Fuzz sticks (or feather sticks) are excellent fire starters. While it is not the fastest way to start a fire (because it requires some pre-fire knife work), this technique is highly effective and incredibly satisfying. It's also a great skill to teach your kids. Here's how to "fuzz" a stick:
Find a dry stick that is about the diameter of your thumb. You can also use a piece of kindling. The key is to use wood that is dry enough to burn readily but not so bone-dry that it has hardened and become difficult to carve. You might need to experiment with a few different sticks before finding one that can be "fuzzed." Soft woods, like pine, are excellent for "fuzzing."
Shave curls down the length of at least half the stick. Leave the curls attached so that they create "fuzz" that can easily ignite. Creating the curls without breaking them off takes a little practice at first.
This is the fun part. Once you have "fuzzed" most of the stick. Prepare your tinder, stack your kindling, light your fuzz stick, and then use it to ignite your fire. You can place it directly in the fire or use it as a torch to ignite your tinder in multiple spots.