Saturday, 1 December 2007

Poplar, wet tinder and a brew

Found this fallen Poplar tree while out walking.

The bark can be used as a bearing block for the bow-drill and I have used it to make floats for fishing nets.

The bark is also good to burn as it burns slowly, smouldering rather than flaming and gives off a a lot of heat (the end of a long piece can be placed in a fire and once smouldering, used to carry fire with you).

To make a fire for a brew, I collected a hand full of damp leaves from the ground and rubbed them vigorously between my hands to break down the fibres and remove moisture. I placed these on the ground and using flint and steel, sparked onto a piece of Crampball fungus and once glowing, placed it on the leaves. I then placed another handful of buffed leaves on top leaving a small cavity around the fungus. By gently blowing, the glowing Crampball produces heat and the cavity acts like an oven to hold heat and gradually remove moisture from the leaves. Eventually the leaves will dry sufficiently for a flame to appear.

Once the fire was sufficiently large enough to burn small fuel sized sticks, I added the poplar bark.

After the billy can of water had boiled, I was able to enjoy a cup of vegetable stock.

I also found a nice specimen of Artists Fungus on the fallen Poplar tree. When you mark the white underside with a blunt stick it turns black.

Here is a rather nice example I found on another website.

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