Flint and steel, easy way

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by overbore, May 31, 2008.

  1. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    As a former graduate of three advanced survival schools, we all must agree with my concept that fire starting is a prime skill. To simplify and shorten the curve to "instant", consider the welder. We use a spark lighter, flint and steel in a portable 100% form. From all welding and supply houses-- and the lint from the dryer??? too obvious--soaked with almost anything--- Overbore
  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Where's the advantage other than challenge though? For the size and weight of the sparker you could carry a couple of Bic lighters and I would figure that the flint in a striker would run out as quick as a Bic or 2.

    I could see where the magnesium bars might be a benifit just because they have the magnesium that can be scraped off to start a stuborn fire and it has a much larger flint that can make more fires than a lighter.

    I got called on pretty much the same thing a couple years ago when working on a project with John McPhearson (teaches survival classes to SERE school instructors) and had brought up some kind of fire starter that I thought would be so great for a kit (dont even remember what it was now) and his basic response was that for less size/weight he would rather have a Bic and not screw around with that stuff if he was cold or hungry and know how to start a friction fire reliably in case he didnt have anything. It made sense and since then for fire starters I always try to figure out if it has some advantage over a cheap lighter in at least some situation. From there I make sure I have the Zippo with spare fluid and flints in my pocket, a couple bics and a magnesium bar with hacksaw blade striker in my pack and a couple road flares in case nothing else will work with rel wet nasty wood or some such. Still working on the 'reliably' part with friction fires in any but ideal situations.

    The welding striker is a good thing to keep in mind as another option AND I may well simply be missing its benifits but like I say, since that talk that has been my litmus test for fire starters.
  3. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    A bic lighter is really nothing more than a flint and steel with some liquid fuel added to the mix, take the top apart and you have the same thing as the welders sparker only smaller

    As with anything else one should practice many different techniques, had a good lesson last night with the boy, he is still young and when he wants a fire he wants it now, he gives no real thought to the prep to making the whole thing work, making sure he has a way to start it, making sure he has enough material to keep the fire burning, starting small and working up to a good size. After an hour of messing around last night he has a better understanding that putting the time into getting all the material together first hand is just as important as the actual means of starting it.

    Of course the primal coolness of using a hunk of rock to start a fire makes me smile and grunt out loud [lolol]

    I carry many means of starting fire with me, from a wind resistant lighter and extra fuel, to matches, and several flint an steel kits,
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, I try to have at LEAST triple redundancy to make fire before haveing to resort to the true primitive means. Then am still working from time to time on improving my skills at the friction fires from 2 sticks and more dificult, the selection of the correct sticks to make it work well.
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