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

Leftover Lemonade
Leftover Lemonade

by Brian Griffin January 22, 2019

No, I'm not talking about actual lemonade. It's just a play on the philosophy of taking life's little lemons and turning them into something we like better. During the holidays, most of us go to seasonal parties and holiday themed events with our friends and with the companies we work for. As most have likely noticed over the years, the theme of the table fare is usually a bit repetitive, and it's often on the heavy side due to the traditions from whence it came. By the time we prepare our own holiday meals as well, it can all seem so overdone that we get burned out, and we're utterly disinterested in the leftovers. Yet if we've depleted our bank accounts and our cards have bad friction burns, as is often the case, it can be really beneficial for us to find more palatable uses for them, if for no other reason than to give ourselves a little less financial burden with our grocery bill over the next few weeks, in order to recover financially just a little more quickly.

Read More

Hypoglycemic Hypothermia
Hypoglycemic Hypothermia

by Brian Griffin January 15, 2019 3 Comments

Hypothermia, being a malady that involves the lowering of the body's core temperature, is usually thought of as being a danger only during cold weather or due immersion in cold water. For the most part this is true, and it's one of the reasons I chose to write this piece this season, when hypothermia can be a real danger to anyone in any cold environment. It's a little known fact that hypoglycemia can lead to deadly hypothermia when ambient air temp is in the 60s, and well above freezing, so it can be a very serious danger in the cold season for those who are at risk. To put that into perspective, hypothermia sets in when the body's core temperature drops below 95F/35C. At 91F/33C the person can experience amnesia. At 82F/28C the person will likely lose consciousness. At 70F/21C it is considered profound hypothermia and is deadly.

Read More

Know Your Rifle
Know Your Rifle

by Kevin Estela January 08, 2019

As a young boy with an insatiable appetite for plinking with my Crossman Air Rifle, I built a pellet trap with my father and shot in my parents’ home basement unknownst to my mother. My dad and I had a code and I would listen for his knock on the basement door or for the unmistakable sound of footsteps to signal when I would need to stow my rifle and avoid getting discovered by mom who would have surely confiscated the pellet gun from me and given my father a serious verbal beat down. My father wanted me to become proficient with a rifle and those early lessons from him, my daily plinking practice in the basement, eventual “graduation” to my first .22 rifle, and ongoing carbine and precision scoped rifle training/practice has brought me to a point in my life where I am extremely comfortable with my rifles today. I’ve been fortunate to travel with my rifles for both training and hunting. I’ve spent many hours on the range, in formal shooting classes, and in the field applying rifleman skills.  Over the years and through trial and error, I have learned there are certain universal skills and understandings one should have and apply to any rifle they own. I believe you should not just own and use your rifles, you should know them.

Read More

Knives & News

Sign up with your favorite email.