When considering the fire triangle, tinder acts as both the initial fuel and heat source. Tinder needs to be both easy to light and burn with heat to get your initial fuel source(kindling) burning.
Tinder is usually a finely divided, open material which will begin to glow or burn under a shower of sparks. Being finely divided increases the available surface area and the openness provides the air(therefore oxygen) to keep the sparks alight.
Over thousands of years the choice of effective natural tinders has grown as humans have experimented with different materials. There is now a wide range of both natural and man made tinders which people use to light fires. You often find that different practitioners will have a favourite tinder or combination of tinders to light a fire. Follow the links below to learn about a selection of man made and natural tinders.
Tinder is key to starting fires and although natural tinders can usually be found in the local environment, experienced practitioners often arrive with their own tinder kits. These often contain a variety of natural and man made tinders to help get a fire going. Below you will find some examples of some tinder kits.
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