Friday, January 27, 2012

Jute - Another Great Natural Tinder

A few days ago I thought I finished up my series on tinder. Lo and behold, I forgot one of the best tinders, jute!

Jute is a natural fiber used to make all sorts of things. The only natural fiber that is used more in the world than jute is cotton. While jute is not as soft and cuddly as cotton, it is much stronger. Americans use jute mostly for ropes and string, but in other parts of the world it is commonly used for bags, curtains, seat covers, rugs, and other floor coverings. Like hemp, it is natural, easy to grow, biodegradable and generally good for the environment. It is also highly flammable.

A few yards of jute string wound up in your pocket takes up very little space and weighs almost nothing. To make a fire, cut off about six inches of twine and pull apart the fibers. I like to roll the fibers up in my hands. This fluffs them while keeping them together.

Now all you have to do is apply an ignition source. Jute will catch easily from just a spark or a coal. It is scary how flammable it is!

Jute string is hard to beat in a survival situation. Not only can you make fires with it, it is very strong. You could repair gear, a backpack strap or bootlace for instance, or use it to make a shelter. It would work in any situation where you would need a strong cord. This gives jute string multiple uses, which is what you look for in survival gear.

Like all tinder it does have a couple drawbacks. It is not waterproof, although you can make it water resistant by dipping it in wax. It also does not burn for long. You need to have your kindling ready to go.

All in all, jute string rates very high on the list of tinder you can carry with you. I will be adding it to my kit.

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