Fire Fixins started as a father and son project with my son Wyatt. Wyatt and I are both involved with Scouting and we both enjoy learning woodcraft stuff. I have always believed that fire making is a skill that everybody who ventures into the wild should be able to do. As with any skill, one must learn and practice. The Fire Fixins kit contains Jute string that has been infused in wax, and a piece of fat wood that is easily lit because of the high concentration of pine resin. The idea is to take a piece of jute string, pull it apart into very small strands. Then take the fat wood and scrape wood shavings onto the jute making something like a birds nest. Once completed, light with a lighter, match or my preferred method a ferrocerium rod spark. This kit should help a person light many fires and give you ideas on how to make your own fire kit.
DIRECTIONS: FLUFF IT! SCRAPE IT! and SPARK IT!
This is a great fire starter and I will now include it in all my fire starting kits. In fact Jay also sent me a picture of the jute attached to his knife sheath. That is a great idea. Not only is the product great for what it is, but the jute has wax worked throughout it. Wax can be great for many things in the wilderness and survival. For example, the wax can be used with a fire bow to lube the handhold or socket that you use to put downward pressure on the spindle and keep it moving freely without getting friction on the top.
Several times since Jay sent me the first sample of his new jute and fat wood fire starter I tried it and every time, I find myself thinking, why didn't I come up with this? All I did was cut a about a 2 inch piece of the jute string and work it out a bit to fray it and spread it all out so it catches the spark easily. Then I scrape just about a half dozen pieces of fat wood. I throw a spark and every time, it goes right up and burns for a couple minutes. This stuff is great. Actually, both the wax/jute and the fat wood can work by themselves. The two of them together can't be beat for fire starting even when wet.
I highly recommend that you have this is every kit and have it with you every time you go into the woods.
JHL Supply / CampingSurvival.com
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, family Tiliaceae.
Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibres and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute fibres are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose (major component of plant fibre) and lignin (major components wood fibre).
Jute fibre is often called hessian; jute fabrics are also called hessian cloth and jute sacks are called gunny bags in some European countries. The fabric made from jute is popularly known as burlap in North America.
Jute has been cultivated in India since ancient times. Raw jute was exported to the western world, where it was used to make ropes and cordage. The Indian jute industry, in turn, was modernized during the British Raj in India. The modern day area of Bengal-Bangladesh region was the major center for Jute cultivation, and remained so before the modernization of India's jute industry in 1855, when Kolkata became a center for jute processing in India.
Jute is one of the strongest natural fibers. The long staple fiber has high tensile strength and low extensibility. Its luster determines quality; the more it shines, the better the quality. It also has some heat and fire resistance. The biodegradable features of jute are becoming increasingly important.
Jute is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizer or pesticides. The production is concentrated in India and Bangladesh. The jute fibre comes from the stem and ribbon (outer skin) of the jute plant. The fibres are first extracted by retting. The retting process consists of bundling jute stems together and immersing them in low, running water. There are two types of retting: stem and ribbon. After the retting process, stripping begins. Women and children usually do this job. In the stripping process, non-fibrous matter is scraped off, then the workers dig in and grab the fibres from within the jute stem.
Fatwood is a fire starter that is cut from the stump of a pine tree. The base of the pine tree collects the fire starting resin that flows throughout the tree; when the tree is cut down, the stump has retained all of the resin and becomes the perfect kind of wood for fatwood. The process for making fatwood is environmentally friendly, since it uses a part of the tree that would otherwise be unused. The stump has a large amount of natural resin that can easily sustain a flame; fatwood is an approximately 8" stick cut from the stump. The fatwood is 100% natural and can be used to start things such as fireplaces, barbecues, and campfires. Fatwood is one of the only fire starters that is all natural. It can be used as easily as a liquid flammable fire starter or a product soaked in kerosene, and it is relatively safe as well.
Fatwood is a by-product of lumbering, and most fatwood companies do not produce fatwood from endangered pine species. Fatwood is generally harvested from renewable, managed forests.
Tar and turpentine are by-products of the resin that comes from the production of fatwood; when fatwood is cooked down in a fire kiln, the heavier resin product that results is tar. The steam that vaporizes from this process is turned into a liquid that becomes turpentine.
Fatwood commonly comes from the longleaf pine, which has an abundant amount of resin. Today, the longleaf pine, which was a common sight in the southeastern United States, is endangered due to deforestation and over-harvesting. Only about 3% of the original Longleaf Pine forest remains, and little new is planted. It is slow to regenerate as seed falls close to the parent trees  and saplings grow up near each other competing for water and nutrients.
There is also a slight difference between kindling and fatwood, both seemingly the same.
All Fatwood is kindling, but not all kindling is Fatwood. Normally, hardwoods (such as oak, hickory, etc.) rejected during the manufacturing process are sold as kindling. Hardwood kindling does not start as quickly or have a fire as intense as fatwood, and it requires newspaper or another additive to get started. While it appears that the customer is getting more for the money with higher-volume kindling bags, several pieces are needed to start each fire. Fatwood provides a lower cost with just two sticks needed per fire.
Fatwood also can never "go bad"; in fact, even if fatwood gets wet it can still be lit. Though commonly known as 'Georgia fatwood", much of the fatwood is now being harvested internationally both to meet current demand as well as being able to offer a lower price for consumers. Because domestic fatwood is becoming rarer, there is a need to search out other places with quality wood. One of these places is Central America, specifically the Honduras.
Fatwood, or fatlighter, had developed their names a long time ago.
Fatwood and fatlighter are slang expressions which have been used in the South for many, many years to describe the amount of pitch (resin) in the pine wood. fatwood/fatlighter is the wood that is cut from the base of the pine tree, which has captured the resin from the trunk of the tree. Stumps that are left in the forest are cut by hand with a saw and ax to produce fatwood.
It was the highly resinous wood (often called fatwood) of the longleaf pine tree that made it so desirable and sparked the naval stores industry throughout the Southeast.
As the industry evolved, the distillation of fatwood kindling shifted to the processing of pine gum extracted from the living longleaf pine tree. Around 1850, the production of gum turpentine peaked in North Carolina and began to spread south into Georgia as northerly forests were exhausted.
A few months ago, we decided to hold a Scout Challenge through our Facebook page. We had asked for troops from all over the country to send us their information and tell us a little bit about their troop. We received an overwhelming response from troops wanting to participate! Ultimately, we ended up choosing 10 troops for the Scout Challenge. Each of these troops were sent different fire starting items, included the item listed here. The troops were asked to take photos of their use of the fire starting materials, as well has give brief reviews of each item and state which ones worked well together.
Interested in reading these great scout reviews? All you have to do is visit our blog My Dirt Time and look for the entries with the words "Scout Challenge" in the title. There you will find the scout reviews on this item, as well as other, plus a ton of other interesting information.
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