Fire Starters

Fire Starters

Fire Starters are handy to have when out and about in the woods, when bushwhacking and to have available for your bug-out bag. Many times campers and “preppers” have redundant sources to begin a fire, matches, flint and steel, magnesium sticks, etc. but they do not always have access to good dry material such as dry tinder. Hence, the reason for this post – Fire Starters, are a source of dry flammable material that once lit should burn for at least five minutes and help ignite longer burning materials. These are easily lit by most methods – like those listed above. Best of all, they are compact!!

Fire starters can be the answer and they are easily made at home and for free from materials everyone has. Here is how you make your very own fire starter:

  1. Take material from your laundry dryer, small bits of cotton/fiber string, shredded cloth and place into the egg holder compartments in a paper egg carton.
  2.  Take a lit candle and pour a thin layer of melted wax over the lint & cloth.
  3. Once dry, break carton sections off and pack in zip lock bags.

When you need them just take one out. Fluff up some lint and light on fire. Whether you use matches or flint and steel, the lint should easily catch fire. The wax will help keep the fire going.

Once lit just place under whatever the long term fire material will be. In five minutes you should have a cheery warm fire.

Four-wing Saltbush – Atriplex Canescens

Common Names: Chamise, chamize, chamiso, white greasewood, saltsage, fourwing shadscale, bushy atriplex Four-wing saltbush are shrubs that grow an average of two to three feet tall although they may reach eight to fifteen feet in height,four-wing saltbush, four wing saltbush

Description: Fourwing saltbush is deciduous to evergreen, depending on climate. Its much-branched stems are stout with whitish bark. Mature plants range from 1 to over 8 feet in height, depending on the soil and climate. Its leaves are simple, alternate, linear to narrowly oblong covered with fine whitish hairs and ½ to 2 inches long. Its root system is branched and commonly very deep (to 20 feet) when soil depth allows.

Male and female flowers are commonly on separate plants. Male flowers are red to yellow and form dense spNative Americans of the Southwest harvested the leaves and seeds of the plant for food.ikes at the ends of the branches. The female flowers are axillary and nondescript. Fourwing saltbush plants can exhibit male and female parts in one flower. The seed is contained in cases that turn a dull yellow when ripe and may remain attached to the plant throughout winter.

Location: Four-wing saltbush is a widely distributed shrub on rangelands in the western United States including the Intermountain, Great Basin, and Great Plains regions (see map). Its natural range extends from below sea level to above 8,000 feet elevation. Land owners and agencies use fourwing saltbush for reclamation of disturbed sites

Edible: Fresh roots can be boiled with a little salt and drunk for stomach pain and as a laxative. Leaves and young shoots can be added to soups and stews. Soapy lather from leaves can be used for itching and rashes from chickenpox or measles. Fresh leaf or a poultice of fresh or dried flowers or roots can be applied to ant bites and bee stings.Four-wings grow from California, northwest to Washington, east to North Dakota and Kansas, and south to Mexico
Native Americans used ashes from the leaves as a substitute for baking powder.

Seed generally ripens in late August and September and can be harvested from mid September through December. The seeds can be ground into meal. Seed yields may range from 200 to 400 pounds per acre.

Notes of interest: Saltbush is high in carotene and averages about four percent digestible protein. The leaves may be as high as 18 percent total protein. It is important for both wildlife and domestic animals.
The blossoms and twigs can make a yellow dye.

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