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#203026 - 06/06/10 02:10 PM Char Cloth
Outdoor_Quest Offline

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 305
Loc: Central Oregon
I am making my first batch of char cloth. I am using an old 100% cotton Tee Shirt.

I'd appreciate feedback on your experiences with Char Cloth. Do you carry it in your pack?

Thanks in advance.


Edited by Outdoor_Quest (06/06/10 02:10 PM)

#203032 - 06/06/10 07:00 PM Re: Char Cloth [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Yes, I carry a patch of char cloth. It's not my primary tinder, but there packed with my fire starting kit as a backup in case I have to try to throw sparks off of rocks with my high carbon steel knife. It takes the smallest of sparks and starts an ember.

I prefer char cloth made from blue jeans versus a t-shirt because it's much beefier or at least thicker and stronger than some of the the budget t-shirts I've made char cloth from.

I usually just cut pieces of the jeans to fit in a non hinged Altoids tin and place it on the coals at the edge of the fire to make the char cloth.

Edited by Nicodemus (06/06/10 07:03 PM)
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#203053 - 06/07/10 08:28 AM Re: Char Cloth [Re: Nicodemus]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1756
I use old-tshirts, because i have lots of it( and i don't wear jeans). Fold it, if you need a bigger ember. I store them in old 35mm photo canisters. Free and waterproof. It works, but not as a primary firelighting option. But needed if you want to play with tradition flint and steel.

A Ferroisum rod and some cottonballs with petroleum jelly, is way easier and more reliable.


#203067 - 06/07/10 02:59 PM Re: Char Cloth [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
chickenlittle Offline

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
I used char cloth in the distant past. It works well will the old style flint and steel where the flint was real flint and the steel was hard carbon steel.

I don't use char anymore for a few reasons.

First; As I got more skilled I found I could find tinder that worked almost as easily, but without the black carbon mess.

Second; With modern spark rods the spark is hot enough that charring is not really needed.
(One of the points of charring is that it makes the cotton far less able to get damp from the humidity in the air.)

Third; I use lighters almost all the time and the sparkers are simply backup in case all the bics go empty. So to carry a package of charred tinder seems a bit overboard for me.

I think lighting with char is a good skill to learn, and it certainly has a bit of the wow factor built in. It ranks with using a bow drill for wow factor, but I don't carry a bow drill and hearth board to light fires with either.

The only real thing to watch out for is that you are using pure cotton or linen fabric to make char cloth.
A lot of the clothing material now is cotton blended with synthetic fibers and it doesn't always make good char cloth.

#203553 - 06/17/10 06:05 AM Re: Char Cloth [Re: chickenlittle]
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
Since I have started using my tinder tube, I haven't made or carried char cloth. The tube keeps the burnt end of the cotton filler cord that I use from getting my stuff blackened. And every time I use it, it is automatically readied for next time.


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