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Flint and steel

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by b.williams127, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. I think that for camping by far one of the most important tools that you take with you is a flint. This can help you light fires without a match or lighter in wet conditions. A good example of one of these vital pieces of kit can be found here: Flint and steel on Amazon

    These tools are also carried lots by the military as they are so useful and life saving!
     
  2. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    I can see how that could be useful, sadly most people simply wouldn't know what to do with it. The level of expertise or experience needed for getting a match-lit fire together versus a flint fire is rather large. Which makes sense since it's basically sparks versus actual flame.
     
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Even with a lighter it can be tricky, haha. Have you ever tried lighting a fire after its rained?
     
  4. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    In the rain and the snow and with sleet blowing literally sideways into my face. I have done it with little tinder and no tinder and one half-soaked match. I honestly dislike making fires at this point because I've had so much experience with trying circumstances.
     
  5. Toxique

    Toxique Newbie

    You have to go out and find all the dry sticks and stuff, it is very hard
     
  6. Johnny

    Johnny Newbie

    Yes. After a small storm a group of us tried to light a fire whilst on a survival training course, using this very tool. It was very very difficult to say the least, but it can be done if you persevere.
     
  7. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Perservence is a dividing characteristic that can be a lifesaver. Some people will realize that it's do or die and continue on long after others have given up or given in.
     
  8. R. Zimm

    R. Zimm Newbie

    I think serious survivalist will often carry some kind of tinder that will ignite in damp circumstances. Things like cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly or cardboard dipped in candle wax. There are also commercially avaiable products too but making your own is much cheaper. Plus it's always fun to experiment with fire!
     
  9. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    When you say these kinds of things it's rather worrying. Amusing, but really quite worrying. You don't live in Cali do you?
     
  10. R. Zimm

    R. Zimm Newbie

    No, I do not but I practice "Safe Pyromania"
     
  11. I agree with R.Zim that carrying tinder is important. Even Otzi the 5,000-year-old iceman found in an Italian glacier awhile back was carrying tinder. Given a cotton ball mixed with petroleum jelly and one of the tools mentioned at the top of this thread and you'll have a fire going in about 2 seconds. Another option is this Fire Starter manufactured by Doan Machinery and Equipment. It's a bar of magnesium with a striking tool embedded on one edge. Take your serrated blade, scrape a little pile of magnesium shavings off the block and shoot a spark into it. If you have that pile of shavings sitting on a log when you ignite it, it will burn right down into the log. It's pretty tough to put out the magnesium once it starts so don't make the shavings pile too big and be sure it's on something you want to burn when you ignite it. Final note: be sure to get one manufactured by Doan. I understand the various knockoffs will cause problems, first because the striking tool will fall out of the block and second because they use something other than pure magnesium so it's hard to start on fire. I wrote more on this topic on my blog.
     
  12. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I agree as well. When you are starting a fire and have lots of dry tree bark and tiny twigs to use then starting a fire with a single match or even some flint is not very difficult. But when you want to start a fire in the morning and there has been a heavy dew from the night before or it has rained recently then starting a fire can be almost impossible since wet wood is a lot harder to catch. If you bring along a small amount of tinder it makes things a lot easier because you can a flame going long enough that it can evaporate the water off of the smaller kindling and build up nicely.
     
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