What's Your Method of Choice

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What's Your Method of Choice

#1

Post by BlackJack » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:21 pm

What type of starter do you take? Do you take the trusty BIC Lighter w/matches as well? I find myself saving the lint from the dryer often now (wife thinks I am crazy) to drench in Vaseline as a starter. One method I use to keep it from getting all over everything and to keep the bundle intact is wrap it in parchment paper (baking paper).
Last edited by BlackJack on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#2

Post by sarge » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:39 pm

I'm a canister stove fan myself. Burn bans can happen down here at the drop of a hat, and are done by county, so you can never know when you're going to blunder into one.
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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#3

Post by rhjanes » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:25 pm

LENT? This isn't the Religion forum!!! I"M TELLING MOM!!!!

JK...
Lint
I've saved lint, take a BIC and usually maybe some waterproof matches. I usually have a fire-starter stick also, the back side of my knife is the striker
Call me Junior
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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#4

Post by Baby Huey » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:41 pm

I usually bring a ferro rod, but always good to have a Bic as a backup. They weigh nothing and are cheap. Cheryl saves cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint, and saw dust to make her fire starters. Uncle Mike taught her that. Put some saw dust and lint in each individual egg holder then pour melted wax over them to hold it together and kinda make it water resistant. When it cools, cut each individual egg holder out for great fire starters. She uses them with her coal chimney when we car camp.
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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#5

Post by DuxDawg » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:33 pm

Mostly Flint and Steel with some form of char. When feeling adventurous I use only the steel striker and gather everything else from the landscape. Mostly find Friction Fire (Bow Drill, Hand Drill, Fire Plow, etc) too much work. But, once in a while, use that. Always have a fresnel lens, ferro and Bic in my PSK, just in case. Not much I cannot ignite with each of those.

The primitive methods have opened my eyes to so many nuances in the plant life around us. So amazing!!
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"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#6

Post by Scott » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:58 pm

matches, bic, char cloth, 'flint and steel' or whatever the bars are made of these days. you can never have too many ways to start fire.

I did make a fire plunger this spring, but it was more work to make and use that a rod. Since I get to plan what I put in my pack, why not take the easier one?
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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#7

Post by DuxDawg » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:56 am

hanggirl wrote:I enjoy using ferro rod with the back of my Finnish Martini knife, sparking on charcloth or vaseline soaked cotton balls.
Do you then use the charcloth in a tinder bundle? While that is the usual way, I ask because it is possible to produce flames from an ember in char using only the char itself.

Even though I don't have to, I still use tinder bundles because they are a lot of fun. Plus they taught me a lot about the properties of various natural materials, the value of processing (rubbing between our hands and other methods for separating the fibers) and how to take an ember to flame. You might be amazed at how many get their first coal with a bow drill or ember with F&S then fail to take it to flame.
I recently bought a good magnesium bar (soft) and am looking forward to trying it out. (It's not the cheap China ones that don't work at all).
Which brand? Pure (soft) magnesium works well and is the only magnesium that should even be considered for fire starting. Most Magnesium Firestarters (aka MFS) are made of magnesium ALLOY and work poorly to not at all. This is primarily because they put too much aluminum in. When the amount of aluminum is too high the scrapings will not ignite with ferro, flame or fresnel. MFS bars are the worst method for starting a fire out there.

In my experience there is nothing a ferro won't light that magnesium will. And a ferro will do it in a few seconds whereas MFSs take minutes. Many, many minutes...

These are what I'm talking about. Even the Doans are horrible, though they are more consistent in their alloy so you are much less likely to get one that flat out won't burn no matter what.
http://www.coleman.com/product/magnesiu ... diLdn-9KSN

A good video on MFSs.
https://youtu.be/frDMAOlIGaY
I just finished packing several backpack, fanny packs etc with fire makers. Bic lighters (haven't used one yet), the ferro rods, matches, waterproof matches, windproof matches. You get the picture. I want to play with all this new stuff and see what I might like.
Fun isn't it? Very wise to learn as many methods with as many sources of ignition on as many tinders as you can. We never know when that knowledge will pay off. Plus it's fun to walk up to someone struggling and make it look super easy. ;-)
Last edited by DuxDawg on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 NASB
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#8

Post by DuxDawg » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:06 am

TWOKAG wrote:matches, bic, char cloth, 'flint and steel' or whatever the bars are made of these days.
The nomenclature sure can be confusing at times. Since you use "bars", I'd not feel I'm going out on a limb guessing you're using a ferrocerium firestarter, often simply called a ferro. Such as the LMF Army, UST StrikeForce, etc.

