DIY Fire

DIY Char Cloth

DIY Char Cloth
Written by Del Zero

What is Char Cloth?

Char cloth is the product left behind from burning organic material in order to remove the gases stored within but not so much that the material has burned up. The process by which this is achieved is called pyrolysis.

Why do we need Char Cloth?

Because char cloth is so easy to ignite most times with a simple spark, it makes starting a fire quick and easy. In a survival situation having some char cloth handy can save the day.

What is the best material to use as Char Cloth?

Cloth from an old T-shirt or fabric from old jeans work well also.

What makes the best Char Tins?

Char Tins can be made from old Altoids cans, tuna cans, etc.

How to make your own DIY Char Cloth?

diy_char_cloth1. Find a suitable tin to hold your cloth.

2. Drill a small hole or puncture a hole using a nail. The hole allows gases to escape without letting oxygen back into the can. The lack of oxygen is what keeps the cloth from completely burning up.

3. Place the tin over a heat source such as a stove or fire and wait till all the smoke exits the can. Once the smoke stops, turn the can over in order to make sure all of the gases have been released. The length of time depends on the size of the tin, temperature of the heat source, the type of fabric used and how much is stuffed into the can.

Note: Be careful around the tin while doing this and do not ignite the smoke that is released because it is flammable.

Once you are done, let the char tin cool down and store the char cloth in a safe dry place till you need to use it to help start a fire.

How to light Char Cloth?

There are many methods to create a spark in order to light Char Cloth. A popular method is using flint and steel where you strike the flint with a piece of metal in close proximity to the char cloth. Flint sticks can be found in many sporting goods or army surplus stores.
primitive-fire-skills-flint-and-steel

A broken lighter works well also. In a case where you may only have 1 or 2 matches, having char cloth can be a life saver.

Dry grass and other tinder may not work as well as char cloth but can be combined in order to get your camp fire up and running.

About the author

Del Zero