Question about fire sources

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by natshare, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Hi gang,
    Was putting together various sources for creating fire, to put in my BOB's (one at home, one in the car, which is a combination BOB & GHB), and was wondering something.

    I planned on carrying various sources of fire making equipment:
    - matches
    - fire steel/magnesium
    - steel wool (with battery)
    - butane lighter(s)

    ...but was wondering about placing the lighter(s) in my car. I know that in the past, when I smoked (yuck....worst decision of my life, and thankfully, almost 9 years behind me now!), I usually had a lighter in my vehicle. But I didn't live in the southwest, like I do now, with summertime temperatures reaching over 100 degrees! The last thing I want to do is cause a butane leak inside the car, when it's sitting outside in the sun!

    Granted, the amount of gas isn't going to make the car blow up, or anything, but I'd hate to come to the point where I actually NEED the contents of the bag, only to find out that the only thing that lighter is good for is to make sparks with the flint & roller wheel (still a good source of sparks, but not quite as effective as producing its own flame!).

    Any thoughts on this??

    Also, I have decided that, to be extra-safe, I packed the "hockey puck" of pool chlorine (HTH) that I put in the bag, which came in its own heavy duty plastic bag, inside a small ziplock plastic container, which is inside a quart sized ziplock-style bag. While HTH makes for a damn good way to sterilize water & kill nasty little things in it, and can also be used to create fire (a little HTH, with a few drops of oil or other flammable liquid, will create plenty enough heat to make something start burning), I really do want to keep it under my control.

    Thanks for any input on the lighter question! [touchdown]
  2. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Oh, another thought I had, last night, concerning the steel wool & battery ignition method. Know how they tell you to change your 9v batteries in your smoke detector(s) every year? Save those old batteries for your BOB. They should still have plenty enough juice to power the steel wool ignition method! :cool:
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    First thought is that the lighter should not be a problem. Second is that I would not need to carry that many backups for fire, two should be enough. Third thought, the steel wool and batteries AND the lighter will want to be monitored periodically for condition. My idea here is that something for emergency should not be all that dependent on monitoring to ensure readiness. I stick to fire steel and matches (in appropriate containers) and I'm going to add a fire piston one of these days, just because I think they are neat, not because of need.

    So far as the HTH goes, I'm not wild about anything that could have unintended consequences like heat if somehow it gets used on a supply with an oily film. That's an experiment I would like to try some day. Truthfully, granular rather than pucks makes better sense to me, dose control is easier.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Regarding the HTH, stores are starting to put swimming pool supplies on end of season clearance. Also good to get the simplest test kit for a couple bucks and then you can treat and test the water to know if you got enough, too much or about right chlorine to treat the water.

    Regarding fire, I don't know that diversity is as important as redundancy unless the diversity of methods provide the ability to start a fire under weather or fuel conditions that the others won't work reliably (for example high winds that make matches very difficult if not impossible to use.) While I like technology and all that, for survival, reliability is paramount and generally you get that through simplicity and redundancy. Knowing a battery and steel wool works is good, I would not give it special regard unless you have a need to say stock extra 9 volt batteries for a radio and blood sugar monitor then adding some steel wool to the bag could be good idea. Some of the fuel tabs or other aids for fire starting and tinder might be better to augment your spark device, lighters and water proof matches than batteries and steel wool and several other ignition options. But that is just me...

    natshare likes this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Road flares are light, water tight, self striking, and roughly foolproof.
    Motomom34, Pax Mentis and Airtime like this.
  6. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Well, I decided to forgo the lighters, at least during the hot weather months. I'll probably end up taking one into work, which would be the most likely place I'd be if I'm not home (and can store it in a climate controlled area), and leave the rest here, at home. I've got enough matches, and with the fire steel w/ magnesium, that will give me two easy to pack sources.

    The steel wool I'm keeping in the bags. Even if I don't use it for fire starting, it has other uses as well, it's light weight, and doesn't take up much room.

    The HTH, however, I'm going to leave at home. Didn't really realize, until I was contemplating what to do with it tonight, how heavy that puck is! I'd rather use that weight for a purifying straw or two, with some weight left over for a larger purifying system, if I so desire.

    Thanks again for the advice! :cool:
  7. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    If I were living in the southwest I would carry a magnifying glass. I have a 10X that I carry, it is light weight and doesn't ever go empty. I've not had to use it but I have practiced with it. Save your other fire starters for a rainy day
    natshare likes this.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I have one myself, in my hunting pack firestarting kit.[reddevil]
  9. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    You guys just reminded me, I have a credit card sized Fresnel magnifying that fits right in my wallet and you don't even know it is in there. Wholesale Lot of 10 Credit Card Sized Wallet Magnifiers 3X Lenses by OpticLens: Office Products

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2015
    natshare likes this.
  10. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Yeah, actually, I forgot to mention I have one of those in each pack too! Just a cheap one, but anything that will properly focus the beam of sunlight will work.

    Just have to remember to light your fire while the sun's still up! ;)
  11. DoomsdayNews

    DoomsdayNews Monkey

    Starting a fire with a magnifying glass is incredibly hit or miss. Go out and try it. It will either take you at least an hour, or you won't be able to do it at all. Complicate matters with the stresses and conditions of a SHTF situation, and good luck. That said, there's no reason not to have one (as long as it doesn't take up too much space) as a backup.

    fire starter.
    Everyone should have something to this effect. They are relatively cheap so you can buy a few and keep one on your keyring, in your BOB, in your car, and anywhere else you have survival gear handy. These nifty gadgets produce an incredibly strong and hot spark that can light a fire even in damp conditions. Never leave home without one. Matches, lighters, steel wool, and everything else should only be backups.
    natshare likes this.
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