Fomes fomentarius is a bracket fungus, more commonly known as Hoof Fungus or Horse’s Hoof Fungus. It is also known as the Tinder Bracket. Confusingly, Fomes.
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It is also known as the Tinder Bracket. Confusingly, Fomes Fomentarius is sometimes referred to as False Tinder Fungus. There is nothing false about the usefulness of Fomes fomentarius as tinder. In fact this fungus can be prepared into first-rate tinder. The term False Tinder Fungus is used to differentiate it from Inonotus obliquussometimes called True Tinder Fungus and also known variously as Chaga, Birch Conk or Clinker Polypore.
Fomes fomentarius occurs throughout much of the northern hemisphere. It grows on various species of trees. At more northerly latitudes the brackets are usually found growing on dead birch Betula spp. Further south the fungus is often hosted by beech Fagus spp.
The brackets are the fruiting body of the fungus and are perennial. The use of Fomes fomentarius for tinder has been known for a millennia. There are various processes for preparing or improving Fomes fomentarius as tinder, including producing amadou.
Tinder produced in this way will catch and hold the small, relatively cold sparks produced by striking together flint and iron pyrites. In concentrating on these more involved processes, it is possible to overlook the simplest and easiest preparation of Fomes fomentarius as tinder.
This can be done quickly in the field and the tinder produced can be used immediately. The bracket is the fruiting body of the fungus and its outside layer is hard, like the crust of a stale, dried-out loaf of bread. Observing the underside of the fungus you will see many pores, which are the ends of the spore tubes.
Underside of Fomes fomentarius showing pores. The trama layer of Fomes fomentarius is quite dense, firm in consistency and has a cinnamon colour. Within the trama you will see growth rings. You can see clearly see the structure of the bracket by slicing through it.
Fomes fomentarius cross section, showing trama and pore tubes. Whichever process you are using to produce tinder from Fomes fomentariusit is the trama you need to start with. If you slice the trama thinly, you will notice that it is somewhat fibrous. This is easiest to see at the end of your slice. Fomes fomentarius cross section and slice of trama layer. For our simple method of producing tinder from Fomes fomentarius we will make use of the fibrous nature of the trama.
Slice off the surface layer of the fungus. Then slice the trama obliquely to create the largest possible slices. Slice of trama of Fomes fomentarius. Note growth rings and fibrous nature of the material. To prepare the trama as tinder, we need to scrape up the surface of the slice. Using a knife or other sharp implement is the easiest way to do this. Scrape up the surface until you have a bunch of fluffy material. Fomes fomentariustrama layer prepared to take a spark.
Now all you need to do is drop a spark into the fluffy material. This fluff is very good at catching a spark and once tinder stuck on finding will smoulder for a while. Fomes fomentarius tinder smouldering after receiving spark. The smouldering will spread into the remainder of the slice. This will then smoulder for a long time. Delightful dating app combustion is remarkably hot.
The material will tinder unlimited likes flame, however. Therefore to light a fire via this method you must then take your smouldering tinder to very fine kindling to produce a flame.
Examples of natural materials suitable for this include dried grass, dried bracken fronds or properly prepared bark fibres. Piece of Fomes fomentariussmouldering and hot. Once ignited, a larger lump of trama can smoulder for hours and can be used for carrying an ember or rekindling a fire at a later stage.
Because the fruiting bodies of Fomes fomentarius grow so slowly and can live many years, please show restraint in collecting them. Areas take a long time to recover from over-exploitation. Take only what you need. Reply Yes, the cooler the spark, the harder it is to light without processing. The tinder in the pictures in the article was ignited with a Swedish Tinder stuck on finding. I think it would have lit from a flint and steel without further processing on this occasion though.
The tinder caught a small spark from the Firesteel extremely readily — more readily than usual. The fungus was in excellent condition and, straight off the tree, it was very dry. There had been a good dry spell before and everything was quite dessicated.
As you rightly point out, the Firesteel is the most reliable method. Reply Finally a good article about the use of this mushroom. Many articles only tell it can be used but never how. Took me some research a few years ago. Reply Thanks for your comment. I hope people find this article useful. Reply Ive seen these many times on the Birch here in BC. And once i even took one off, but it did not look like this inside?. Reply Thanks tinder stuck on finding commenting.
The example depicted in my article is a good one, tinder stuck on finding. They brackets do vary. They normal boots dating game eventually die off too. Sometimes they can be old and rotten inside when you take a look. One I examined the other week was full of grubs, eating away at it. Tinder stuck on finding chance of expending it on some of the processing to improve the ignition.
Read wood ash in one I found and urine in another. I think processing should form a separate, future article. I wanted to write the current article because many are discouraged from even trying to use F. You were the instructor on my Intro to Bushcraft course and the steel striker and char cloth realy stuck with me. First thing once back home was getting a steel, finding suitable flint and making my own char cloth.
Amadou was my next progression with mixed how to spot a bot on tinder. Thanks for all your inspiration. PS still working on the bow drill. It was a really good, keen group of people and I remember how enthusiastic you were. It was a very enjoyable course to teach. Good to hear you are still finding my output useful. I have never bothered because of the in depth processing that I believed was required and a lack of the raw material down here in the South West.
The abundance of Cramp balls Daldinia concentrica has meant they have always been my first choice for Fungi and Fire preparation.
