In the medieval era, most people would take a hot coal from the neighbour’s fire to get theirs going when it went out. But what about foresters, outlaws, poachers, charcoal burners and other woodsmen? Well, flint and steel firelighting was the method used for hundreds, if not thousands of years (Otzi). It may be that they did not use char cloth? We don’t really know? We do know they used different fungus which I bring to the classes I teach. Using what you find in your surroundings takes some practice, and skill but it is not impossible. Still I recommend bringing a dedicated, well stocked firelighting kit with you when doing medieval reenactment, and even a modern method of lighting fire for safety, and realistic convenience on wet and windy days. Char cloth can be made by “cooking” plant fiber fabric in a sealed tin, or clay pot. Gas escapes from a pin hole as the fabric is burned (Pyrolysis) without oxygen to create almost pure carbon capable of catching a spark and maintaining it.