What kind of people use tinder


To start a fire these days, a disposable lighter and a little dry fuel are sufficient. However, there are some traditional alternatives that work amazingly well with practice. Our ancestors, the primitive man, had to get along with the materials that nature offered them. And even with some isolated peoples, such archaic-looking techniques are still in practical use.

Fire pounding

32,000 years ago at the latest, humans invented the very first method of generating fire on their own: fire beating. For this technique to be successful, it needs three components:

  1. Pyrite or marcasite. These two iron sulfide minerals are sometimes also referred to as "pebbles". The molecules from which the shiny gold crystals are formed consist of an iron atom and two sulfur atoms. Both pyrite and the more unstable marcasite occur at numerous German sites.
  2. Flint. This common stone consists primarily of the mineral silicon. In the Stone Age, chopped flint found many uses, for example for hunting weapons, knives and jewelry. Since the demand was high, flints were extracted in regular mines.
  3. Tinder. In the broadest sense, tinder is a highly flammable fuel. The eponymous "tinder sponge" is very suitable for this. This widespread tree fungus has an inner workings made up of fine tubes. The best fuel comes from its middle layer.

To start the fire you hit both stones against each other. The resulting friction causes the pyrite or marcasite to spray sparks. These sparks must fall on the tinder. If a tiny flame forms, the critical moment comes: Now you have to blow on the flame and add more fuel (such as straw).

Firebeating also works with or with pyrite and quartz Steel and flint. Until well into the 19th century, people beat flint against steel to light their stoves.

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Fire drilling and fire sawing

According to Stone Age experts, there is no evidence that primitive humans actually created fire using fire drilling and related techniques. The only thing scientifically proven is fire-fighting. The following structure gives the best chance of actually starting a fire:

  1. Drilling board. This wooden board lies firmly on the floor and is best fixed with the foot. The board has a recess where the fire drill can start and a notch that leads from the edge of the drill board to the recess.
  2. Fire drill. The “drill” consists of a straight wooden stick that is sharpened at both ends. It can be turned between both hands. If the friction at the lower end of the drill is great enough, the flash point is reached there.
  3. Fidel bow or spindle. The fire drill is clamped in a special arch. This arc increases the speed of rotation of the fire drill. But it is also possible to create a fire without a fiddle bow (just with the fire drill between your hands).
  4. One belongs to the fiddle arch Pressure piece, with which you fix the fire drill and press it onto the drill board while you operate the bow with the other hand.

If the drill rotates very quickly, not only does the contact point with the drill board get red-hot, but wood debris also collects in the side notch of the board. With practiced hands, it only takes a minute for the wood abrasion to ignite. In addition to the abrasion, you can put tinder in the notch to improve the chances of the first flame. Complete instructions on fire drilling can be found here.

A method widely used in traditional cultures is also what is called Fire saws. A piece of wood (the “saw”) is pulled very quickly over a wooden base or through a gap. In some constructions, the sawing piece of wood is replaced by a long cord made of plant fibers. There are numerous variants of fire sawing that require a lot of skill.

Secure fire pit

In detail, there are countless methods of building a fireplace or a campfire. It is safest to keep fire on one damp, non-flammable surface to build. In addition, the place should be sheltered from the wind and away from dry vegetation. A campfire in the summer forest is usually not a good idea.

If you place stones on the ground and at the edge of the fireplace, you can limit the fire with them. Nevertheless, one should always keep a watchful eye on the fireplace and for safety provide a bucket of water. The fire can be reliably extinguished with water or sand. Before leaving the fire, it must be absolutely ensured that there is no longer any spark in the fireplace.