Depending on the species of birch, its bark has been used for making everything from canoes, to paper, to shingles for a roof, but for me its most desirable use is as tinder. The bark is loaded with oils that quickly take to flame in dry or wet weather. We are going to use the yellow birch for an example today. It’s the one I have the most experience with, but other species also work. When removing the bark pull against the curl of bark so that you don’t peel a strip off the tree, which can leave the inner bark of the tree exposed and could injury the tree. All you need is a hand full of the loose shreds of bark hanging off the tree to start your fire.


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