Making Char Cloth

Char cloth is my go-to tinder to get a fire going in the wild. It's easy to make a lot of it and can be lit by a ferro rod easily. One downside though, it that you need some normal cloth to begin with. So you'll probably need to prepare some before going out.

What You'll Need

Some old cloth

Take an old t-shirt or some other organic cloth and rip it into 5cm wide strips. Then cut the strip down to about 10cm long.

You will need an organic material like cotton or jute for this. Nylon and other plastics will just melt.

A small metal container

I use an old food can for this. Just wash it out and keep the lid. Even if it is no longer attached.

You can use any type of metal container really. Other commonly used ones are Altiods tins or old makeup containers.

Use a nail to poke a hole into the lid of your container. With a food can, you don't need to do this as it already has gaps around the edges of the lid.

A way of picking up the metal container in a fire

If you are making your char cloth at a camp fire, a stick will probably do.

Making the Char Cloth

A fire

Get a fire going. This can be a gas or wood fire. I wouldn't recommend doing this on a stove or indoors. The cloth can catch on fire if too much oxygen gets to it.

Put your unburned cloth into your metal container. You can fill up the container, just don't compact it by pushing it all down to get more in too much.

Put the lid on your container. Make sure there is a small gap somewhere on the top. Wether that be the hole you make or a gap in the lid. This gap should be away from the flames to the contents don't catch alight.

Place the container on the fire and let it sit there to 15 minutes or so. If you want, you can wait until the fire is out before retrieving the container.

Open the container up and find that all of the cloth has now turned black.