Sunday, August 30, 2009

Magnesium and Flint for fire Starting

This is a combo flint and magnesium fire starter.  I bought this one at Wal-Mart; but you can get them anywhere they sell camping supplies or, of course, on line.  You can see That I scraped a good-sized amount of shavings off of the magnesium.  I recommend about a quarter-size, but you can make do with less depending on your tender.  

As you can see, I used my multi-tool knife to scrape the magnesium.  I recommend a crappy knife that you don't care about.  Something about metal to metal that doesn't help to keep an edge...
I'm about ready to strike the spark.  I did this by flipping the starter over to get to the flint side.  Obviously, this will only catch and burn out quickly as there is no tender beneath it.  You would want to have some dry tender first and then shave the magnesium on top of that.  I just did it this way to demonstrate the amount of mag that you need.  I added a little bit of dry grass to the side of it (below) and it started right up.
Be warned that magnesium is a soft metal, but it still takes a bit of effort to get the shavings off with your knife.  You may have to work at it for a few minutes to get the amount of shavings that you need.  
As with any fire starting technique.  Start small and build your way up.  Make sure to have all the different sized burning materials handy before you start your fire.  You don't want to be running around trying to find some small twigs when it's time to go larger.  Also, try to split your wood before throwing on the fire.  Whole logs do not like to burn well.  Remember fire safety- only you can prevent forest fires.
My first choice in building a fire will nearly always be the easiest way.  I have a few lighters in my 72 hr kit that I would turn to first; then I would use my 2 boxes of fireproof matches; after those, I would use my magnesium and flint.  But, I need to practice with all of them- just in case.

Quote of the Day:
John Adams:
“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
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1 comment:

Keith said...

Get yourself a flint, steel and tinderbox (18th century not ferral rod!!!) and learn how to use it. Research plant tinders, learn where to find dry kindling in the pouring rain. These skills will carry you through a life time.
Also learn how to make the fire-bow and how to make fire with it.
The reading glass/magnifying glass will also be good to carry and using the tinders that you use with flint and steel will make it easier to make fire.
Regards, Le Loup.