Feather sticks are a great way to create tinder for starting a fire.
Advice on making feather sticks:
I learned how to make feather sticks in several stages:
- BUY A SCANDI-GRIND KNIFE. Morakniv bushcraft knives are cheap but amazing.
(seriously, what other knife has such high ratings?)
- Stage 1 — Figure out how to make very small (<1cm) curls, using the belly of the blade. Push against the back of the knife with a thumb. Because these curls are small, you don't need to use much force, so you can focus on learning basic control the knife.
- Stage 2 — Find a table, and a flat stick. Hold your knife in a fixed position. Slide the stick underneath the knife, keeping the stick flat against the table as it slides. The flat table helps ensure your knife planes the stick flat. You start to get a sense of how the angle of the knife relates to the angle of the wood.
- Stage 3 — Now the training wheels come off. Learn to vary the angle of the blade as it slides along the length of the stick. The stick is no longer flat, but you change the angle of the knife over the whole length of the stick — keep your eye on the curl, and keep its thickness fairly consistent.
- You still need the stick to be mostly flat, but you should be able to handle gentle changes over the length of the stick. And you should no longer need the table as a guide.
- As you get better at this, you should be able to make much longer curls.