How To Make Char Cloth Fast, Easy and Simple!

If you ever find yourself out in the woods or an emergency situation you need to be able to adapt. A simple and effective way to be ready in any survival situation is learning how to make char cloth. It is not a hard process and will leave you with a final product that will enable you to start fires fast. We will cover everything you need to know when it comes to making char cloth.


There are many ways to start a fire


There are countless ways of making a fire. You have to keep in mind that it is always better to have more than one way to start a fire. Yes, there are fire strikers for example. It would be doing a disservice to yourself if you did have another tool in your tool belt to start a fire regardless of where you are. 


This is why knowing how to make char cloth is so important.


Benefits of Char Cloth


Char cloth has been around for a while, it is by no means a new invention. It has been used for many centuries as a way to increase your chances of starting a fire with a spark. If you have a fire striker you know that if you do not have the right kindling to catch a spark it could be challenging. Char cloth makes it very easy for a spark to catch which is why it was made often back in the day. 


I have been out in the woods and have found it hard to get a fire going as it had just rained heavily. There was very little dry material. I knew I would have to be very attentive to the fire, as it could easily go out. The good thing was that I had char cloth and kindling that would get the fire started. The char cloth caught the spark instantly and I used some wood shavings I had to get a solid flame. Then I started drying the driest material around me with the fire. 


Char cloth can come in handy and is something I always have in my fire starting bag. 

How To Make Char Cloth?


When it comes to making char cloth I make sure to bring a tin can. I typically use an old soup can, which I can also use for cooking other things out in the wild. 


Cotton Works Best 


Cotton works great for making char cloth. I place cotton in the tin and make a small hole at the top of the tin can. 


Heat Source


You do not want to burn your char cloth to the point that there is nothing left. You want to have it lose a lot of its organic compounds with the heat. I typically place the can not directly in the fire. I put in on the side of the fire and on top of a hot coal or two. This gives me more control over, overdoing it.


The key thing is to have a strong heat source that is removing the organic material in the cloth. This leaves you with nice charred cloth which makes for great dry tinder regardless of the environment around you. 

So you have the cotton in the tin can, with a small hole in the top so the can doesn’t blow up in your face. You should start seeing smoke coming out of the hole. 


How large should I make my Char Cloth? 


This will be entirely up to you and what works best. The larger the container the more char cloth you can make.


 So, how large should your Char Cloth be? It’s up to you.


There are two reasons why I recommend keeping your cloth small:


1. The larger the cloth, the more charring you’ll need to do before you can start using it. So if you want to make sure your cloth is ready for use as soon as possible, keeping it small will help.


2. As with mushrooms and many other things we cook, char cloth shrinks when dried! So if your cloth is too big and doesn’t shrink enough when drying out, you may find yourself short on space (which could cause some problems). It also can take more time. 


How Do You Store It?


 Char cloth is an important part of being a prepper or survivalist. It can be used to start fires, which is why it’s so useful. But how do you store char cloth?


There are a few things you should know about storing char cloth:


  • It must never get wet
  • It will not last forever if left in the open air
  • To keep it dry, place it in an airtight container

It’s important to keep your char cloth dry and in a safe place. If you store it correctly, it will last for years!

I typically put mine in a small tobacco tin, which I got from the tobacco shop down the street. Then I removed the tobacco and cleaned it out. Now I just use Altoids cans, which are a lot easier and without the smell. You could also use an old Altoids tin or any other container that you have lying around. 


Just keep in mind that if there is moisture inside the container, it could damage your char cloth. The best place to store it is where it will not be damaged—which means putting the cloth in a container!


How To Make A Fire Using Char Cloth 


The ability to make char cloth is one that you should know. In a survival situation it could make all the difference especially when on the move. 




This is a great skill to have if you’re ever in the wilderness without any matches or lighters. If you can’t start a fire, then you’ll need to learn how to use some kind of friction device to create sparks, which will eventually catch on your kindling. But first things first: let’s talk about what kind of wood makes good kindling!


If you’re looking for something that burns quickly but doesn’t put out too much heat, then birch bark is great for starting fires. You can also use dryer lint or cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly as an alternative fuel source. Next up: char cloth!


It all starts with a spark


It’s pretty simple: you create a spark, the spark catches on a piece of kindling, and then you add more kindling to build a flame. I would use a fire striker/flint.


