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Firesteels, the reality...

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by francis castiglione, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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  2. Advil

    Advil Empty Pockets

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    I ended up buying the misch metal fire steel from Going Gear. it arrived today.

    It's one of the bigger models and it's called the"Moose" model and it measured in at 1/2" x 5". this thing is huge and fat! I'm sure it can last me the rest of my life if i don't lose it!

    here's a comparo pic.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. stillad

    stillad Empty Pockets

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    never had much luck with firestarters... generally give up due to blisters and move back to a match.
     
  4. SRC

    SRC Loaded Pockets

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    My personal favourite is the Light My Fire fire steel with wooden handle. It gives off consistently good sparks and is easy to hold and strike. I have had a couple of other brands where the handle has fallen off!
     
  5. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    just bought a light my fire scout, i'm very disappointed - i barley managed to light toilet paper or those things from the drier.
    lighting a gas stove took me forever (and alot of gas).
    i'll keep trying it, but so far i still carry matches with me.
     
  6. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Quite right. I am an excellent fire starter with flint and steel, but you must have dry, carefully pre-prepped tinder, dry kindling, etc. You are far better off carrying one of the micro torches with an extra butane lighter as fuel. It will start anything, even wet tinder.
     
  7. Advil

    Advil Empty Pockets

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    If you use a knife rather than a regular striker you'll get MANY more sparks and they'll burn much much much longer. take your knife at a 45ยบ angle and scrape hard and fast. i use a beater knife for this (kershaw zing) and it works perfectly on both my going gear and my coleman (walmart) magnesium/ferro rod.

    Doesn't hurt to practice with a striker in case you ever need it in an emergency though!
     
  8. Atlas

    Atlas Loaded Pockets

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    Ive never been a fan of firesteels, my first emergency firestarter was a magnesium stick and its gonna stay that way. Its just so much easier with the magnesium shavings. Im going to have to try and cut one in half, not that its buly or anything.
     
  9. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    OH MY GOSH*******

    THIS POST IS THE SAME OVER AND OVER. I CAN DO IT, I CAN'T DO, I TRIED FOREVER AND EVER, TRY THIS AND TRY THAT. AS AN OLD BOYSCOUT AND FIRE FIGHTER I WILL TRY TO PUT A FRESH TWIST ON THIS.

    In fire college they discuss the fire tringle. OXYGEN, HEAT, AND FUEL. this is all we need to start a fire! The old boy scout motto is be prepaired! Lets look at what we carry and how it affects us. If we live and work in a big city and have a fire steel on our key chain in the pocket of our 3 piece suit, we probably will not need it. BECAUSE we are probably not prepaired! If we are going camping or off the beaten path, we probably won't be in a 3 piece suit (so we should be preaird).. OK. We talk about being prepaired. We carry a small first aid kit maybe even a pocket mask and a window punch on a key chain, a multi tool etc... But with our fire starting kit, we really don't have one (we forgot the fuel). It has been talked about in this thread over and over But we really don't get it like the outdoorsman do.

    If you really want to edc a fire starting kit PLEASE DO SO, it is not hard, and it really is necessary. An altoids tin maybe too much, I hope at least for your EDC Bag its not. Cotton balls, drier lint, toilet paper, napkins from mcdonalds, paper towels, news paper, jute twine, trioxane tablets, coghlan's fire paste, hexamine fuel bars, sawdust/wax, tampons, charcloth, vasoline patrolem jelly, alcohol based hand cleaner, steel wool, magneiseum shavings. Fatwood is definately near the bottom. GET THIS in an emergency wipe the dip stick in your car with your cotton balls or mcdonalds napkin, dip string (para cord? your tie) in the gas tank of your car, etc... FUEL FUEL FUEL!!!

    Now lets look at it again, the real kit. In your kit should be real stuff (yes a BIC maybe a ZIPPO, SPLIT PEA etc...) wind proof waterproof life boat matches and strike anywhere matches in a sealed package. The cotton balls, I keep mine in an old metal kodak film canister (it holds a lot). If you are a minimalist your local pharmacy has super strong heavy duty metal pill containers that look like the quality of a mag light flashlight (they even have an "O"ring seal) and are about half the size of your little finger and go on a key chain. This will hold (a tiny bit of) fuel.

    Since we probably won't be attempting attempting to start a fire inside a concreate jungle (the big city in your suit), lets look at it in reality, this is when we will try our Fire Steel. Put on your jeans and practice practice practice. First if you can't do it EASILY you are probably using a stainless steel knife, they will work but (I know) you want it easy. Ok lets try what should work better, now try the file on your multitool or a piece of a hacksaw blade. Break off a piece of a hacksaw blade by the end (about an inch or two from the end, there is already a hole in the end COOL, now you might not lose it).

