Bow Drill Bonus Field Guide: Tinder Bundle

Welcome to your bonus video!

Once you learn how to put together this magical little tinder bundle, you’ll be able to start a fire in almost any situation.

Best of all, it’s extremely simple, and takes practically zero outdoorsman skills.

There’s 3 parts to this tinder bundle.

Coarse material: outside of your bundle.

Medium material: middle of your bundle

Fine material: center of your bundle.

We’ll break them down one by one.

As mentioned, your coarse material is your outermost material.

Depending on your region you may get some great barks for your coarse material.

Such as…

Cedar, Aspen, Cottonwood, Bass Wood, and Tulip Poplar.

If not, grass is usually readily available.

There are things to consider when using grasses though.

When you touch them you’ll feel a waxy cuticle. Which is important to understand for starting fires.

The cuticle prevents evaporation of water. Which means it retains moisture on the inside.

Couple that with the fact it’s a solid wax, it takes a lot of heat to burn through and get it to ignite.

So, knowing that up front, you never want to use dried grass as your fine, or medium tinder.

But, as the coarse material on the outside, it works perfectly. Since your fire will be more than hot enough to easily ignite it.

With your coarse material, you want to fold it into the shape of a bird’s nest. Incidentally a real bird’s nest works perfectly for this.

Just as pictured below.

Set this aside for now. 

This could be used as your coarse material as well.

What we’re really talking about when dealing with medium material is how much we’ve processed it down.

Processing it down is simply breaking it into finer material so it’s easier to ignite.

Before you do this, make sure you put down some sort of mat (tarp, poncho etc.) to catch the material you shred.

To shred your material, you simply take the material in your hands, and pull it apart from the top. Almost driving your fingertips up through the middle of the material.

Spend time on this. It should take you a few minutes.

You might get lucky with a subpar tinder bundle, and light a fire. But, you’re not trying to be lucky here, you’re trying to do it right. If you rush it and try to shortcut it, then you take a chance of your ignition source not taking and having to do it all over again.

However, keep in mind, this is only our medium material, so you don’t have to get too crazy with it.

Roughly pencil lead size, with some exceptions is fine here.

Once your material looks as above…

Place it into the middle of your bird’s nest (coarse material).

Gather all of the extra material that fell out when you were tearing up the material and add it to the top of your medium material. It’s very valuable.

TIP: Never put your material directly on the ground, as it will immediately begin sucking up moisture.

This is generally made up of an outer bark.

Cedar, Juniper, and Tulip Poplar outer barks can be processed perfectly for fine material.

You’ll do the exact same processing method as you did with your medium material.

However in this case, you’re going for a much finer outcome.

This is very deliberate.

You’re processing this down as fine as frog hair. AKA very fine.

It should almost look like shredded tobacco at this point.

Then, just as we did in the last step, pick up all the pieces that fell out and add it to your fine material.

Then place all of your fine material right in the centre of your tinder bundle.

Once you’re done with it, it should look just like a bird’s nest with super fine material in the centre.

One thing I want you to take note of…

The size of tinder bundle you see here is perfect for a fair day.

If it’s windy, cold, and damp out, you’ll want a tinder bundle about double the size of what you see in the image.

Think the size of a basketball.

Other than that…

Keep this guide with you at all times. The ability to put together a tinder bundle like this is absolutely a life-saving skill.

You’ll regret being caught without it.