Char Cloth – Amazing Fire Starter For Disaster Survival Backpack Or Bug Out Bag
Char Cloth, or Char Paper is a cotton or other natural fiber textile which has been converted by Pyrolysis, from its natural, or manufactured state, into a highly flammable, low flash point, but slow burning solid.
It only takes one small spark to ignite the Char Cloth!
If your lighter runs out of fuel, you can use the spark wheel to ignite the cloth.
If you are without flint you may use any glassy hard stone to create a spark from a piece of steel.
You can use a battery with very thin wires connected to the positive and negative ends. Touch the cloth with the ends of the wires.
Remember, it is not the stone which throws the spark, it is the steel. You should always have a steel knife.
If you know how to start a fire, it only takes one sheet of char cloth.
Familiarize yourself with proper primitive fire making techniques as well as modern fire making methods.
If you're a hiker, camper, backpacker, survivalist, or adventurer char cloth is an essential item for your bug out bag, backpack, glove box, emergency kit.
You can easily make char cloth yourself. All you need is an old pair of blue jeans, a gas powered camping stove and a small tin can with a tight sealing lid.
Here are the simple directions for making your own char cloth:
Step 1. Preparing the container
An Altoids tin seems to work the best because you cannot cook too much char cloth at one time or it will not convert the whole batch before the bottom pieces begin to disintegrate.
All you need to do to the can is poke a small hole in the center of the lid. The hole should be about 3/16″ wide or the width of a 16 penny nail.
Step 2. Preparing the material
Prepare the material. Blue jeans work the best because they are tightly woven. Make sure you use 100% cotton material.
Cut the material into 1 1/2″ squares. Be sure to cut the material with good sharp scissors.
Step 3. Preparing to cook the cloth
Place the material for your char cloth into the tin. Loosely stack the squares to the rim of the can. If there are any big spaces on the sides, either fill with small pieces of material or tin foil.
Step 4. Cooking the char cloth
Place the tin on your camp stove. Light the stove and cook on medium heat. Make sure that the flames of the stove cover the entire width of the can.
You will notice that the can will begin to smoke from the hole in the lid. Allow the cloth to cook until the smoke stops completely (about 25 – 35 minutes depending on the size of your can, the amount of cloth, and the temperature of your heat source.
Step 5. Finishing the process
As soon as the smoke has stopped and you have turned off your stove, remove the tin from the stove using a pot holder or tongs, preferably tongs as the tin was just red hot. Now take a piece of aluminum foil and carefully wrap the entire tin can covering the exhaust hole as quickly as possible. Remember, when your char cloth is hot, any oxygen will ignite the cloth and burn your entire batch into ashes.
After you cover the can completely you can place it in the freezer to cool it down more quickly.
Congratulations, you have made char cloth. Now all you need is a tinder bundle, some twigs and a spark. Happy fire starting.
Secure the lid
After adding the material to the can and closing the lid wrap some flexible wire or thick folded strips of aluminum foil around each end of the can making sure not to cover you exhaust hole. When the can is heating, it sometimes pops the lid open. This will allow oxygen into the can and will ignite your material. Once any flame touches a converted piece of cloth, it will burn it and it will not go out. Your entire batch will be ruined.
Keep away from your home when cooking
Be sure to cook char cloth away from your home and any open windows. The smoke is very pungent and will stick to things like campfire smoke, except it smells a lot worse.