Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Fabulous Fuzz Stick

Matches, lighters, and sparkers are all wonderful firestarting tools, but they all have their limitations:
  • Matches and lighters can light virtually anything, but they run out.  
  • In addition, lighters can be difficult to use to light certain things.  
  • Sparkers run practically forever, but they're limited in what they can light.  
The solution to all of these limitations is called a fuzz stick.

A fuzz stick is a wooden stick that has had the end "fuzzed" to make it easier to light. All that is required to make one is a piece of kindling and a knife, two things you should readily be able to access at any time.
  1. Start with a piece of kindling between the size of a pencil and the size of your finger. 
  2.  Use your knife to make "fuzzing" curls for the first inch or so from one end of the stick. 
  3. The more fuzz, and the finer the fuzz, the better. 
How completed fuzz sticks look.

The fuzz lights far easier than raw wood, and can be used to make damp wood start more readily. In addition, a fuzz stick works as an impromptu match and is useful for lighting candles, survival stoves, and all sorts of other things.

A fuzz stick, dressed with jute to catch sparks.

But what if you don't have a lighter or standing fire to start your fuzz stick?  There's a simple solution for that.  Remember that jute twine that I keep talking up?  Fluff up a ball of it, wrap it loosely around the fuzz end, and voila, your fuzz stick will now catch sparks and light normally.

Here's a video demonstration of me doing just that. Fair warning:  it's a little loud at the beginning, but it still goes to show that I can light a candle with just a Sparkie and a jute fuzz stick.

Perfect for a romantic survival evening!


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