Published July 29, 2022

Fire Starter

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
Zander Sours, Fargo, has learned several unique methods to start a fire. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Zander Sours, Fargo, has learned several unique methods to start a fire. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

MINOT – Almost anyone who lived before modern heating technology was invented had to not only find efficient ways to keep warm, but unique ways to create that heat. Zander Sours, Fargo, has learned several of those unique methods.

Sours demonstrated his expertise at the North Dakota State Fair, with any piece of rope with which he pulls apart like string cheese until he gets a very thin piece of rope.

“With this even smaller rope, I get the fibers out of it,” said Sours. “With these fibers I can make a nest. You ball it up in your hand, and you poke a hole in it. You put a char cloth on it, roughly the same size, and you take a magnifying glass, focus on it, and the charcoal would start turning gray.”

Sours said he then blows on the ball of fibers which starts a fire.

“The magnifying glass takes the heat from the sun and puts it in one area,” said Sours.

Zander Sours, Fargo, uses the sun, focused through a magnifying glass, to start a fire. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Sours then blows through a metal tube to enlarge the flames, remembering not to inhale and cause smoke damage to his lungs.

Sours also uses flint and steel to create flames.

“You put a small piece of char cloth somewhere along the thin edge of your flint,” said Sours. “You don’t want any space between your fingers. Never have it on your knuckles because after a while you can hurt them a lot to where they feel like they’re broken.”

Zander Sours, Fargo, creates fire with flint and steel at the North Dakota State Fair. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Sours said making a char cloth takes about two hours, where he stabs a hole at the top of a tin can with cloth inside and throws it all in the fire.

“After 15 to 30 minutes this will be done, then turn it upside down so it plugs the hole,” said Sours. “You put out your fire and wait an hour and a half to two hours, and then you have char cloth.”


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