Free USA Shipping On Orders Over $150

Fat Rope Stick

by Brian Griffin February 26, 2018

Fat Rope Stick

Whenever atmospheric conditions are such that you have both the liquid and solid forms of water happening in your environment simultaneously, certain precautions should be taken if you plan or need to be outside for extended periods of time. Cold temps combined with wet conditions can create a perilous situation for those caught out in it but unprepared for it. The normal temperature of the human body is 98.6 F / 37 C. Hypothermia sets in when the temperature drops below 95 F / 35 C, a drop of only a few degrees. This drop can happen very quickly in cold wet conditions.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinThere haven't always been many options for tinder materials that worked well in wet conditions, available commercially. The ones that were available at outfitters during the 70s and 80s were various chemical compounds, which came with more a lot more health warnings than uses. but that is not the case these days. One of the latest ones to hit the market  is Fat Rope Stick™.  Fat Rope is cotton rope that has been impregnated with a proprietary high gasification compound. It is hydrophobic so doesn't absorb water, and it doesn't evaporate. It is also listed of the Fat Rope website as being non toxic.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinThe way the fat rope is twisted together it separates into fibers very easily. Once you have cut off what you want to use for tinder, all it takes is a slight untwisting motion to separate the rope into the three smaller sections. Then that same untwisting motion will separate each of those into 11 smaller sections. Then repeating that same untwisting motion will separate each of those pieces into individual fibers. It's simple and actually fairly intuitive just looking at the configuration of the rope.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinOnce it has been separated into the individual strands, it is easy to  fashion it into a tinder nest, just make a pile of it and fluff up the strands. Separating the individual strands creates fuzzy fibers along them that take the sparks from a ferro rod really well, even in high humidity. I have tested the fat rope in the rain several times over the last 6 months. Sometimes starting with unopened sticks, sometimes with partial sticks left from previous outings. So far I have seen no noticeable difference between how well the new sticks work and how well the leftovers work. They both ignite equally easily.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinAs mentioned before, this material is hydrophobic so it will not absorb water. The fact that it will not absorb water is how it can catch the sparks from a ferro rod, ignite, and burn even in very wet environments. It is how it can burn even even when it floating on the surface of pool of very frigid water.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinBecause it is hydrophobic and will not adsorb water, it is a great tinder material to have along on waterborne or winter adventures. Because it would also burn in a pool of very frigid water even if you have just climbed, soaking wet and shivering, out of an bigger frigid pool of water.


Fat Rope Stick - Brian GriffinAs a life-long student of field craft and survival studies, I will probably always prefer to use organic materials under ideal conditions. Yet thanks to some of those studies and experiments, and some lessons learned the hard way, I can definitely appreciate the ability to create fire on command, even in the wettest of conditions.




Brian Griffin
Brian Griffin

Author

Brian Griffin is a photographer, knife enthusiast, wilderness skills instructor, professional writer, author, outdoor gear research & development consultant, and knife designer. He has a long history of using and developing outdoor related tools and gear.



Leave a comment


Also in Articles

For the New Camper: The Little Things
For the New Camper: The Little Things

by Kevin Estela September 19, 2018 1 Comment

This list is far from complete and only you can add the missing items. Keep track of what you wish you had with you and find ways to pack it in next time. Be practical with what you want and consider if what you want to carry will be worth the extra weight and energy expenditure. In time, you’ll find the little things that make your outdoor experience that much better.

Read More

Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter, As Featured in Gumption Gear Review
Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter, As Featured in Gumption Gear Review

by Robert Gilbert September 19, 2018

From the trademarked “Bullseye Lanyard Tubes”, 3D spalted steel flats, and unique Micarta knife pin patterns, your Fiddleback will always stand out from the crowd. But this knife is more than just striking aesthetics. Like all of Andy Roy’s creations, this knife looks good and works harder. ... Trust us, this tool goes from chopping and batoning, to kitchen work without flinching.  Whether you’re making tent stakes, fuzz sticks or just whittling, the Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter proves time and again that it’s not only elegant, but eager for a life of daunting endeavors.

Read More

How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare
How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare

by Kevin Estela August 15, 2018

Dried meat has been a staple of the outdoorsman’s diet for thousands of years. From one culture to the next, indigenous people have found ways to preserve meat for the long trail, as an emergency energy source, or the occasional snack. Recently, while on safari in South Africa, I had the opportunity to learn more about the national variety, biltong, from my friend and Professional Hunter, Russ Field. Since Russ is responsible for harvesting wild game on a regular basis and hunts well over 200 days a year, you can be certain there is a healthy supply of this dried meat at his lodge, in the safari truck, and at lunch. The process is extremely simple and the end result is only a week’s wait away.

Read More

Knives & News

Sign up with your favorite email.