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Firesteels, the reality...

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

  1. N1XIO

    N1XIO Loaded Pockets

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    Now THAT'S an idea!


    Jerry
    ------------------------------------------
    Be part of the solution, not part
    of the problem.
     
  2. DisrupTer911

    DisrupTer911 Loaded Pockets

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    Do exposed fire rods, ie Exotac FIREROD, or Swedish Fire steels decompose?

    I'm concerned about long term usage and storage in a pack and if they decompose at all.
     
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  3. goosefacer
    • In Omnia Paratus

    goosefacer EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Just make some scrapings by holding your knife at a right angle and scrape the wood until you have a nice little pile of wood dust.
     
  4. K1CKtheCHICKEN

    K1CKtheCHICKEN Loaded Pockets

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    It is a matter of practice, a good firesteel, and a good striker. If you're missing any one of these, you won't be able to get a fire started. That being said, Every time I have a fire in my fireplace or an outside campfire I light it with my light my fire firesteel. The mag bar firesteels are GARBAGE and I have quite a bit of difficulty starting fires with them, although obviously it can be done.
     
  5. K1CKtheCHICKEN

    K1CKtheCHICKEN Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, I have heard of people storing them and moisture getting to them. They checked on them and they were dust. However, carrying mine in the woods and letting it get wet and dry many times without paying attention to it, it is perfectly fine.
     
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  6. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    One trick is to pick up a cheap clear nail polish (or just "borrow" it from your significant other) :cool: and give the fire steel a light coating before storing it. Helps protect it from oxidizing and rotting away. The beauty of products like Exotac's Nanostriker is that it has o-rings and seals up from the weather. Just remember to lube the o-ring every now and then with something like Nyogel (works great on flashlights, too). Heck, I seal the Nanostriker with the nail polish anyway. Can never be too safe, and if I'm going to carry it and rely on it, I want it to absolutely, positively work 110% of the time.
     
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  7. bull_paqqy
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    bull_paqqy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I always carry a small baggie of dryer lint with my. Or make my own by scraping my pant leg.
     
  8. deusvult

    deusvult Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for reminding me. I need to start my collection back up. My wife threw my baggie of lint away, saying it could catch on fire. I told her that was the point! :banghead:
     
  9. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Ferro rods are a backup to the backup to the backup for me. However, if you do carry one you need to practice with it. Like everyone else has said, it's not nearly as easy as some people make it look. That said, very recently I was able to get someone to make a fire on his third spark ever on a ferro rod with dryer lint, an Opinel spine and minimal coaching. Carry tinder. That's good policy anyway. Easily burnable materials with large surface areas work for sparking. Charcloth, dryer lint, cotton balls, Vaseline, Vaseline soaked cotton balls, sock lint, pocket lint, magnesium dust, ground dry birchbark, fatwood dust, tinder fungus, dry moss, etc. all work. Duct tape burns but you need a flame to start it.
    If you are going to rely on something, no matter what it is, test it before you start carrying it in a possibly lifesaving role. This includes ferro rods, matches and lighters. Making a fire in general is a learned skill, it's not an easy, intuitive thing. Practice, practice, practice some more, then wait for some harsher conditions to come along and get some more practice.
     
  10. Xader

    Xader EDC Junkie

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    In my experience, Old Man's Beard moss is the bee's knees when it comes to catching sparks. I've started many a fire by pulling it from tree limbs.
     
  11. Xader

    Xader EDC Junkie

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    :double post: :banghead:
     
  12. microbe

    microbe EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I always carry some lint in my belly button. It is self replenishing, so I never really run out.
     
  13. DeepBlue

    DeepBlue Loaded Pockets

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    In practice, I dont like to use the spine a blade with a fire steel. Three reasons. First, unless its a fixed blade there is always a danger of it folding back on your hand. Either the liner lock gives way or its possible to accidentally press the release while firmly holding the handle the wrong way round (forefinger presses the release thats normally on the back). Happened to a friend once and it was very messy... Second, the sparks can easily mark a carbon steel blade, which is a shame. Third, the spine edge needs to be kept quite sharp to really create a good shower of sparks. I prefer the spine edges to be a bit softer - it's more comfortable to use the knife for detailed work with fine thumb control on the spine that way.

    My personal preference is the awl on a multi-tool or a alox folder. Great sparkers as they are typically a bit rough edged and are safer and easy to control with pressure from thumb on the back so you don't end up knocking the tinder away. Alternatively, the metal saw...

    And yes, as backup but definately worth practicing when not in a hurry.
     
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  14. pathwinder14

    pathwinder14 Loaded Pockets

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    Birch bark and thin pine shavings take sparks readily. So does dryer lint. I always have 3 sources of fire on me. When in teh woods I have 4. Firesteel, matches, lighter, and fresnel lens. I predominantly rely upon the firesteel because I am out there relaxing and practicing my skills. However the lighter is my go to when conditions are not optimal. I need to practice more bow drill fires though. Hmm...
     
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  15. mley1

    mley1 Loaded Pockets

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    My 15yr old son started the fire in the picture with his magnesium bar, ferro rod combo, and a paper towel. He did it in about 5mins. That fire was our camp fire for the night, and my son was the hero of the trip cause us grown ups forgot our lighters. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mley1

    mley1 Loaded Pockets

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    We were on a turkey hunt in Texas, and we camped in the area for a couple of days. It made for a great adventure, and many proud moments for dear ole dad. Now, my son brings his magnesium ferro rod combo on EVERY trip. And, dear ole dad has one of his own.

    Marty
     
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  17. CSM-101
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    CSM-101 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    :) Reminds me of one of my godkids, camo'ed out and carrying a pocket full of gear...
    wonder where they get it from? :D:cool:
     
  18. ManVsLawn

    ManVsLawn EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    mley1 - an EDC disaster averted by the son! Amazing.

    This is why I try to get my closest relatives/family to carry items like a torch, bic, and a pocket tool.... In case I flub up and forget mine!

    Very awesome. That is a proud smile on that young man!:D
     
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  19. karandras

    karandras Loaded Pockets

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    Same here, i always have at least 3 lighters on me (zippo, mini peanut lighter and a bic, as zippo's always run out at inconvenient times) and my kit has another 2 lighters (1 bic and one peanut type lighter), non-safety matches, waterproof matches and a ferro rod. Tinder wise my kit has firecord, Vaseline infused cotton balls, dryer lint and a zippo campfire cedar puck.

    I also have some maya sticks i need to test out, before i decide if there's room for them.

    As others have said, lighting a fire is a skill that needs to be learnt and practised. I try to build a fire at least once a month regardless of the weather, in fact the worse the weather the better. I found it really fun trying to get a fire started while it was snowing using just a knife, ferro rod, some tinder and whatever else i could scavenge, even if i was cold to the bone by the time i'd got it going.
     
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  20. meds081603
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    meds081603 Loaded Pockets

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    I wouldn't go as far as saying they don't or can't. I will say I have some ranging from new to as old as 20plus years and none of mine have.
     
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