Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - Bear Grass - A Natural Tinder Source

Yucca filamentosa is commonly known as "Adam's Needle" and is also sometimes referred to as bear grass. Normally Yucca fibers are mainly used as a source for cordage but are sometimes shredded and dried for use as tinder. This can be a fairly time consuming process as it may take a while for the fibers to dry sufficiently for use as tinder. This is a type of Yucca that can be used to avoid this problem.

The unique qualities of the easily recognizable Yucca filamentosa can help you when a good source of tinder is needed. The sword-shaped leaves of the Yucca plant shown in the picture have the distinctive natural threads (filaments) that give this particular type of Yucca plant its scientific name. The filaments on this type of Yucca have an extremely low ignition temperature (i.e., it ignites easily) and make an excellent source of natural tinder that can be harvested quite easily. When the harvested filaments are stuffed into an abandoned bird’s nest, you have an excellent fire nest made entirely from natural sources.

The filaments can be a little difficult to break off if you are harvesting them by hand but if you have a decent knife, a large amount can be obtained fairly quickly. 

Got tinder threads?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Not to take anything away from your usual great informative site. Bear grass is something else not Yucca. I suppose that in some parts of the world someone might call it bear grass but it is not. Don't mean to be arguementative, just saying...

Anonymous said...

Bear grass yucca or not, tinder is tinder. Regional names abound - I never knew what this was called, just referred to it as 'funny looking yucca plant', lol. Here is a link to Beargrass yucca, fwiw. courtesy of West Virginia location.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:51

I've heard some people refer to it as bear grass...I've always considered it just another type of Yucca plant... and there are a lot of varieties out there.

Thanks anon for clearing that up.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:21

As you said, local and regional names are quite different for many things. This is one I find easily recognizable from other varieties (twisted leaf yucca, etc.) and I'm always interested in ways to use plants that are abundant in my area.

Thanks anon.


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