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Bird nest fire tinder?

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Marco Montana, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Marco Montana

    Marco Montana Monkey+

    I watch alot of the Man vs Wild, Dual Survivor, Survivor Man, Man Woman Wild, I always see them gather this dry grass perfect little bird nest to drop a coal in...

    Here In New England, I search endlessly to find such materials and never do, where or what can I use to hone my skills in identifying such resources?

    I usually end up grabbing some Birch bark and scrapping it for the inner oils.
    modernwoodsman likes this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I guess if you have a production crew available, you can send them out to find a nest for you. :lol: I've never had any success finding birds nests ready made for use as a tinder bed, but often enough there is dry grass all around (if it hasn't rained recently) to make do. I prefer birch bark if there's any around, especially paper birch. "Bleeding" pine (sap) isn't a bad choice either. In New England, it shouldn't be difficult to find some dry leaves to shred/crush that will do for starting twigs. Best is dryer lint if you are on a planned exercise away from home.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  3. bird nest

    The best place to find bird nests are thick trees near the edges of fields or open areas. Often times these trees are thickly leaved enough to keep them well hidden and dry. However, by winter, when the leaves fall, the nests don't last that long. When I do find bird nests, I hang on to them, add them to dry packs and stow them in my survival kit. I would never spend too much time looking just for them though, birds usually build them hard to find purposely
  4. Marco Montana

    Marco Montana Monkey+

    Yea! Only problem is its winter here now and everything is covered with snow, so dry grass will not be available and winter is when I most would need to hone my skills in making fire... Is there any other tree with natural oils like Birch?
  5. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    I have an Obsessive Compulsive Towhee that lives here. She compulsively builds nests in the eaves of my porch, outside shelves and carport. Probably 10 per year. I've often thought what a great fire starter they would be and how quickly they would burn my house down.

    I'd offer her to you but It's hard to not like a hard worker like her and she lands on my feet when I sit in my chair outside. If I sat still long enough, she'd probably build a nest on my lap.

  6. Marco Montana

    Marco Montana Monkey+

  7. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    I love chats about building/starting fires.

    Also, you hail from New England--I relocated from there in the late 70's.

    Welcome aboard and enjoy exploring Survival Monkey. You will find lots of expert advice here; I certainly have.
  8. There is also cattail fluff, thistle heads, and wood scrapings.
  9. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Just a word of Caution about saving birds nesta in your pack for later use... many birds have mites and so do their nests... so saving one could give you some unwanted riders....

    just a thought... YMMV
  10. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Why not keep a baggie of dryer lint. One trip to a commercial laundromat could have you in tinder for years and it doesn't weigh anything and would take up very little space in your kit.
    modernwoodsman and oldawg like this.
  11. Great tip, thanks!
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've never bothered to find birds nests for fire starting, I just find dry grass or look for the nearest pine tree/ever green and grab a hand full of needles from under the tree. Most of the time unless its totaly soaked the needles under the tree or caught in forks seem to be dry. Wad the materials up in a ball and roll it around in my hands to work it together then work out a hollow in the ball with my thumbs. Looks like a birds nest and works well as long as can get a coal or strong spark in it.
  13. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    Any dried natural material will work,just roll it into a ball in your hands then make a little hole for your coal<ah that rhymes:D
  14. bad_karma00

    bad_karma00 Monkey+

    When I have it, I use plain old dryer lint as a tender. Keep it in a medicine bottle. Of course, if I needed more than one fire, I'd be looking for something else, I guess.

    I also have a med bottle with some vaseline soaked cotton balls. I read about them somewhere a long time back. They work pretty well, too, especially with a flint/steel rig. YMMV of course.

    I've never used a bird's nest. That doesn't mean I wouldn't in dire times though, lol.
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