Some of you may remember this post, about the time we all went up to Pennsic War and proceeded to chop our fingers and knuckles to ribbons attempting to start a fire with a tinder kit.
I was sorry that I hadn't picked up a tinder tube, so I could show you all how Saint and Luis light their smokes. So when my friend John asked me what I wanted brought back from Pennsic this year, as I didn't go, I asked him to go to Smoke and Fire (who have a tent there) and bring me a tinder tube.
So when the gang returned, I got a very nice bag of swag...a cool green t-shirt from my favorite pub (The Chalkman), a bottle of perfume that smells like my favorite scent (dirt), and a tinder tube.
That's it lying on a river rock up there. I strongly suspect that one's made out of a large caliber bullet casing.
Anyways, the idea is that one could pull a little cotton cord through the small hole and use your steel or whatever to throw a spark onto it. You light your smoke or your wick or whatever it is you're lighting and then pull the cord back through the tube to smother it. That way, you don't have to fumble around with charcloth and all that mess.
You can see how the cord holds the ember pretty good there without any help. It will hold for a long couple of seconds. To put it out, I just pushed the cord back with that rock there and smothered the end till it went out completely.
Here's a video on YouTube of a dude lighting his with a flint and steel. My flint's not big enough to do this with, really. Maybe I should look for a larger piece. Here's another one where a guy fires it up nearly faster than you can watch using a steel knife.
It really bugs me I can't do this.
Anyways, I am guessing Saint is far more adept at this trick than any of us are. If he wasn't, he'd have quit smoking long ago.