Sunday, July 21, 2013

LIGHT YOUR STRING ON FIRE - HOW TO MAKE WATERPROOF FIRE TINDER defines 'jute' as:  "a strong coarse fiber used for making burlap, gunny, and cordage, that is obtained from two East Indian plants of the linden family."  

The plants grow 10-12 feet high and have long, serrated, tapered, light green leaves and small yellow flowers.  Since ancient times, jute has been grown and processed in the Bengal area of India and Bangladesh.  

Along with its many industrial uses, jute twine is one of the best fire tinders and is nice to have available in your pack or emergency kit as a very reliable firestarter.  Jute twine when dry, can be pulled apart into many fibers to create a 'bird nest' that starts very easily with fire starting tools such as fire steel, matches, or lighters.

As an extra precaution to protect your fire tinder, jute twine can be made waterproof.  By dipping the twine in wax, it not only makes it waterproof but also acts as a wick and burns longer.

Here is a quick and easy method to do so.  

This is my 'juke twine kit'. 

The kit consists of a $2 saucepan from the Goodwill, 
Dollar Store tweezers, wax, and jute twine.

This is jute twine.  
A very cheap, readily available twine with many uses.  
A small roll like this can be found at any hardware 
or craft store for a couple of bucks.

Craft wax is available at craft stores.

Jute twine, like rope, has many woven strands within itself.

Cut the jute twine into desired lengths.  
I usually cut them into 3-4" pieces.  
After cutting the pieces, I slightly untwist each piece.  
This causes the twine to have a bit more surface area 
and allows for more wax to penetrate.

When melting wax, ALWAYS use VERY LOW heat. 

You can also use the double boiler method which is essentially a pan inside of a pan.  The wax is in one pan that is placed in a pan of water on the stove.  Keep in mind, whatever you decide to use for the wax pan, it shouldn't be something that you're attached to, as it will always be coated with wax.  

This is why I have dedicated this cheap pan for melting wax.

When your wax has melted, 
use your tweezers and grab one end of a piece of the cut twine.

Dip the piece of twine in the melted wax for a few seconds.

Lay the dipped twine onto a piece of aluminum foil to dry.  
Store the dipped pieces in a small container (such as a small plastic energy drink bottle or film canister) in your pack or emergency kit. 

Lights very easy

Burns like a wick of a candle

To make the bird nest out of dry twine,
start unwinding the strands.

Keep separating the multitude of strands into fine pieces.

Eventually you will end up with something like this.
This will start almost immediately with a fire steel
but will burn very quickly.

"To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world."          --Charles Dudley Warner

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