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.
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.
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.
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.