Chaga tincture

Recently I have made some Chaga tincture.  Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), also known as True Tinder Fungus

chaga natural lore

is renowned for its medicinal properties which include; anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and it helps to strengthen the immune system.

It is recommended that you crush the mushroom into a powder and use to make a tincture (a tincture is an alcohol extract), but I wanted to use the fungus after to teach firelighting, so I broke it up into small pieces and placed in a tar which has an air-tight seal.  I then covered the pieces of Chaga with 40% vodka.

chaga tincture recipe

I sealed the jar and left it in a dark cupboard for two weeks, agitating the jar everyday.  After two weeks I poured the jars contents through a coffee filter, into a bottle.

chaga tincture

Then I put the pieces of Chaga back into the jar and filled the jar with fresh vodka and repeated the hole process again.  Eventually I had a vodka bottle full with Chaga tincture.  The Chaga pieces I have dried and use for firelighting and some of the tincture I have transferred into small medicine bottles and I take a dropper full of tincture two times every day.

chaga tincture kevin warrington (Large)

Natural Lore Flint & Steel Set

I had been wondering what to write about, but then my friend Håkan made me this as a gift

It is a traditional snuff or tinder container,

made from Birch bur, thin strips of Pine and sewed with Birch root and he has set Reindeer horn into the top.

Inside he had put a Bic lighter as a joke and I will explain why…

I have started selling Natural Lore Fire Sets here in Lapland and I am using old PLASTIC snuff containers (people here throw thousands away every year and I thought I would recycle some) but Håkan thinks I should make something like the container he has made to contain the fire sets.

The fire set includes a specially made fire steel, with a piece of flint, some True Tinder Fungus

and some Hemp string in the top compartment

I am going to make a container like Håkan’s (without Reindeer horn in the top) to see how long it takes me to make one.  Maybe I can use them as a more expensive version of the Natural Lore Fire Set……we shall see.

Birding and bushcraft

Last Friday I headed off to the British Birdwatching Fair which is a three day event held annually at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

british bird fair (Large)

I was there to make contact with nature tourism companies who are, or who are considering running tours in Northern Sweden.

After a day at the bird fair I travelled down to Danemead Scout Campsite to spend a couple of days with my friend Stuart, relaxing in the woods. The dappled sunlight through the trees provided us with some beautiful views in the early morning.

danemead 22-8 6 (Small)

I spent some time teaching Stuart methods of firelighting without matches and some tinders to use and he helped me refresh my navigation skills, but most of our time was spent around the fire

danemead 22-8 1 (Small)

chatting, drinking and eating.  Here I am making sausage stew

danemead 22-8 2 (Small)

The handles of the crusader cup can get hot when the cup is being used in a large fire so I worked on developing a simple tool for removing the cup when the handle is hot. I cut a piece of Hazel with a branch stub at one end. I thinned down the Hazel at this point

danemead 22-8 3 (Medium)

to fit between the gap in the handles and the branch stub hooks below the handle as you can see below

danemead 22-8 4 (Medium)

You can place the cup in position and then unhook and remove the handle until you want to remove it from the fire

danemead 22-8 5 (Small)

Umbellifer fire

The standing dead stems of most umbellifers can be used to easily make fire

umbellifer-fire-1-small

as they provide everything you need from tinder to fuel (as long as the weather is dry)

umbellifer-fire-2-small

All you have to do is gather the remnants of the seed heads together and grab you firesteel

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The umbellifer stems burn hot and give off very little smoke and this is why the Saami carried and used dead Angelica when they needed a brew fire in a location where they did not want to be seen.  You can read more about the Saami use of Angelica and other natural medicines here;

http://www.norrshaman.net/Saami%20Ethno%20Medicine.htm

Fire by…….PHONE!!!!??

IMPORTANT NOTICE!!
Short circuiting Lithium batteries is apparently very dangerous and can result in the battery catching fire or exploding so only use this method in a true survival situation!!

I like to set myself challenges, so while out the other day I decided to see whether I could make fire with just the items in my pocket. The items from my pocket were a set of keys, my mobile phone, cotton wool from a small bandage and a small piece of wire wool.

I knew the cotton and wire wool could be used as tinders but I couldn’t think of any way to use my keys or my mobile……..but then I considered the methods I have previously used to ignite wire wool. I had no method to create a spark but I have used a battery with both terminals at one end to ignite it in the past and then realised that a phone (or camera battery) usually have such a battery inside.

I had never heard of or seen this demonstrated before I so I was rather sceptical about it working, so watch the piece of video below to see whether it did.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Wireandcottonwool.flv – Video – Photo…“, posted with vodpod

Fire by……….phone?!!!!

I like to set myself challenges, so while out the other day I decided to see whether I could make fire with just the items in my pocket. The items from my pocket were a set of keys, my mobile phone, cotton wool from a small bandage and a small piece of wire wool.

I knew the cotton and wire wool could be used as tinders but I couldn’t think of any way to use my keys or my mobile……..but then I considered the methods I have previously used to ignite wire wool. I had no method to create a spark but I have used a battery with both terminals at one end to ignite it in the past and then realised that a phone (or camera battery) usually have such a battery inside.

I had never heard of or seen this demonstrated before I so I was rather sceptical about it working, so watch the piece of video below to see whether it did.

Another tinder for flint and steel

I am always seeking new tinders to add to my tinder pouch for use with flint and steel……char cloth, true tinder fungus, false tinder fungus and so on. Recently I have discovered a new addition which is certainly not as messy to carry as char cloth and doesn’t disintegrate like fungus. I know it works fine with a battery and a firesteel but had never considered it for use with flint and steel. As you may have guessed by now it is of course very fine grade wire wool! I bought two large rolls of 0000 grade wire wool on Ebay last week.


For this demonstration I used a piece of chainsaw file, locally sourced flint and dry grass for the ember nest.

I must apologies for the short duration of video clips that I use, but unfortunately I have such a slow broadband speed that anything over 14 seconds does not upload.

Tease the wire wool apart and then place on the flint and use as you wood with char cloth.

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My friend Jeremy was keen to try once I had demonstrated it to him.