A riverside camp with flint and steel

Chigger

Les Hiddins
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The hot weather has at last passed and returned to a previous campsite on the Turon River near Sofala. Fire bans have been lifted and now some firelighting practice carried out without the risk of setting fire to the surrounding countryside which is always a worry, bans or not.

After setting up camp gathered kindling mostly she oak litter and sticks. This time tried out a piece of quartz broken of a large chunk and used dried moss as kindling as a bit of an experiment.
Quartz took quite a few strikes before a spark went onto the punkwood tinder which I had gathered from a previous visit to this site but still quite useful as a firelighter with the steel.

First time have used moss with the tinderbox and it was not too bad as kindling. Stringybark is still my favourite.

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Plenty of smoke from the She oak litter and sticks.

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Over the couple of days was camped lit two more fires in the same manner with quartz and steel, moss so as to get as much firelighting practice as possible.

Whilst gathering more rotted She oak punkwood gave my recently acquired camping SAK a try out with its saw. Took a while for such a small blade but in the end the job was done.
A most useful little pocket knife.

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These beetles live in the rotted She oak log, quite a few of them.

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Whilst at the camp collected heaps of this rotted She oak and reckon I now have a lifetimes supply. Not often have I come across such excellent tinder material.

There are quite a few old Chinese gold diggings in the area and noticed a built up stone walkway on the other side of the river. Look at the base of the tree and to the left a bit, the built up stones can be seen. This pathway runs for about 2 kms or so and was to facilitate their movements from one mine digging to the other. The walkway is quite level and would have taken a lot of work make it.

Quite probable wheel barrows would have been used to move dug up gold bearing material to the washeries for processing.

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The Turon River is a very scenic place with many idyllic pools. A lovely place in summertime.

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Finally gathered some more river stones from where I was camped. After splitting to produce sharp edges all of these stones throw quite a good spark with the steel.

This campsite is one of the best have been to for a long time. A ready source of excellent top grade punkwood, gathered so much not sure I will ever use it all. Excellent fire stones for the steel right under my feet where my campsite was located.

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Chigger

Les Hiddins
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Something I forgot to mention in my post. The campsite is rich in wildlife and am almost sure there is a platypus living under a partially submerged log just across the river from my campsite.
In the late evenings and at night heard a plop sound occuring like something going in and out of the water and seemed to come from the log. Should have taken a photo of the log.

As well whilst collecting firewood along the riverbank disturbed a goanna which ran off across the river. Wish I could run across the water.
 

Randall

John McDouall Stuart
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What sort of steel did you use for the fire making chigger?
 

Chigger

Les Hiddins
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What sort of steel did you use for the fire making chigger?
The steel is an American TDC brand which I bought from a Ebay seller in QLD. Actually a bookseller who sells a variety of items. The steel comes with a flint and works well. The same seller sells spare flints as well. The TDC steel works very well in my experience with a number of minerals apart from flint.
Sorry can't find his details as was a few years ago, will try another search and if I find his details will let you know.
 
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