To do this, I would collect some char cloth and leaves, and then I’d get my fire-starting equipment in place. The char cloth will catch on fire when it’s exposed to sparks, so I’d aim my sparks at the char cloth and make sure the sparks are landing directly on it. Then once it catches, start adding small pieces of wood shavings until you have a little pile with flames dancing around it. Now it’s time to add leaves, this will give you more fuel for your fire! Finally, add twigs to give your flame even more fuel. You’ll be ready to go in no time!


This stuff isn’t as easy to find as other kinds of cloth (it’s made from linen or cotton), but it’s worth the effort because when it catches on fire it burns so brightly that it can start even damp wood! So why don’t we just make it ourselves? Well, we could do that! But instead of


What Kind Of Char Cloth Should I Use?


 What kind of char cloth should you use? I would focus on a few different types of cloth that you should use to make your char cloth. The first and best one is cotton, followed by linen. I would not use wool or other types of cloth. These two make good options when making char cloth. 



First, let’s talk about why cotton is an ideal material for char cloth. Cotton has been used for centuries because it’s so easy to work with, it doesn’t require much maintenance, and it lasts for a very long time. Some say that cotton can last for well over a century.



Linen is another great option because it’s easy to work with and very durable, it can last up to 50 years! However, both types of fabric are very flammable so they’re great choices if you plan on starting fires with them!


What Things Can I Use?


 Well, there are a host of things you can use to make char cloth. One of those are cotton t-shirts or cotton balls for example.


You can also use wood shavings as well as sawdust. The best thing about this is that it will not only work for you in your everyday life but also for camping and hiking trips!



You can also use old newspapers, or paper towels to create char cloth from them and then use them as kindling for your campfire or fireplace at home. This is an excellent way of recycling paper and turning it into something useful at the same time!


Alternatives To Char Cloth


While char cloth is a great product, it does take a little time to make. If you do not want to wait for it then you have a few options.


Using wood shavings as an alternative is a great idea. You can use both pine and cedar shavings as they each have their unique benefits. Pine shavings are easier to find and cheaper than cedar but they tend to burn faster than cedar so make sure you have enough kindling ready!


Crunching up leaves or grass will also work well as an alternative! Just make sure that you do not use wet leaves or grass because this will cause your fire to go out quickly or never start. Steel wool is also an option if you want something that lights up quickly but does not produce as much heat as other char cloth alternatives.


Altoids Tin 


 Altoids tin? 


No, we’re not talking about your breath mints. We’re talking about the tins that you use to store your Altoids. You know, those little metal cans that have a sliding lid on them? Well, if you have an Altoids tin lying around and don’t know what to do with it, here’s a suggestion: make char cloth!


You can use an Altoids tin to make char cloth by punching a small hole in the top of it and putting your material inside. Then heat up the tin over a fire until all the organic material in the paper has burned away, and you’ll be left with a charred piece of material that’s ready to use as a fire starter!


What makes this so great is how quick and easy it is to make char cloth using an Altoids can: no need for large containers or heavy equipment—just grab your Altoids tin and go. And since Altoids are already tiny enough when packaged together in their original containers, carrying an extra one around won’t add much weight to your pack (or pocket).


All Containers

Whatever container you decide to use make sure that it is an air-tight container. You only want one hole for the smoke to exit and leave. Otherwise, you may find yourself with nothing but ashes and not charred cloth. I would try making char cloth so you know how to do it in a survival situation. 




 As I have mentioned before, you have to make a small hole in whatever tin can you are going to use. This is one of the most important steps, otherwise, the container will explode. There goes your attempt at making char cloth so please keep this in mind. I can not stress this enough.


If you will be using a tin can as your container, make sure that you cut a small hole on the top of it before placing it on top of the hot coals or fire. 


The process for making char cloth is very simple, these are some important things to keep in mind if you want it to work properly. If you follow these directions carefully then everything should go smoothly.


Making char cloth is a great way to recycle materials and create something useful at the same time. It is also an excellent way to start a fire, especially in a survival situation. Just be sure to follow the directions carefully and always punch a hole in the top of the container before heating it. This will prevent the container from exploding. You should know how to make the char cloth and how great it is to have when you need to get a fire going out in the wild. A great thing to know!


Stay safe out there!



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