Adding to the confusion, some people call ferros "firesteels", "flints", "mischmetal", etc. Prior to a century ago, firesteel only referred to the metal striker used with flint (the rock) and char. Mischmetal is the original formulation and is comprised of several rare earth metals. Primarily cerium, lanthanum and praesidium. Mischmetal is still used as the "flint" in lighters to this day. Modern ferros are mischmetal that has had iron and magnesium added. The "hard" ferros, like the LMF Army, have more iron. The "soft" ferros (UST StrikeForce and SparkForce, Coghlans, etc) have more magnesium. Both types of ferros have all of the same metals in them. The differences in how they spark comes only from the amounts of each metal being different.

I use Flint and Steel, aka F&S, when referring to flint the rock and non stainless steel. Most people would say "high carbon" steel however stainless steel, aka SS, is high carbon steel so there again the terms used can be confusing. SS will throw hotter sparks than iron pyrites and iron pyrites will ignite char thus I suspect SS will also. I have not been successful with it yet though. SS is not easy to force sparks from and will never replace non SS as the strikers for F&S. I just like to see if I can get things to sit up and dance. Learn a lot along the way and am often pleasantly surprised when such knowledge turns out to be useful.

I use "char" rather than "charcloth" because there are hundreds of plants and fungi that can be charred. Also because charcloth is a very recent affectation. Cloth was very expensive prior to sixty years ago. Much too expensive to waste for starting fires! After any suitable plant or fungi part is properly charred they'll catch the sparks from F&S or a ferro or produce an ember when used with concentrated sunlight such as from a fresnel or other magnifying lens, soda can, water bottle, etc.

So far I have found 16 plant and fungi parts that will catch a spark from F&S without having been charred. I call them Natural Uncharred Tinders or NUTs for short.

Despite all that, your use of "flint and steel" in this case could be entirely defensible. Some refer to ferros as flints and ferros can be scraped with many metals, including steel. Indeed, ferros can be scraped with river clam shells, oyster shells, black or green mussel shells, glass, most rocks, sandpaper and most metal objects such as tin cans, spines or edges of knives, axes, saws, shovels, etc. All that is necessary for a scraper to throw sparks from a ferro is that it be harder than the ferro and have a reasonably sharp edge.
you can never have too many ways to start fire.
Yepper!
I did make a fire plunger this spring, but it was more work to make and use that a rod.
That has been my experience as well. Fire pistons (also called fire syringes) are very finicky. Mainly the gasket but also getting the tiny ember out in time and without putting it out. The biggest plus of fire pistons is you don't end up carrying several pounds of rocks on the hike out like we do with F&S and flint knapping!!
Since I get to plan what I put in my pack, why not take the easier one?
Makes sense to me!
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 NASB
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#9

Post by gmcpcs » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:17 pm

Good replies!

Myself, I nearly always take the ferro rod with the scraper attached. The last camping trip though, I let my son use it and he ground it down to nearly nothing...It still works, but I am afraid it will break soon.

I am a primitive fire nut. I have made fire with the bow drill a few times. I have tried a fire saw with yucca stems, and that is extremely difficult. I got smoke, but no ember.

I've done the flint and steel, with char cloth, and that is pretty awesome, although, like the previous poster said, it is a relatively new invention. (Like the ferro rods)

I was watching the "Alone" series, and one of those dudes LOST his ferro rod, and ended up tagging out because of it. I would definitely keep that thing on a string, or on the red or orange handle.

Recently I acquired a large chunk of fat wood, and will try to make a video in the future, if I can get my techy skills up to par, of how to cut that down and process it to carry for a backup. That stuff, along with the Maya dust, is really great. Just splitting it down into small pieces is immensely satisfying.

I did a post in this forum and on google + of another way to make char cloth out of the cotton make up wipes.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=129

Has anyone been successful with a hand spindle? How about that Creek Stewart fellow and the tampon rolling thing on a board?
Skip to about the 10:00 minute mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUWOLfCc74M


All said, I appreciate the conversations!

Take it easy,
gmcpcs
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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#10

Post by DuxDawg » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:50 pm

gmcpcs wrote: flint and steel, with charcloth...like the previous poster said, it is a relatively new invention. (Like the ferro rods)
I see what you are saying, that F&S with charCLOTH is recent. However, as that may confuse the uninitiated, please allow me to expound upon that a little.

A brief History of Fire lighting:

Pyrites and flint (rock on rock) to start fires has been used for more than 5,000 years.

There is much debate about many of the Friction Fire methods and when they originated. Most put the hand drill between P&F and F&S and the bow drill much later. The ancient Egytptians used F&S and Bow Drills.

Flint and Steel (rock on steel) has been used for more than 3,000 years. Indeed it was the dominant form of ignition for most of that time.

"Lighters" have been used for more than 550 years. (These were modified flintlock pistols.)

Spunks (slivers of wood dipped in molten sulfur. To light, touch to an ember.) have been used for more than 2,500 years.

