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Firesteels, the reality...

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

  1. madkins007

    madkins007 Loaded Pockets

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    Use as little Vaseline as possible- the stuff's job is to a.) keep the cotton dry, and b.) to burn like a candle using the cotton as the wick.

    I used to take a wad of cotton, scoop up a dab of gel on it then knead several of the balls to distribute the gel. Now a days I just buy a pack of fire starters- they are already made just right and only take a little fluffing to be ready. I also think they light easier than the Vaseline does- they use more of a wax substance. Coghlans Emergency Tinder

    Heck, $4.50 for a bunch of starters that I can tuck all over in kits, or even carry a few wads of in my pockets without any other packaging is a great deal in my eyes!
     
  2. Cochiez

    Cochiez Empty Pockets

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    The firesteels do work, but they're pain in the butt. I started my first fire with one this weekend. The fire didn't last too long, but that was because of rain and snow. I used one of the cheap models with the magnesium bar ($7.50?). I had trouble getting the magnesium to shave in the cold - don't know if this was due to the effects of temp. on the metal, or on my hands. Also, I've watched a couple of reviews on firesteels that indicate some models are better than others - creating a hotter and longer lasting spark. I'll try and find the vids for a second posting.
     
  3. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Loaded Pockets

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    I use nothing but a firesteel in the woods. I carry a tin of cattail fluff (compressed), PJ cotton balls, wax soaked thick cotton dental dressings, fatwood shavings, a big ball of shredded jute fibers. All which catch a spark on the first try and liught up. If i'm iun the woods and feeling adventurous, i take my knife and scrape cedar bark ubtil i have a big fluffy handful.

    again, practice makes perfect!
     
  4. Noisy Cricket

    Noisy Cricket Empty Pockets

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    Francis, firesteels work great! tinder prep is the key, it takes really small almost dirtlike particles to catch and hold a spark. Try dry grass rubbed together between your hands, this makes kind of a grass dust that will catch a spark, the same can be said of cedar bark, scrap it down with your knife. After you get a flame add bigger stuff, dry grass, finger size twigs, bigger sticks and so forth.
    That being said , I still carry cotton balls with vaseline and steelwool in my EDC. Keep practicing and good luck.
     
  5. Doxtar

    Doxtar Empty Pockets

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    When you find yourself in need to start a fire, depending on your situation, your level of preparation and the systems available, the time and skill ( practice ) needed will be different

    Some excellent options would be

    Fire start / Ignition
    - Storm Proof REI Matches
    - Firesteel
    - Lighter ( zippo or bic )
    - bow and stick ( friction )
    - Rocks
    - Glass ( focusing the sun's light )
    - Flare
    - Nuclear bomb

    Tinder options
    - Trioxane Fuel Bars ( probably the best )
    - Cottonball soaked in Vaseline
    - Magnesium
    - Clothing ( lint etc )
    - Yogi bear's butt

    It doesn't really matter which option is the best. What matters is the option you are most comfortable with and the one(s) you practice and master the most. If you only bring 1 fire solution in a survival solution you could very well regret it ( and in canadian winter, could cost you your life )

    So be safe, practice and have fun :)
     
  6. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    Regarding Les and Bear making it look simple.. That is because they've done it thousands of times :)

    I decided the other day to practice.. I found some dry bark (in my yard, I have some random needles (pine) from neighbors and dry leaves.. I broke them up into fine powder and layered the really fine stuff over denser stuff. It took about 3 or 4 scrapes (hard) to make the shower of sparks that actually lit the tinder.. Wasn't that hard.. But then again, I've spent way too many years as a youth setting things on fire. :evilgrin:

    As with any technique, it is important to practice when you don't need to use it.. I find that I like to know how to use everything in my kit and come up with interesting ways to use it. Being creative with your gear is extremely important..

    Just my .02c
     
  7. fishwolf

    fishwolf Loaded Pockets

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    :iagree: use it or lose it. lol
     
  8. Bowman1911

    Bowman1911 EDC Mechanic

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    Glad to see someone else who uses steel wool!!! :highfive: If you've never tried it, you just don't get it, If you have used it, you definitely understand!
     
  9. Dane1957

    Dane1957 Loaded Pockets

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    --Aurora Fire Starter With Magnesium ----I have had lots more practice with this fire starter.I have been able to light a lot of tinders ,Includeing my old white cotton socks...The moral of the story is If you have white socks and this product with you.... A fire you should be able to make.....Nice product I like it ...I could make some realy good upgrades to this easy....
     
  10. Andy Wayne

    Andy Wayne Loaded Pockets

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    Best method I've found is the metal file on a multitool.
     
  11. NightFire

    NightFire Empty Pockets

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    http://www.firesteel.com/ has some nice firesteels. small, big and huge.

    The larger ones are easier for me to get a flame going.
     
  12. landwire
    • +2 Supporter
    • In Omnia Paratus

    landwire Loaded Pockets

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    In my camp bag, I keep several pieces of 3" hemp rope. Spend a few minutes untwisting that stuff and you got a real nice bird's nest. Until I ran out, I use to keep several pieces of charred cloth for fire starting. That stuff was the best.
     
  13. Noisy Cricket

    Noisy Cricket Empty Pockets

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    Hey Bowman1911 try steel wool and and your cell phone battery. :evilgrin:
     
  14. GregY

    GregY Loaded Pockets

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    Firesteels do definitely work, even I can do it. :p It just takes practice.

    My firestarter aid of choice is my own blend of dryer lint and candle wax. Some time back my wife got a whole pile of half-burned candles for free (white dinner candles), so I melt them down, combine with dryer lint and have little firepucks. I'm cheap, and they work. They burn long and hot, if a little smoky. The only problem I had was getting the initial formulation right- too much wax and they're hard to start.
     
  15. RobertRogers

    RobertRogers Empty Pockets

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    It is like anything else, practice makes perfect. Believe me, these will work when matches fail you. Well worth carrrying.
     
  16. Dodger

    Dodger Empty Pockets

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    When hunting I a carry a Jet lighter but these often don't work as altitude Magnesium bar and Blastmatch fire steel
    and of course EasyStrike matches with a 15 second burn time
    [img width=640 height=343]http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/Dodger_Mark/EasyStrike.jpg[/img]
    A film canister with shavings out of a pencil sharpner works very as tinder
    and always carry each of your fire lighting options in a seperate location
     
    Barrel likes this.
  17. mike212

    mike212 Loaded Pockets

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    I think with practice fire steel works well however its alot faster (easier) with matches or a lighter. sometimes you just want fire and dont feel like playing around with a flint.
     
  18. Dodger

    Dodger Empty Pockets

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    I agree but it's about being prepared matches can get wet lighters run out of fluid things get lost or break so its nice to have some options and to know how to use them.
     
  19. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

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    It's not so hard when the camera crew and producer soak it in gasoline...
     
  20. joekaveh

    joekaveh Loaded Pockets

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    Well Said!!