Make a Fire Kit for Your Portable Bag

With the end of summer closing in and school starting, many operators are taking their last chance to get outdoors. We remember most of our radio gear but many times don’t worry about anything else. An essential part of any portable pack is a basic fire kit.

A Fire Kit does not have to be fancy and most items don’t cost anything. There is a ton of fire starting kits for sale online. If you use this type of kit, make sure to buy an extra and test it out before you rely on it.

Have at least 2 methods for starting fire. Make sure to buy quality lighters or matches. I prefer a flint and magnesium stick as my second method.
Lint is good to have in your Fire Kit. Usually it will hold an ember nicely and in many cases flames up well.
Char Cloth
Char Cloth holds an ember very good.

Char Cloth holds an ember very well and is easy to make. Take old cotton cloth and put it in a sealed metal tin. Poke a hole in the top and place it in a fire. Let it sit in the fire for 30 min or so. When it is dark black and looks like the picture above it is done.

Fat lighter or Fat wood comes from the stumps of old pine trees. I’m not sure how available this is outside of the Southeast United states. It is full of resin and burns vigorously. When burning it gives off black smoke and a strong pine smell.
Cabbage Palm Tree Fiber
Cabbage Palm Tree Fiber on the tree.

Here in Florida the Cabbage Palm Tree grows wild. When experimenting with natural tinder, I found the fiber from this tree takes a spark very well. Even while damp this fiber flames up and puts off a lot of heat.

Different materials are available in each region. The only real way to learn what is available in your area is to go out and experiment. If it is fluffy or fibrous give it a try. Dry grass works well as tinder.

Put all you fire starting items in a waterproof bag to keep it all dry. Some people like use a leather pouch. Even if you are using a pouch, keep your kit in a plastic bag.

Keep your Fire Kit in your portable kit any time you go out. Many people get lost when they go out for a short hike. Having the means to make fire could save your life.



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4 thoughts on “Make a Fire Kit for Your Portable Bag

  1. And if you’re really stuck, use your shoe laces…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice video. I need more practice with that method. Do you know of a local wood that is as effective for the spindle as poplar?


      1. We have cedar and some tree that I will have to identify that seems to work. Most any wood that isn’t too hard and well dried will do. Then again, pine is too soft and gooey. Being from up north I don’t know the names of some of the trees around here. That Gorilla Hair from the palms really works well for kindling, as you suggested.

        Liked by 1 person

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