flint and steel fire starting

Discussion in 'Survival Forums' started by poltiregist, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. poltiregist

    poltiregist G&G Evangelist

    I am curious as to , if any members other than myself occasionally use a flint rock and a striker for starting a fire . If the situation gets dire enough and long enough matches and fuel for Zippos and disposable lighters will be lost somewhere back in history .
    jwrauch, Dragunov, blaster and 4 others like this.
  2. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

    I like the FireSteel rods. They work very well.

    The Magnesium Block fire starters work pretty good, too, but they are a bit difficult at times to get to ignite.


    ALL of them are better than no fire starters, if you run out of matches and lighters.

  3. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    Got a few of these in the cars and packs. They work great; just gotta remember where you put them lol.

    One oft overlooked fire starter is a MAPP gas torch (or propane). Took me many more years than it should have to realize that using available tools wasn't 'cheating' (you can't cheat) in getting a fire started. And if used for that purpose a couple of the propane/MAPP tanks last essentially forever.
  4. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Used to use real flint and steel regularly back in the reenacting days. We used to have contests with other groups.

    It’s a useful skill that shouldn’t take someone too long to acquire if they’re serious enough.
  5. poltiregist

    poltiregist G&G Evangelist

    I have found having a good flint rock and good fire starting material to be one of the main keys to starting fires with a flint and steel . When I first started down that learning path it might would take me an hour to start a fire like that but now it usually takes less than one minute . It has become a hobby of mine to sit on the rock porch of my outdoor wood cook house and start a fire . Normally I try to pick out the worst fire starting material I have so as to make it more challenging .
    jwrauch and neophyte like this.
  6. Get Out

    Get Out G&G Evangelist

    I try to start the fire with a ferro rod first or a Magnesium Block, if it starts to look like it's not gonna happen, a splash of white gas will. I also spread out a couple of BIC lighters in my gear for a sure fire light.
    jwrauch, neophyte and poltiregist like this.
  7. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I have a few of them also in two emergency backpacks. Also multi tools and the water purifier straws in there.
    neophyte, Jaison and TXplt like this.
  8. Uncle Levi

    Uncle Levi G&G Regular

    I have several flint and steels, a good supply of char cloth and a fire piston.
  9. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Good char cloth or even good charcoal is critical, isn't it? Steel wool works pretty well. too.

    FWIW- a shoe polish or Altoids can works great for charring cloth.

    How many times have we seen some actor slap two rocks together over a pile of wood and poof!- instant fire.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
    poltiregist, neophyte and TXplt like this.
  10. Uncle Levi

    Uncle Levi G&G Regular

    As far as I'm concerned, you have to have char cloth or dryer lint soaked with rubbing alcohol. I like char cloth better though-it works with a fire piston. I use an Altoids can to make mine also.
    neophyte and Jaison like this.
  11. FWIW, I save old prescription containers and take a bit of petroleum jelly and roll it in with cotton balls. Get them good and small and stuff them into the container; when you need to light a fire fluff the cotton ball into a flammable fuzzball, you can use your preferred method to light the cotton but it works great, is very portable, and takes up little room in your kit.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    neophyte likes this.
  12. I picked up a couple of these but still haven't gotten any good with them. https://www.harborfreight.com/magnesium-fire-starter-66560.html

    If you don't mind the smell, and are lucky enough to have some, raw dirty wool that's still got a lot of the natural oil in it works. The big advantage is if it's still oily you don't have to worry about it getting soaked in the rain.
    neophyte likes this.
  13. Dragunov

    Dragunov G&G Evangelist

    I use a hand drill/fireboard, with shredded, birch bark, or a Ferro rod/back of my CS Mora knive, and petroleum soaked cottonballs.
    poltiregist and neophyte like this.
  14. Uncle Levi

    Uncle Levi G&G Regular

    Good idea !
    K75RT and neophyte like this.
  15. poltiregist

    poltiregist G&G Evangelist

    I prefer to practice for the apocalypse , for when char cloth material may be non-existent . So my usual fire starting material is charred wood from " punk wood " then a flame brought on up using a piece of a squirrel nest .
    neophyte likes this.
  16. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan G&G Evangelist

    I've got a couple tupperware boxes with flint and steels I've picked up, found, and made but they are really just toys. I've used them a few times, first just to prove to my self "if he can do it, I can do it". After that I've done it a few times just to show my own kids how and that it CAN be done as well as nephews.

    Beyond that I might do it on a bet but it is never going to be something I'm going to do every day so long as I've got matches, lighters, zippos, propane torches, gasoline, kerosene, coleman fuel, mag bars, and white gas stored up.
    neophyte likes this.
  17. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    you missed WD-40 and circuit cleaner.
    spritz flick squirt done.
  18. Uncle Levi

    Uncle Levi G&G Regular

    And fire pistons.
    neophyte likes this.
  19. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist

    I have not tried flint and steel - except in a butane lighter.
    But those magnesium blocks have worked really well for me.

    The first thing you do is make sure you have a real magnesium block and not one of those aluminum bar knock-offs that pretends to be a fire starter.
    Second thing is to toss out the little piece of hacksaw blade and just use a good knife to whittle a small pile of magnesium shavings and then strike the cerro rod.
    It helps if you have a dry cotton ball or piece of cloth to catch the shavings on but it isn't essential.

    (FYI - most of the fake magnesium blocks I have found are the ones that come with the little piece of hacksaw. China wants people to think they are getting a good value even though they cheated on the materials. The fake blocks are reportedly 6061 aluminum which technically contains magnesium - it's an aluminum/magnesium alloy. You can get them to ignite - eventually.
    So there is a modicum of truth in their advertising)
    neophyte and Jack Ryan like this.
  20. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    I used to, but I started using a sailor's/shepherd's lighter for everything but the grill a couple of years ago. I can refill it with a hank of cotton or hemp rope.

    neophyte, Jaison and Jack Ryan like this.