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Abenaki Fire Pouch

 
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Martin Meltzer
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Joined: 06 Aug 2011
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Real Name: Martin Meltzer

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Abenaki Fire Pouch Reply with quote

On page 74 of his novel "Arundel", Kenneth Roberts describes the following:

"Holomok instructed me in the making of fire pouches which is done by cutting a slit at the back of a woodchuck's neck and drawing the body through the slit so the skin is left whole. Then the skin is turned back from the skull, the skull is cleaned and scraped and pushed again into the skin. Thus the head becomes a knob, and when the knob is tucked under the belt the pouch is supported by it and never falls. The fire itself is contained in two large clam shells, lined with clay, a small hole being left escaping smoke. Between the shells is packed with rotted yellow birch, which holds fire for a day. The shells are bound together and placed in the pouch, and by this means fire is carried safely through the heaviest rains."

Has anybody tried this?
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CT03
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Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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Location: Arlington, VA
Real Name: Christopher Treichel

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds neat. The version I am more familiar with is the one where you make a "cigar" out of shredded bark and then place some glowing coals inside and tightly wrap with bark...

I'll have to give this a try though

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At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blew Tomorrow fresh Woods, and Pastures new
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Martin Meltzer
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Joined: 06 Aug 2011
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Real Name: Martin Meltzer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi CT!

Although Mr. Roberts didn't mention it in his book, I would assume the woodchuck hide was tanned, and any orifices sewn shut. A green untanned hide would get pretty high smelling after a day or two!

I was thinking that as long as you kept it away from the powder horn or any spare powder, that the insulated clam shell container might make a 18th Century equivalent of a "pocket hand warmer", in addition to carrying fire for those mid-Winter treks.
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CT03
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Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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Location: Arlington, VA
Real Name: Christopher Treichel

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, tell me about it... had an incident involving some spilled powder and a campfire last September I am not willing to repeat... Lesson from now on... take off your powder horn when building a fire. Honestly, walking arround with a smouldering fire hanging off my belt is a bit more than I am willing to experiement with. At least with the cigar method you know what is going on and you keep it in your hand and watch it... hanging off the belt I might forget about it and who knows what will go up in flames. Nice idea though.

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Martin Meltzer
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Joined: 06 Aug 2011
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Real Name: Martin Meltzer

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black powder and a campfire make for an explosive combination! Har, har, har! How big of a "Wooosh" did you get back in September?

I think I'll go ahead and make one up, but it may be a while before I use it for its intended purpose.
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