Why we carry tender

Today I went to the woods to shoot video of my first time making and starting fire using the feather stick method.  I thought I knew how to make one. I was wrong. What ensued was frustration ans failure. A feather stick is shaving curls into a stick so that they will catch a spark and start a fire without using tender brought in. I had seen them used and did not bother to truly learn the technique. I tend to be big on taking action instead of getting trapped in analysis paralysis. I did however learn how NOT to make one today.

I’m going to share the video I shot today so you can also learn how not to make one.



I’m also going to stress the importance of carrying tender with you. Had I been in a survival situation today and needed to use the feather stick method It could have been bad. I have never had a anything but huge success with Vaseline soaked cotton balls. 100% fire every single time I have made fire using them. Usually with one or two strikes of a ferro rod. Thus saving that resource. Today I used a lot of the rod and will most likely need to replace it now.

I have not given up on the feather stick at all and plan to add it to my arsenal of tricks very soon and practice it till I master it. So the other real lesson from today is sometimes we all fail. Its learning from your mistakes, laughing about them and learning how to fix them. So this weekend get out there and go fail at something learn your lesson and have fun


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2 thoughts to “Why we carry tender”

  1. This past month (10/2012)I have had the Scouts in my troop work on fire starting. Living in the PNW it is usually wet. The first meeting I let the scouts scavenge fire material from the surrounding woods and let them start the fires with matches. Now it had rained the whole previous week. I did not let them use fire starters. It was a huge lesson for them. Most thought this was going to be easy. Most were unsucessful. It took me demonstrating a couple of techniques for them to get a fire started
    Technique #1 – wood selection, find wood with out bark (usually means older and seasoned)
    Technique #2 – stripping the bark and first layer of wood to get to dryer wood
    Technique #3 – splitting branches (kindling) in half to get to the dry wood.

    With these techniques I was able to start a fire in about 5 minutes for materials at hand.

    The second week we used flint and steel with dryer lint. Most could get the fire started but still had problems with keeping it going with wet wood.

    I am big on out door essential for all outdoor activities with matches in a waterproof container with a good stricker and fire starts (candles,commercial “sticks” ect)

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