    Try to scrape it forcefully (at nothing at first), oh my gosh I got lots of sparks (so why cant I light a fire with this stuff?). Technique and fear are your initial issues. OK lets conquer them. First technique (with the fear in mind). We all don't want to get burned, so what do we inexpierienced people do, we pull the flint rod back towards ourselves (after all we definately don't want to thrust our hands into the fire or sparks). Get over this and change the technique. Hold the fire steel (FLINT ROD) still in your tinder or right by your fuel. Hold it steady, now take your real high carbon steel striker and thrust it just as hard. Get over the fear, it's natural to get your hand out of the way fast any way (and your hand is not fuel). A little trial and error and you will be an expert.

    Now for the people that are stating that the videos have gas all over it, they really don't. You should go to a boy scout convention they will do it in front of you (over and over again). Now for the emergency's and the realist, Remember that tiny tube of vasoline lip balm, that small container of alcohol based hand cleaner, or the oil on that dip stick, FUEL, use it. It will suprise you. It will ignite, and you will now with a little practice become a pro at this.

    Good luck
    Cliff
     
  10. panzer

    panzer Loaded Pockets

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    My 15 year old start a fire this weekend with a fire steel and dry reed grass in seconds. It's not hard just takes practice and patience. No magic voodoo
     
  11. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    those are really good tips.
    can you tell me what is the best way to light a gas stove?
    thanks.
     
  12. panzer

    panzer Loaded Pockets

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    I would never use a flint and steel to light a stove. That's not it's purpose. A match or lighter is a better solution.

    For me the flint and steel is a skill and tool I use when all else fails in a wilderness survival situation.
     
  13. PrawEDC

    PrawEDC Empty Pockets

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    I've never had any trouble with firestarters. If think wood shavings don't work, try vertically at a 90 degree angle shaving off dust from a dry branch. And try breaking kindling to make finer ends/dust. And crumple the leaves. Hope this at least helps a little
     
  14. FixIt

    FixIt Empty Pockets

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    No, that's a dark secret that should not be discussed at open internet forums. (But if you find out, please let me know.)

    Alternatives that are open for discussion:

    I use a flint + steel, but that is just because it's kind of cool. It is not the best method. And as the first strike usually fails (and the second, and the third...), there is a build-up of gas in my wind screen, which then goes WROF when I finally lit it. As a borderline pyromanic, I kind of like this, but it's not something I recommend. (Although it is just a small and innocent WROF...)

    You could light a match or a lighter, hold it to the stove and turn it on at a low setting. Probably the recommended method.

    Or you could turn it on (at the minimum setting), then lit the lighter or match. If you fumble too long you may have the WROF experience.

    The thing about fire steel: You need to scrape away any coating or oxide before you can get any sparks. (Assuming your scraper is up to the job). So... scrape away the coating at one side and show your friends how to make a BIG set of sparks, then hand them the fire steel, but make sure the coated side up comes up. They won't make squat for sparks unless they flip the steel over or continue until the coating is removed. Nothing looks more silly than being unable to replicate what you just did with the simplest tool possible ...


    As stated above, to actually make a fire you need something really flammable. I can't lit my hand sanitizer, but cotton balls work really well. Cotton balls + petroleum jelly burns hotter and longer. Dry birch bark is good too. Haven't tried wood shavings.
     
  15. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    wait wait, so i dont get it - do i need to light the lighter, open the sotve valve and then move the stove close to the lighter?
    and are you sure it's going to work? can butane be ignited by just exposing it to flame? WOW!

    ehm, i just thought i could have a very compact method of lighting up my camping stove, i keep borrowing my matches and bic lighters to others, and then i never see them again. a small, waterproof, lighting method could be great. guess i'll just have to be rude and claim my matches back everytime someone "borrows" them.
     
  16. SCUBASTEVE

    SCUBASTEVE Loaded Pockets

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    Film canister stuffed with vaseline soaked cotton balls. Just pull a small wisp or two off and you're GTG!
     
  17. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

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    Ive done this "jeans shaving" technique before, too, & it does indeed work.
    IF, like me, you often wear denim or "lumberjack" type shirts, another very good (though slightly bizarre!) source of tinder is good old er...."belly button fluff" :) & the supply always seems much more plentiful when Ive worn a denim shirt rather than any other cotton garment.


    Cant remember if ive mentioned this before on here (or even in this thread!) but ALL my fire-kits have a tube of Vulcanizing Fluid in them too.
    (Settle down, Trekkies! Its nowt to do with Mr Spock, but is the posh name for the adhesive found in puncture repair kits!) it burns well & catches a spark quite easily.
     
  18. alabasterblack

    alabasterblack Loaded Pockets

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    I have had no trouble using Swedish Firesteel.

    Got my first one as a Christmas present years ago.

    I have used it in the rain many times. I don't used prepped tinder. Typically your environment will have ample dry combustible material (even in the rain), just need to look, and sometimes dig for it.

    It does take a bit of practice, but it is a simple, cheap and reliable bit of kit that I wouldn't leave home without.
     
  19. Uprightman

    Uprightman Loaded Pockets

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    Completely agree with you.
     
  20. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I carry a pencil sharpener for two reasons. To sharpen pencils and...

    [​IMG]
    pencil fire by mumbojumboo, on Flickr