Carrying a live coal

Sagebrusher

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I was reading a fictional novel set in 8000BC, and the people in it carried a coal with them from campsite to campsite to start a new fire. They wrapped it in moss and leather. Does this really work? I would think the coal would either go out or start a fire. :)

Edit: I should have put this in the Bushcraft Skills forum
 
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Theo

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Yes, it really works. Most, if not all, primitive/stone age cultures had some system for transporting a live coal as their ways of generating fire were not quite as dependable as modern methods. Very popular in those societies ( such as the Plains Indians) where women were responsible for fire making. Most men in those societies were not very proficient at fire making, so they would take a live coal with them when out hunting.
 

Grandpa

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An animal horn (not an antler) was the usual method for carrying a coal. The horn is hard, boney and hollow and works well. Some sand for a base and packed with moss and a good hardwood coal could last all day.
 

bsmit212

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Yeah, I have seen it done on just about all of the survival shows on TV. Bears done it, Les has not it, Cody and Dave have done it. All using different methods.
 

RingTwist

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Carrying a live coal is much more efficient than trying to start a live fire every night (at least without matches). I've never carried one but it makes sense to do so.
 

Boboque

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I would be interested in trying it out sometime. I don't have another trip scheduled until up in the fall because I've taken all of my vacation for this period. I may have to try the experiment with the horn. By that time I should need a fire at night anyway.
 

oldsarge

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We did it in Panama and used a coconut husk to carry it in. It lasted about four hours until we got to where we wanted to be.
 

ppine

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All of the survival guys on TV use that technique. Punky wood, manure, and many other materials will work. It is probably a trick that is nearly as old as the use of fire.
 
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Sagebrusher

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All of the survival guys on TV use that technique. Punky wood, manure, and many other materials will work. It is probably a trick that is nearly as old as the use of fire.
I read somewhere that there is a tribe in the Amazon that has actually forgotten how to make fire from scratch...they just carry coals all the time and/or keep the fires going.
 

Cappy

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There was a pretty good movie back in the 80's called quest for fire. The whole movie was about ..... well... this topic
 

Esperahol

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The method used wasn't the most effective or one I would advise, but it is possible to carry a live coal that way. Much more preferable is to have the carrying instrument be something like stone or bone or just generally non-flammable and then stuff some like moss inside for the coal to rest/feed upon.
 

dinosaur

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Yeah, it works and I have tranferred coals over short distances to start another fire. But, I;d rather carry a butane lighter and some tinder.
 

offtrail

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Punk wood is a great coal extender but you will need several pieces if you plan to travel far. I've done this a few times just to see how it worked. Some problems you will have is keeping your coal out of the wind so it don't burst into flame. And giving it enough air so it doesn't smother and go out. It's a balancing act of regulating the air so it keeps it's ember, not to fast or to slow. I love firecraft and practice it as often as possible.
 
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