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Firesteels, the reality...

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

  1. gadgetguy35

    gadgetguy35 Loaded Pockets

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    I carry a coleman magnesium firesteel with a ferro rod on it in my fatboy, it works just fine. The awl on any Vic SAK works great for sparks.
     
  2. remoc8116

    remoc8116 Loaded Pockets

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    I keep a couple ziploc bags of Dryer lint for this reason, It is the cheapest(free) and best tinder i have ever seen, You get a little pile of that and tear it apart and it will usually light with the first strike.....
     
  3. AndyUK

    AndyUK Empty Pockets

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    This week in the snow, I used a very small amount of dryer lint directly on top of the snow, and with a single tinder quik on top, started a fire with the Swedish Army firesteel which is always on me. The flames were definately enough to start a proper cooking fire if I had wanted and lasted about 3 minutes without any further help.
     
  4. Fusilier

    Fusilier Loaded Pockets

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    I was able to start a fire with a firesteel for the first time this weekend. I was out with our Scout Cub pack (I'm a new pack leader) and I had pre-prepared some cotton balls with petroleum jelly. My firesteel is a simple Primas brand one and it fits nicely in a medium Keep2Go tube. I stuffed about 4 PJ impregnated cotton balls into a small sized Keep2Go tube. The first time I tried the cotton, it fired up in a flash - faster than I had remotely expected it to and it caught me off guard. One fire down, no matches.

    Today I had the cubs all try to light their fires with just their tinder and the firesteel. No joy. I then set each one up with some of the PJ Cotton Balls (or as I called them "my secret weapon"). The cubs still couldn't get it lit. One of the other leaders got his going quickly and I was able to light the other fires with only a couple of strokes each. I'm sure the cubs could get a handle on it if they had more practice getting sparks off the firesteel. Our overall tally for the weekend: 5 solid fires with no matches or lighters across the board.

    For each fire I used about half a cotton ball. I'm sure I could easily spread that out by using less cotton and more natural tinder for each fire.

    Me, I'll be taking a firesteel and PJ Cotton Balls every time I head into the woods. Matches and my peanut lighter all work great but its kind of neat to just use the steel (and PJ Cotton).
     
  5. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

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    so glad that worked for you!
    and O0 for passing that on to so many!

    It's a great skill and the "secret weapon" is easy to do and works even when floating in water!

    lots of methods are great - this one is certainly a favorite of mine - probably many! :roof:
     
  6. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    First time is always fun. Now try make wood shavings on the spot and use that alone as tinder. :roof:
     
  7. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    The collection is growing... ;D

    [​IMG]
     
  8. parawolfe

    parawolfe Empty Pockets

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    I'm sensing a theme here......... :) The Blast Match comes in a translucent orange.
     
  9. kmdesigns

    kmdesigns Empty Pockets

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    @Andy, what knife is that you were using in those first 2 pics? Great demo by the way. I recently attempted using my swedish firesteel in my backyard to get a little practice and found it exceedingly hard. It was a wet afternoon, but nonetheless I found it very difficult. You've got me interested in one of those strikeforces now.
     
  10. ace19636

    ace19636 Loaded Pockets

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    big foot -

    what are the two fire starters at the bottom that lool like a weel on a plastic rod? ???
     
  11. ERCCRE456

    ERCCRE456 Loaded Pockets

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    Well i'm not big foot but I think I have big enough feet ;D
    Those are called Sparklite Firestarters. The handle has a spring that pushes a lighter- type flint up against the spark wheel, very similar to bic lighters. Here's where you can get a set from amazon. They also come in Black. I think they also come in blister packs without the case at like walmart or someplace like it.
     
  12. ace19636

    ace19636 Loaded Pockets

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    thank you ERCCRE456 i need to look in to them thay seem like fun :evilgrin: lol.

    lol nice :lolhammer:
     
  13. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Haha, yup, you got it... Spark Lite firestarters.
     
  14. Phade

    Phade Loaded Pockets

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    Love that international safety orange! ;D
     
  15. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Not to add "fuel to the fire", but I found a YouTube video that demonstrates the Swedish Firesteel fairly well (guy didn't frame the camera too well, but you get the idea):
    Swedish Firesteel - YouTube


    Incidentally, does laundry dryer lint work well as tinder? I've been collecting a bunch of it in a ziplock bag over the past year, out of curiosity. Haven't tried it yet...
     
  16. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

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    xevious - dryer lint works ok. just make sure you don't have a lot of hair in it. We have 2 labs, I tried it just because...smells like...duh! burning hair! :doh:

    it's free, so try it - see if you like it! ;D Cottonballs with Vaseline = best for me, but everyone likes different stuff.
     
  17. patches152

    patches152 Loaded Pockets

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    i like the one where you put the PJ cotton balls and put 'em in ice cube trays with melted wax, or put 'em in a TP roll, then pour wax into it and cut it into like little tea candles. which is basically what they are, candles that will take a spark.
     
  18. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

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    Hi guys,

    just to add something that at least I hadn't heard of before until it crossed my mind and I tried it about 30 seconds later:

    Steel wool COMBINED WITH petroleum jelly!

    I just kneaded the petroleum jelly into the steel wool like you would into tinder quick tabs - to the point of a dense saturated ball, as I would pack it. Then I pulled the whole thing apart to give it more surface area before lighting.

    The result was enlightening, pun fully intended!

    • It lit with one spark made by an empty bic lighter (my test for ignitability of tinders), in a place where I had wiped off excess jelly by pulling the steel wool through my fingers.
    • The steel wool works as a wick for the petroleum jelly, leading to a large yellow flame.
    • The stel wool also keeps its typical dots of glow running zig-zag throughout the whole thing, making it pretty hard or next to impossible to blow the whole thing out, re-igniting the petroleum jelly when the wind lessens.
    • And after the steel wool has burnt out, its web-like remains still work as a wick for the petroleum jelly, making it possible to use up all jelly even after the steel wool is gone.
    • If you put the whole thing on something that collects the liquid jelly, like the inside of a piece of bark, the steel wool remains even wick up and burn any jelly that may have run down through the whole tinder ball, accumulating underneath.
    • And if you carry steel wool and petroleum jelly separately, you can use the steel wool by itself if you have quite good natural tinder at hand and don't need all the power and burn time of the petroleum jelly, save the jelly for another occasion, and don't get your hands all greasy.

    Bottomline: I think I have found a new preferred tinder! At least in addition to tinder quick plus petroleum jelly.

    One thing to keep in mind: Keep the steel wool super dry, if you want to be paranoid about it, maybe even pack it with one of those little desiccant sachets that come with many items to keep them dry, like inside of pill boxes.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  19. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Good idea with that PJ and steel wool! I am gonna have to try that one for sure.

    Somewhere online I had read you can coat the firesteel / ferro rod / etc. with nail polish to protect it from rusting. Tried it this morning on some used firesteels and it works great. The coating isn't bad to scrape off at all.

    [Edit: Now more "orange" in my fire starter collection...] :)

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rpuppet
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Rpuppet Loaded Pockets

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    Any idea how the steel wool and 9v battery trick work when you add petroleum jelly to the mix? (I will test it if someone else doesn't beat me to it.)