Friction matches have been used for more than 190 years.

Strike anywhere matches have been used for more than 100 years.

Modern lighters have been used for more than 90 years.

Charring cloth was rare until about 60 years ago. Throughout history mostly people charred punkwood as tinder for F&S or used amadou (specific layer of a certain fungus).


Here are a couple of good articles on F&S. I know of many more, just ask! Everything Paul of JungleCraft is doing in his video, I have been doing with the natural materials in the Upper MidWest for many years.
http://www.junglecraft.com.my/index.php ... and-steel/
http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/surviva ... tions.html
http://www.practicalsurvivor.com/flintandsteel
Recently I acquired a large chunk of fat wood, and will try to make a video in the future
Looking forward to it.
along with the Maya dust,
Are you aware that Maya dust is fatwood? Fancy words = higher price. It is the chips, shavings and dust from cutting down fatwood to the desired dimensions. Basically selling their floor sweepings. Smart, that.
Has anyone been successful with a hand spindle?
Yes. Check out the David West channel on YouTube among many others for some great vids on it.
How about that Creek Stewart fellow and the tampon rolling thing on a board?
That is the Rudiger Fire Roll also called Wool Skating or Fire Skating. Prisoners in Nazi concentration camps are documented as having used this method. It may well be older than that. Rudiger Nehberg is the one who made it popular in modern times. In the last few years BoggySwampBeast, Edu Gordo, David West and a few others on YouTube have been making great strides using a wide variety of natural materials with this method. The Rudiger Fire Roll has been well documented to be very doable in an "into the woods with nothing" type scenario. I have been successful with it a few times.

Sadly, Creek is well known for stealing other people's ideas and presenting them as his own.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 NASB
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#11

Post by Abner » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:41 pm

A flick of my Bic never fails to get things going.

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#12

Post by Jnunniv » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:47 pm

I have a ferro rod for my alchy stove, but I always throw in a mini bic lighter.

I also use a combination of dryer lint, cotton balls, or store purchased "wet fire" depending on my mood and conditions.

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#13

Post by SGT Rock » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:11 am

One I learned from HOI a few years back and has been my goto starter for years now is toilet paper and olive oil. I always have toilet paper and I always have olive oil so no special stuff to pack.

Take a couple of squares of toilet paper and cup it in your hand. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce olive oil in the center, let it soak in a little. Place that in the center of where you plan to build the fire (I like to make a stick platform first) and then light the edge of the paper. It acts like a wick and burns the olive oil in a slow, long burn. And it smells great unlike some fire starters I have tried in the past.

For lighting fires I just use a scripto lighter. They still have the adjustable flames and do not have the drunk-proof switches.
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Antibiotic Ointment

#14

Post by Abner » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:50 am

I pack antibiotic ointment and a dozen or so cotton balls in a small baggie. The ointment has a petroleum base that has a good sustained burn. The cotton balls catch a flame easily. The two work together to start a fire in wet conditions. I'm a fanatic about using the ointment on the smallest cuts and it also is good as a skin moisturizer that can replace chap stick. My choice for ignition is a Bic disposable lighter. They are cheap and don't require any training.
Having said that, on a whim, I ordered one of those cheap, $4 Chinese mini-blow torches from Dx. It hasn't arrived, and I doubt if I would ever trust it to replace a Bic.

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Re: What's Your Method of Choice

#15

Post by TXyakr » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:42 am

When I am in a hurry and don't want to waste time messing about, i.e. it is raining or getting dark fast I use a liquid fuel lighter. But I have learned the hard way that these can easily get damaged or lost so always have one or more ferrocerium rods secured to my person. Minimum of 3" for practical use 5-6" for extended use, and 1" toggle attached to lace of my boots and water sandals. (Cheap from eBay, I like ones with holes so cord makes them harder to lose.) I practice with these often and use them when I am not in a hurry only need one inch of each from bottom if tinder bundle is good (dry and fine where spark lands).

Bow drill requires much more practice. I rarely use this in real world situations (i.e. camping rather than practicing in backyard) because it takes more time unless I have/can find great wood choices for parts: horse-weed spindle, cotton-wood fire-board, bearing stone, and some cordage that does not slip or break. Occasionally I will use this method in an actual camping situation if it is very dry not humid. If it is raining and cold, heck no! I am not a masochist. A little foolish but not a complete idiot!

I could ramble on about tinder bundles but most folks have already stopped reading this blah blah blah...

I recently had an hour+ long Skype interview with a producer from Discovery Channel about a new so called "Wilderness Survivor" show they are working on, different in many ways than all the others they have done before because it is based on events from the Bible. He told me he liked my skills, knowledge of the Bible and especially the long beard. Probably less than 0.1% I will get on the show if they ever make it and hopefully I will not make too big of a fool of myself.

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