Smoldering Cattails

As a firecraft enthusiast, I’ve explored a number of ways to create fire. It’s always exciting to produce a coal or flame… sort of “something from nothing”. However, it isn’t always easy to achieve. You might have limited resources or inclement weather which can inhibit ignition. That’s why ages ago primitive man learned to “carry” fire from place to place, alleviating the need to regenerate fire each time it’s needed. They carried a live coal between destinations that could be coaxed into a flame at each new site. By igniting “punk” (dried decayed material) a coal could be kept alive for long periods. Punk material might include various forms of fungi, rotted wood, dry moss, cattail head or anything else you can find that would burn slowly in a low oxygen atmosphere. This material could be carried in a can, green foliage bundle or other non volatile semi-closed containers.

One of the most convenient ways to make a “slow Match” in my area is with cattail heads. By igniting the tip of the cattail head, it will slowly burn downwards for an hour or more. By carrying a few more heads, you can ignite each one successively as the previous one expires, thus sustaining a live coal. In transit, remember to monitor your bundle for slight smoke that is produced by the coal to assure that it has enough oxygen to stay alive.

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