A classic fire starting tinder of the northeast is the fungus that grows on birch trees. The species Fomes fomentarius is often called horse hoof fungus, tinder fungus, tinder conk, and tinder polypore. The species produces fist-sized polypore fruit bodies, which are shaped like a horse's hoof. They vary in color from a silvery gray to almost black, though you'll usually find them gray or brown colored. The dead, dry fruiting bodies of this fungus can be shaved into pieces or ground into dust to assist with friction fire spark longevity, or they can be cut into flat chips to be burned as a char-cloth substitute in flint and steel fire making.