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#171896 - 04/23/09 05:26 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: billvann]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Magnesium applied in combination with other tinders works well

if the shavings remain on the surface (think sparklie donuts.)

Again, every ignition and tinder system is fighting the same foe

that would keep us cold; rain,snow, wind, darkness, fatique, reduced

coordination from the cold, fear. I still argue it's the second

step, primary fuel that is actually more critical. Like carrying

water, we are compelled by simple wieght and volume to carry

enough to see us through to a more secure resource. My SPARKLITE

and tinder tab'passes the torch' to a handfull of fatwood. And,

newly included in my german daysack in the two side pockets that

never held my water bottles quite right,6 splits of @ 8" x 2"x2"

seasoned oak now reside.

At my age, I can still outwalk most anybody ( it's called

dawdling a lot and passing on those click counting cammie

commando 'worry beads' sold by the soldier of misfortune crowd.)

I sit down to make camp, I don't want to get cute with woo woo

firemaking using ice lens by moonlight, or expect Mother

Nature to have a cord of firewood at hand, happy if there is

some wet stuff I can dry sufficiently with my own supply.

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (04/23/09 05:32 PM)

#171905 - 04/23/09 05:54 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: billvann]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
The DOAN is a good tool. Compact and of good quality. I have used and like them.They are my second choice after a ferro rod. However I think that many people are put off by the instructions on the packaging.

The dig a hole. Scrape shaving into a hole etc instructions.

Doesn't work. At least not reliably.

I carry a ferro rod with me 24/7. 365 days of the year. Either a scout sized model or a full sized rod. For a practiced individual like myself it's the best choice. However I always carry artifical tinder. Normally that is 3 tinder-quick in a pill fob. I also carry either wet-fire cubes or some form of esbit cube. Lot of BTU's in a very small package. Only reliable method of igniting damp kindling that I know of or am willing to bet my life on.

One of my basic assumptions (which thus far has been proven correct)is that you will either have the leasure to find suitable tinder, carve feathersticks, baton some wood etc or you will not. In other words it's raining/snowing and the temperature is going through the floor. You either get a fire going in the next couple of minutes or you die. Chances are, unless you have forward planned and carried tinder with you, that it's going to be the latter.

Frankly, your better off treating the DOAN as a high quality emergency ferro rod with a magnesium grip. If you have the leasure to use the magnesium, that's a bonus.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#171906 - 04/23/09 06:01 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: billvann]
raptor Offline

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: billvann
BTW, it's not just an accelerant, magnesium burns super hot, much hotter than any other tinder you would carry. That's why it's effective in igniting your kindling. Magnesium ignites at
473 °C, 883 °F. and burns at 2200 °C, 4000 °F

You are right, thatīs good thing about magnesium, however at the same time it burns for a short time. Several minutes of scraping the Coghlanīs block gives me a flame lasting around 3 seconds. Thatīs why I use it almost exclusively as an accelerator. If everything is dry, the mag. shavings alone suffice. But if I need to dry some wet wood up I will have to scrape the mag. for several tens of minutes to get a long lasting flame.

However Izzy recently posted a thread about firestarters where the ferro. rod is glued to a soft magnesium cylinder and from the demostration video it looked very promising - several strokes with small saw generated big pieces of magnesium that then burned for a long time ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzkJQZFyfVQ ). Some day I will have to get it to see it for myself. Have you already tested it, Izzy?

I would say one canīt go wrong with magnesium block, you have ferro. rod plus the magnesium. If you donīt like (scraping) magnesium, you can just leave it there and use only the ferro. rod with tinder you carry for it. If you happen to be without tinder or just need an accelerator for something that is not fibrous etc., you can use the magnesium. So itīs quite good backup tinder/accelerator thatīs always with you if you carry the mag. firestarter. Therefore I think mag. firestarters have advantage over the classic ferro. firestarters like Swedish Firesteel because of this "layer" of backup. Just my perspective. (Note that I am not comparing mag. firestarter vs. lighter/whatever, just magnesium firestarter vs. classic sheer ferro. rod.)
Actually I have been thinking about chipping a big piece of magnesium off the Coghlanīs block and putting it into the Strike Force compartment along with other tinder (instead of the WetFire). This way I would have more options, as far as tinder is concerned.

Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
Back in my "earlier days" I dropped a DOAN into a campfire and it resulted in a 35 acre wildfire that engulfed all of our pasture land we owned. The fire department and my family were not happy.

What exactly happened? I canīt imagine how dropping mag. block into a campfire would result in a wildfire. Unless it exploded or something like that smile.

#171984 - 04/25/09 09:42 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
erehwon Offline

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Keystone State
Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe

One of my basic assumptions (which thus far has been proven correct)is that you will either have the leasure to find suitable tinder, carve feathersticks, baton some wood etc or you will not. In other words it's raining/snowing and the temperature is going through the floor. You either get a fire going in the next couple of minutes or you die. Chances are, unless you have forward planned and carried tinder with you, that it's going to be the latter.

Yes, this is good stuff. And my defense of the Doan, isn't really that it is the best fire starter ever, but that it is cheap, and a good thing to have around.

Now lets talk about magnesium with other tinder. I've lit a nest of soaked pine needles with mag flakes judiciously sprinkled within.

Magnesium isn't a tinder. But it makes other things viable tinder. If I was alone in the woods in a Bad Time, I'd gather bark, Leaves (bad tinder), twigs, and anything else I laid my eyes on. They are all wet.

Most of them will burn if exposed to a magnesium burn, and it gets me to a wood fire.

in any survival situation, the third thing I want to do is have a sustainable wood fire.

And I don't care if it is raining, hailing, deep horor, for survival, you require a sustainable wood fire.

#171992 - 04/25/09 03:50 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: erehwon]
EdD270 Offline

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 94
Loc: White Mountains of Arizona
I like mag. bars and have them in several personal and vehicle kits. I've not got the experience of many on this forum, but am surprised by some of the comments in this thread, many of the "problems" are easily dealt with by fairly obvious solutions.
Sparking Mag bars dull knife blade? Don't use the blade, use the spine of the blade, nice square corners on the back of the blade will generate great sparks.
Shavings too fine? cut off bigger ones. Use a saw or file of a multi-tool, or knife blade to shave big pieces. I find the saw blade is ideal, give bigger pieces and faster, too.
Wind blows them away? Put shavings on a piece of duct tape and stick it to the tinder, bark or whatever. Or put mag shavings on a bandaid from your FAK, and maybe some PJ on the cotton pad, stick it to the bark or other tinder. Duct tape and bandaids burn well, too.
Can't use it one handed? I've practised, and found ways to do so. Not easy, but can be done with effort.
I think the mag bar properly used is a great fire starting aid. As always we should carry at least three different ways to start fires, and know how to improvise others if necessary. IMHO the mag bar should be one of the three.
Just my thoughts.
"Most men take the straight and narrow. A few take the road less traveled. I chose to cut through the woods." ~Unknown~

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