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56) Make char cloth 14 Mar 2012

We’re heading north this weekend for our first canoe trip of the season. The weather here in Toronto is just too nice to sit in Toronto, and we’ve been itching to get back to wilderness. Our plan is to check-off some of our survival and camping related to-do’s in Massasauga Provincial Park, a protected area that stretches along the coast of Georgian Bay and takes in hundreds of windswept little islands.

Last night, to prepare for the journey, we made some char cloth. Char cloth, when made properly, can ignite with a single spark, making it an essential tinder companion to have in the bush (especially when camping in wet or damp areas). We made ours from an old t-shirt and an Altoids tin over our BBQ. Simple to do (and could be a life saver). Here’s how we did it…

How to Make Char Cloth in 5 Easy Steps

1] Grab an old cotton t-shirt or any natural cloth (synthetic materials will just melt)
2] Cut cloth up into small swatches
3] Stick them in a tin with a tight-sealed lid (Altoids tins are perfect)
4] Punch a small whole at the top of your Altoids tin
5] Throw your tin on some hot coals and wait till tin stops smoking (about 10 minutes)

*If you’ve done it right, your swatches should be black, silky smooth in texture, and remain intact.

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