Are there any other Fungi which offer a Trama layer? Are there any guides to Fire and Fungus? The question is whether the trama of any other fungi are suitable as tinder. There are some other bracket fungi that can be processed to produce tinder. Artists Fungus is amongst them. Thats another one for my list of things to try. Would a very simple way to ensure this works be to collect some of the Trama layer, slice it thinly then leave it somewhere warm to dry?
Not ideal for a quick fire start i grant you but ideal for a future source of tinder. Or would it just become too brittle? Duane Reply Once the trama is sliced it should remain flexible, even when dry.
Reply Very good post, and well documented with pictures. Articles like these make us all want to go out and try it for ourselves, tinder stuck on finding. I will do some research into which fungi contain similar trama in large enough quantities to be of use to ush bushcrafters. One I can thoroughly recommend not mentioned here is the giant puffball, Clavatia gigantea, edible when white throughout, and very good at catching a spark when mature and brown, tinder stuck on finding.
The flesh is even fluffier and the entire body is of this fluffy material, no spore layer. Reply As for giant puffballs — yes, very eidble and one of my favorites, sliced and fried in bacon fat for breakfast with the bacon. Thanks for the tip! Reply Do you have a suggestion for how to make amadou? I very much like the idea of knowing just one material really well to solve multiple problems and also having several ways to solve each problem.
That way I have the most flexibility in using whatever is at hand. In the woods, tinder is seldom in short supply. What can be in short supply is DRY tinder. Otzi knew what he was doing … and carried a sex partner app — already dry — with him. The easiest way to create such a solution in the woods is to take a good amount of ash from your fire.
Once soaked, you can pound and flatten the material further. This should then be dried. Scraping up the surface to a fine fluff will increase the materials willingness to accept the tiniest of sparks for example from flint and iron pyrites. Thanks for sharing this video, tinder stuck on finding, it has really helped me with this topic.
Can the horse hoof fungus in me now hook up ignited through a spark from a flint and steel?
I understand that if you make a powder it can be, but i was wondering if it can from this state. Cheers, Jack Reply In this state it is pretty difficult with flint and steel. If it is good and dry and the atmospheric humidity is not to high then it can work. It is much more reliable when it has been processed by soaking in an alkali solution can be made with wood ash from campfire and then punded and dried, tinder stuck on finding.
Fluff it up with a sharp edge to increase chances of catching a small spark. Shiver Reply Hi Shiver, tinder stuck on finding, quite a few bracket fungi are improved by processing in a similar way to producing amadou. Salt Petre will make others eg birch polypore strike up very easily.
How to find a butcher to use medicinal properties. In the article you say that another name for the horses hoof is chaga? I was under the impression chaga was a large black growth like fungus? Reply Reply Reply Hi Paul. I think its Ganoderma adspersum and its very prolific round these parts. After searching for about six years I found some locally growing Formes Formentarius on a dead birch log. I want to propagate it somehow as its rare as hens teeth around here and I have a friend with birch woodland.
Thats work in progress. I find the Ganoderma is much denser than Formes but when thoughly dried it makes an amazing hot slow burning coal. Very tinder stuck on finding in helping the firelighting!
Thanks for the article Paul. Reply I was just making a video of a time spent in the woods with my friend Noakswalker from the Wye Valley. I passed some Horses Hoof or bracket fungus on iphone dating app dead birch.
Not knowing fully what it was and not wanting to leave things half baked I decided to investigate further and found your article, tinder stuck on finding. I was looking for Fungus on Birch. I found it very useful and I am now more informed of what it is and its usefulness. My simple message is many thanks for this excellent resource namely your website.
Reply Hi Mark, good to free match sites from you again. Reply Reply Someone on Youtube wanted to know if they had found this very fungus. So I posted this article. I trust they will find it as useful as myself and the many people in this thread. Just goes to show what happens to your articles. The Easy Way to Use Fomes Fomentarius as Tinder. The following two tabs change content below.
Paul Kirtley Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcrafta wilderness bushcraft school, tinder stuck on finding bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions. Latest posts by Paul Kirtley see all. Good to hear that the article has you enthused. Let us know how you get on.
Am I right in thinking this was lit using a ferro rod? Yes, the cooler the spark, the harder it is to light without processing.
Finally a good article about the use of this mushroom. Hey Rody, good to see you back. So my article was only a couple of years late for you then?! Thanks for your comment. Ive seen these many times on the Birch here in BC. Or should it be a certain size? Awesome artical Paul, Cheers. With this article I wanted to generate more positivity about using F. Martin, I remember your Intro course well. Once the trama is sliced it should remain flexible, even when dry.
Very good post, and well documented with pictures, tinder stuck on finding. Yes, being as dry as possible is always the key to catching a spark. As for giant puffballs — yes, very eidble and one of my favorites, sliced and fried in bacon fat for breakfast with the bacon. Do you have a suggestion for how to make amadou? Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog!
Yes, Otzi had a neat kit. I hope this helps. In this state it is pretty difficult with flint and steel. Hi Shiver, quite a few bracket fungi are improved by processing in a similar way to producing amadou. Hi Denny, glad you liked this article.
Whereabouts are you based? PS the mention of chaga was that it was different but sometimes referred to by similar names. I was just making a video of a time spent in the woods with my friend Noakswalker from the Wye Valley. Hi Mark, good to hear from you again. It is very good Paul. Have a good day. S I will seek to cultivate this type of tinder and will let you know how I get on. Hi Paul, another useful article.
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