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Wednesday 8 June 2011

Bush Candles

After a recent overnighter we got to discussing various "natural candles" that could be utilised for light, now the obvious birch bark ones and pine/spruce resin jobbies aside we figured the next best thing would be a cattail, so..

we took 5 specimens of lesser reedmace (couldn't find any greater reedmace/cattail near here)
and liberally coated 4 of them with combustible substances and one was left out as the control

We used, bacon fat, meths, goose grease and beef dripping, then lit them and watched what would happen.
The meths burnt very quickly and with little light, the bacon fat was ok, but kept going out every 5 minutes or so, the control just hardly worked, so the test was between the goose grease and the beef dripping, goose grease in the pic above.

But by far and away the best was the beef dripping. The fat was melted and the bulrush held near the fire to heat it then dipped in the fat, allowed to cool slightly then lit, burned very steadily and with a decent flame and was even hard to blow out! Burn time on this small bulrush was about 30 mins..

1 comment:

  1. Cattail heads are used as a tinder, once charred they will catch & hold a spark from flint & steel. Hence they will not burn affectively without added grease.
    This was a good experiment, well done. There should be more of this being done.
    Regards, Keith.