1. annashem
    Offline

    annashem New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Traditional, odd & funny alternatives to firewood: suggest me one!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by annashem, Feb 19, 2012.

    Isn't there much firewood in your country or in any of the world spots you have visited? What are traditional, odd & funny alternatives to it?

    I am preparing a book about how different world nations traditionally substituted firewood for any odd local alternatives in case of its shortage or absence. If you wish to be part of it, suggest me one!

    Here are a couple of examples I have already picked up: in the woodless steppes of Kazakhstan they traditionally used dried cow dung providently piled for harsh winter times. In the southern Spanish province of Valencia which is famous for its oranges, they burnt dried orange peels. Many other Mediterranean countries that produced olive oil used to warm themselves putting mashed olive stones into their stoves. In the Caribbean they might keep loads of coconut shells & husks.

    I am waiting for your replies. Thank you in advance!

    Anna
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes, cow dung, sheep dung, even camel dung have been used for fire fuel.
     
  3. CH878
    Offline

    CH878 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    England
    Literally anything that will burn will have been used as fuel at some point in history.

    (that's not very helpful, I know)
     
  4. Gonissa
    Offline

    Gonissa Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Ghost Tower
    Uh...peat moss?

    Does this have to be something that was actually used? If not, I suppose you could have a character make heat by removing some paneling and cooling thingamabies from a computer and keeping himself warm while he checked his email. Not sure if that would work, but it's different.
     
  5. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Despicable male sportsmen, from time to time, parade their loadedness by burning 50 quid notes or 100 dollar bills or whatever in the faces of others. I suppose you might be able to come up with a nation - stricken with hyper-inflation - where notes were customarily used for fuel.

    Books in certain deranged nations, of course.
     
  6. Jeeves
    Offline

    Jeeves Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City
    I was preparing to move out of an apartment. It was the last night in the apartment and it was getting cold. After the remaining firewood disappeared, the next thing to go into the fire was one old dining room chair, then another and finally we resorted to the linin closet shelve ( which were not really ours to be burning.)
     
  7. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,807
    Likes Received:
    7,329
    Location:
    Scotland
    No, not really. It's not the moss, it's what USED to be moss, among other things.

    Peat for burning was used (and still is, to a certain extent) in Scotland, Ireland and parts of northern England (I don't know about Wales.)

    Peat is the compacted ground underlying heather, in open spaces. It's black and sticky, and must be dug with special long tools which I think are called mattocks. The peat is then broken into blocks and piled up to dry out. Once it's dry, it can be burnt. Peat is kind of the intermediate stage between vegetation and coal. Peat becomes coal, eventually, as it ages and compresses.

    Peat blocks are fairly lightweight to handle, once they're dried out. They smell gorgeous when they're burning, and is one of the first new 'smells' I noticed during my first trip to Scotland (where I now live.) Very earthy, and not at all like wood OR coal.

    Peat is a vanishing resource, though. It was okay when it was simply cut and dried by families of crofters for their own use. However, the commercialization of peat bogs to use for gardening purposes, etc, has been a bit of an environmental disaster. Fortunately, the UK has recognised this threat, and limited the amount of peat that can now be taken from these regions. I don't know about elsewhere in the world. Peat forms so slowly, it really can't be considered a 'renewable' source of energy, although I suppose it is one, ultimately.
     
  8. Porcupine
    Offline

    Porcupine Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    On the shores of the Baltic about two thousand years ago, Greek and Roman traders were somewhat dismayed to find that the locals were using amber to start, and occasionally also sustain, their fires. Given the prices for amber in Rome at the time, they were shocked that the people were destroying fortunes in their fireplaces.

    Diamonds also burn.
     
  9. Hagi
    Offline

    Hagi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    1
    Alchohol soaked vomit. That's the best I can give you I guess.
     
  10. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
    When you're on the prairie, like in the central U.S. or Mongolia, the only thing to burn is dung, bison or horse respectively.
     
  11. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Tightly rolled newspapers, corn stalks (again tightly bound).
     
  12. Huck
    Offline

    Huck Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Find something that doesn't burn very well then soak it in a flammable fuel of some sorts, if its not funny enough for the story maybe the machine or methods they use to distill this fuel could be more humorous.

    Maybe they could use marijuana because its in abundance or another type of plant which has drug like properties - so how they use the byproduct of there fuel could be humorous...
     
  13. BillC
    Offline

    BillC Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    I note that many have mentioned cow poop. 'Cow chips' we used to call them when I were a lad. Used to do a bit of camping in an area where stock passed through fairly regularly. No smell in the campfire but not fun to collect if you came across a 'fresh' one.

    I remember reading a MacGuyver tie-in book where he used a tin of shoe polish as fuel and (I think) a bit of burned cotton as a wick to get it started? I supposed that makes sense as boot black is often paraffin wax based. Does Vaseline burn? I know that one of the parts of epoxy 2-pack (the adhesive you mix from the double-barreled syringe) burns.
     

Share This Page