What is your preferred method of fire lighting.

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by sticks65, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    I use the search feature and cannot find much on fire lighting so thought id start a thread to see what methods folks here prefer to use for fire lighting.

    I like to use a ferro rod and also like to use a flint and steel.

    I have made fire using a bow drill a few times and think it is an important method to learn also.

    Ferro rod,my favourite tinder to use with the rod is birch bark as it lights in all weathers.

    Tinder box.
    Contains steel,flint,char cloth,waxed string,denim to make more char cloth in the field,wax and fat wood.

    As you can see i keep spare denim in the tin and the tin has a small hole in the top so i can make char cloth on the camp fire.
    The hole in the tin is sealed with wax when not in use to keep moister out.

    Using the hot coals form my forge to make char cloth.

    The steels i forge out of old files.

    Mini necklace and key-chain steels.

    Found some awesome firestarting tools, anyone got any favorites they would reccomend? I found these that looked pretty cool.

    1. SURVIVAL BRACELET FIRESTARTER Jute Wrapped W/Waxed by ChaOhaDesign

    2. Fire Pen

    3. Small Fire Starter with Compass in Deer Antler | Rebel Ridge Pens and Crafts
    Shotgunpapa and ExHelot like this.
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I use a Bic lighter, when I can.
    I can use flint/steel, but not preferable.
    I have and have used the magnesuim/flint type as well.
    When it's wet or very hard to start, I use potassium permanganate and glycerin.
    Worse case, would be the bow.....
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I carry a bic lighter with me, even though I don't smoke.
    Strike anywhere matches, though the "newer" ones are hardly strike anywhere. I used to be able to light them on the seam of my jeans, off of a tooth, a zipper, and a thumbnail. I have yet to do that with any of the "new" matches, so I keep a portion of the strike area with the matches.
    I also have the flint/steel combo with me.
    I keep a 1/2 dozen or so cotton balls with petroleum jelly with the flint/steel.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Check the box those new ones came in. Lately, they have to use the striking surface on the side of the box iteself. (Found that out the hard way, and the striking surface does NOT like moisture at all.)
  5. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    UM, wouldn't that make them just like the "Strike on box" matches?

    The ones I got had the white tip, I think they just changed the formula to be harder to use on anything but the box. Damn lawyers!!
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Due to nature of the older styles which contained a great deal more white phosphorus.....
    I read there were a tremendous amount of maladies caused by them EG: "phossy jaw". The bone was dissolved.....Horrendous stuff. ( a lot of people I knew used to like to suck on the match heads after they were blown out!) YUKKKK!
    Most newer versions contain higher amounts of red phosphorus, and have to have their secondary ingredients on the "striker" pads.....Safety matches were made as many of the older version started fires in peoples pockets by impact and slight friction.....
    I prefer the kitcen "strike anywhere" matches myself, but the receipe has certainly changed...some say for safety, some say for economic savings in the chemicals used.
  7. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    What happens when your matches run out?

    Fero rod 12000 strikes.

    Steel and flint as long as you can find flint or another type of stone to strike then unlimited.

    Ive use the vaseline and cotton buds but reserve this for when i really cannot get a fire going,i also carry rubber strips which work well in the rain.

    Has anyone dipped there strike anywhere matches in wax to make them water proof ?.

    Its interesting for me to read the replies as i was really looking to see what fire making skills survivalists have,also i was hoping to find more folks with natural fire making skills like the bow drill or other types of natural fire making materials.

    Is the many here that use natural tinders like birch bark or fat wood?
  8. snakedoctor

    snakedoctor Monkey++

    Amen Im practicing the bow now can get a fire going no problem with a ferro and have flint and steel and doing pretty darn good at that! I carry jute dry dryer ling and Vaseline soaked dryer lint! Some birch bark! Im ready to get a fire started by any means I dont have a problem throwing some wax coated wind proof matches but they would be a clear no wind day in my hobo stove!
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I always use a lighter or matches dipped in wax if I can. I practice with ferro rod, have a blastmatch for single handed use, a firesteel, a few magnesium sticks, and even a coco-bolo and char cloth for added measure.

