & 5 Day Survival Courses. You can see loads of photos from these courses, as well as all of our other courses, on our Facebook page.