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Since the component pouch has materials in it, would you be able to empty the pouch for its materials? Say for example you need something to light a fire; could you pull a piece of coal from your component pouch?

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The rules do not dictate one way or the other. It is up to the DM.

The description of a component pouch says:

A component pouch is a small, watertight leather belt pouch that has compartments to hold all the material components and other special items you need to cast your spells, except for those components that have a specific cost (as indicated in a spell's description).

The rules do not go into the kind of granular detail you're asking about. They do say that some spells require a specific material because it is consumed by the spell cast:

if a cost is indicated for a component, a character must have that specific component before he or she can cast the spell.

They technically also do not say that it comes prestocked with components, though I imagine most groups assume it does. Outside of this, it is up to how the DM wants to handle the matter. Conceivably, the caster has char/coal in the pouch to cast spells like Darkness or Find Familiar and could ignite this in some way (note that the latter spell consumes the charcoal and therefore is treated a little differently than the coal required for Darkness as per above).

In the specific case you mentioned, many cantrips that deal fire damage (eg Fire Bolt) specifically state that they ignite things that are not worn or carried, negating the need to use the material as a source of mundane fuel. Just use the cantrip to start the fire.

Outside of this, the DM has the ability to narrate specific opportunities for creative use of objects and materials (or, conversely, to impose setbacks because necessary materials fell out or were removed from your component pouch). This would fall under "Rule Zero":

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren't in charge. You're the DM, and you are in charge of the game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to add that it states nowhere that a component pouch comes pre-stocked with materials, and that it holds up to 1/5 cubic foot or 6 pounds of gear (PHB 153). \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 29 at 11:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aki thanks! I've added the but about it not explicitly called out as being full. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara May 29 at 14:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Conversely, it also doesn't state that you have to fill it. And your volume/weight info is from the pouch, not the component pouch. They are different. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 29 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch "Pouch. A cloth or leather pouch can hold up to 20 sling bullets or 50 blowgun needles, among other things. A compartmentalized pouch for holding spell components is called a component pouch (described earlier in this section)." So yes they are different but they have the same capacity as described in the referenced table. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 29 at 21:22

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