    I will not use a bow-drill unless there was nothing else. I know how to make one if I have to -but since I have a fire starting method in two pockets, in my assault vest, on my belt line, and in my pack (redundancy for fire is a great idea), I just don't need to pretend like I am a master bushman on the Discovery Channel and rub sticks to feel better about myself. No offense. I prepare for the worst, but I use a Bic lighter because it gets the job done in the most efficient way (next to my propane torch, but that's for another time) -I know that I won't be cold, wet, and tired hoping that a spark will ignite -I know I can get a fire started easily. Plus, I always use my Kelly Kettle to brew tea and cook light meals, and a lighter is just perfect to light it up, and matches are even better.

    I use the vaseline cottonballs also, and I make firesticks out of rolled cardboard soaked in wax and tied with string. Rubber is fine also, but not my preferred starter. Barks and grasses are excellent, I do not carry any since it can be obtained locally.
  10. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    No offence taken LOL.

    I think practice makes perfect so like to practice as many ways to make fire as possible and find it kind of satisfying to make fire just with the natural materials that i find in the woods but its always good to have a back up and i too carry a Bic lighter but never seem to need to use it.
    Brokor likes this.
  11. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    New method:
    ADD: 2 democrats, to 2 republicans, mix, and throw in a healthcare bill...
    Not matches needed!
    We have FIRE!
  12. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    Now back to the thread.

    I have done the bow method before, I know how, but the OP asked for "preferred method", which is what I gave [winkthumb]

    My matches are secondary, and to be truthful, I don't carry but maybe a dozen of them. I'd rather use the space that the matches take up for a butane, windproof lighter or a "bic" style lighter. I'll get many more uses out of either one, but when the fuel is gone, I've got the flint/steel combo as a backup.
    I've also used the flint steel to "light" a strike anywhere match after I wore the white phosphor off.

    I keep my flint/steel and cotton balls in a small altoids tin, I suppose at some point I'll add some char cloth, but I've not gotten around to that yet.
  13. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    You lite a match after the phosphorous was worn off,Id say that would be near on impossible to do that's why we use natural tinder's with natural oils in them or cotton balls soaked in Vaseline but if you say you did that then who am i to argue.[beer]
  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Only the white phosphor was worn off, the red phosphor remained. 2 swipes on the firesteel and it lit. The match was one of the "strike anywhere" that doesn't like to struck against anything other than the striker on the box.
  15. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    You know, I do fully respect the idea of self reliance as well. For this, I use the coco-bolo (fire piston), as mentioned. I know that there are other ways, such as flint and steel, and I really love your idea...but I am getting rather good at getting a glowing ember with my little bolo. This thing will last forever I imagine.

    I think there is a thread about fire pistons already. If you can afford the investment, go with a budget buy and try it out. Then, move to a better model if it interests you.
  16. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    Yes i do like fire pistons and think they are an ingenuous idea,i think as long as you know how to make and change the gasket they would out last most fire lighters.

    Im toying with the idea of trying to make one.

    YouTube- Firepiston construction 1, demonstrated by a native Semelai. Part 1 of 2

    YouTube- Survival skills -- Fire making.
    Brokor likes this.
  17. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    Ah i misunderstood you there.
  18. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I don't remember seeing one, why not start a new one?
  19. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    DOOOD! What the HELL? [beat] That's like...trying to make your very own birchwood canoe just because you watched Mears do it! [ROFL]

    No, it looks like a serious hobby right there. Good luck! Whew! Hey, I bought a Rose Mtn fire piston ( http://www.fire-pistons.com/firepistons.html ), but you can make your own if you have some adequate machine shop qualities. It's all metal (brass) construction with wood encased, so even if all the wood were removed, it would still function. Cool little pistons. Very rugged.
  20. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    I make knives,kuksas and all sorts of things,nothing like being defeated before you even give something a try ahhh.[loco]

    I think i could make a birch bark canoe if i could get my hands on enough birch bark,anything ive ever tried to make i have made.

    I watched a guy make a knife once and then started making my own knives,I have been selling them for the last 3 years,i think there's a couple of members here that own them.

    Here is a few for you to look at,you can make anything you put your mind too.
    Brokor likes this.
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