Char cloth is one of the easier was to turn a spark into an ember, which of course can be turned into a flame.
To make the char cloth you will need a char cloth tin.
A great source of char cloth tins are empty nugget tins, though other well sealing tins can be used.
Make char cloth tin:
1) Remove all paint from the tin with sand paper. (otherwise it will stink as it is heated)
2) Make a small vent hole 2-3 mm diameter (perhaps with a nail) in the top of the tin.
Use of char cloth tin:
1) Add small pieces of cut up natural cloth (20 mm square) into the tin and close it. (wood or paper can also be used)
2) Place tin on the embers of a fire with the vent hole facing up.
3) Wait for smoke to come from the tin, and wait for the smoke to stop.
4) Turn the tin over so the vent hole faces down. ( this allows both sides of the cloth to char properly)
5)Wait for smoke to come from the tin, and wait for the smoke to stop.
6) Remove tin from the embers and allow to cool.
7) Open to inspect the char cloth.
Char cloth quality tests:
If it is brown it need to be cooked longer.
If it is crumbly too the touch it was cooked too long and must be discarded.
It should be black and soft but not too fragile.
Store the char cloth in an air tight container. A small piece of tape or bees wax over the vent hole may be enough.
Char cloth use:
Place char cloth in your fire starting kindling nest and place char cloth in the center.
Using what ever method you have of creating a spark, attempt to create sparks on the char cloth.
The cloth will smolder with red orange ember lines flowing through the material. blow on it gently in the kindling nest and flames should take hold.
Fun facts about kiwi boot polish:
Invented in Melbourne, Australia by Scottish immigrants, Made in Indonesia, and now owned in USA.
The US army just calls it Kiwi, just like they call the fruit a Kiwi.
Connection to new Zealand? One of the inventors wives was from New Zealand.
Allegedly this boot polish cemented the Kiwi as a symbol of New Zealand.
Cost: free* ( Some assembly required.) or possibly free with nugget for your boots.