Bulrush Tinder

  • Tinder from bulrush – ideal for fire making
  • Bulrush seeds catch fire very easily
  • Can be used with charcloth or on its own to create fire in the traditional way
  • One bag is enough to create several fires


24 in stock

Description of the Product

Until well into modern times, fires were made exclusively with fire steel, flint and tinder - and for this you needed dry, easily inflammable tinder, such as cattail.

This tinder consists of the seeds of the common bulrush, popularly known as cattail or reedmace, which is extremely flammable due to the very large surface area of the seeds. The seeds have a woollen soft feel to them and the seeds have also been historically used as filling for pillows, clothes, beds etc (and still nowadays are sometimes used). Bulrush grows all across Europe and the Northern hemisphere and the seeds have been used as tinder in Europe as well as in the America by native tribes.

The bulrush tinder is packed tight in a small cotton bag to easily carry with you. To use it, make a small opening and pull out the tinder you need. You only need a small amount when making fire so one small bag is enough to start several fires.

Fire steel is struck against the sharp edge of the flint stone until a spark falls on the cattail tinder. Then pick up the bulrush inside of your hands or place the bulrush between a few pieces of tinder wood and/or other easily combustible materials and blow gently but steadily until a flame is finally produced. The easier method is to use a charcloth to catch the spark from fire steel and flint and place a small amount of bulrush and other small pieces of tinder wood and/or kindlings on top of the charcloth. Smouldering charcloth ignites bulrush easily and the burning bulrush ignites other larger kindlings.

Bulrush seeds are excellent tinder as they are, but this material can be made even better with some effort. The bulrush can be nitrided beforehand to obtain perfect tinder. If you wish to produce nitrated cattail tinder, the bulrush must be carefully washed in hot soapy water after harvesting to degrease it. Afterwards, squeeze the tinder properly until it no longer drips, carefully pull it apart and put it in a bucket that also has a lid. Now pour a 20% nitrite solution over the bulrush, adding 200 mg potassium nitrate to 1 litre of boiling water. Close the lid and leave the tinder to stand for one or two days. Take the bulrush out with rubber gloves, wring it out, pluck it apart and let it air dry for 3 to 5 days depending on the weather. Treated bulrush catches fire even faster compared to untreated seeds. In the Middle Ages, birch ash or urine was used instead of potassium nitrate, but ammonia or ammonia spirits also did a good job.

  • Bulrush seeds catch fire very easily
  • Can be used with charcloth or on its own
  • One bag is enough to create several fires
  • Size of the cotton bag approx. 6 cm x 4,5 cm x 3,2 cm
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- Daniel Kohvakka

Products are located in our own storehouse

In Kaarina, Finland.

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Orders are shipped out within 24 hours of us receiving the order.

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Our Store

All orders can also be picked up from the brick-and-mortar store at Oppipojankuja 1, 20780 Kaarina. 10min drive from the centre of Turku.