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#183686 - 09/30/09 08:28 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: EchoingLaugh]
Basecamp Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PNW
Well, I haven't seen a road flare mentioned yet. I have used them several times over the years in the snow and found that about a 6" section will get the wood started.

Was the thermite mentioned in jest? Thinking about the most compact, hottest way to start a fire a while back, I looked at thermite... then I looked at what ignites thermite. Research "Microfuse" 'it is somewhat new, and the formula originated from MircoTek'. It is easilly home-made, but like any pyrotechnic, caution is advised.

And, for the record, I have at least the items mentioned here (except the LMF Fire Steel and Potassium Permanganate & Glycerine) but usually use strike-anywhere matches.

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#183687 - 09/30/09 09:05 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
I'm not a fan of magnesium blocks because of the difficulty in scraping it off, stopping it from blowing away, and then igniting it. It's hard to do with one hand. If you manage it, the magnesium doesn't burn for long anyway.

I'm also not a fan of matches as they are bulky for the number of lights you get, and in my experience they don't age well. Plus they are surprisingly hard to use - give an average Joe 3 matches and he'll really struggle to light a fire with them, especially outdoors.

My preferred methods are:
  • Butane cigarette lighter. Doesn't have to be BIC. I've not found a liquid fuel lighter I like enough to carry.
  • Spark-lite. It's what I've had the most success with, given good tinder.
  • Ferro rod. Simplest and therefore most reliable, but hard to use one-handed.
What ever you use, good tinder really helps. Nowadays when I'm camping I use a combination of lighter and tinder-card. (Tinder-card isn't ideal, because it's not water-proof, but I happen to have masses of it spare.)
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#183693 - 09/30/09 10:06 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
I wouldn't worry abnout the actual lighter.

But be careful about your tinder.

Cotton wool/vaseline balls, Tinder-Quick and lengths of rubber tyer. Esit cubs and the like.

Put a selection in a smokers oilskin. that will give you a serious fire lighting kit. If you can't do it with that lot than your either a deserving Darwin Award or under water!
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

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#183696 - 09/30/09 10:24 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Basecamp]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Basecamp
Well, I haven't seen a road flare mentioned yet. I have used them several times over the years in the snow and found that about a 6" section will get the wood started.




I have seen several "campfires" started with road flares. The "camp site" numbers the state used to identify them usually started with the letter I.

Kind like I-5 or I-10 or I-35. In fact, I almost started one on the I-35 campsite my self by accident in 1992 or 93.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#183699 - 09/30/09 11:00 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Desperado]
Mnt_Man Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/29/09
Posts: 2
Thanks for al the suggestions, I was asking about back-up starters. I have lighters and wind proof matches I have used wetfire tinder a number of times. I am just curious about the experiences some of you have had. I have used Mag. blocks and found that as long as its not windy and you have a good file they work rather easily.

Thanks again for all your ideas and for the warm welcome.

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#183700 - 09/30/09 11:43 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Anybody tried the new metal spark lites yet?
_________________________
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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#183701 - 09/30/09 11:47 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Stu]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Not Yet
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#183705 - 09/30/09 12:18 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: Mnt_Man
.... I have used Mag. blocks and found that as long as its not windy and you have a good file they work rather easily.

Thanks again for all your ideas and for the warm welcome.


Then you should be sheltering your fire a bit. Wind screen if windy, roof if raining.
My problem with a lot of the primitive methods is if it is damp out they are much harder to make work.
Dry tinder matters a lot.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#183732 - 09/30/09 03:54 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Stu]
Basecamp Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: Stu
Anybody tried the new metal spark lites yet?


This one? http://www.tadgear.com/shop.php?id=503

Yep, very solid. It "spins" in the hand, had to get used to it, also, you may want to put some light-weight loc-tite on the flint screw - it tends to back out in your pocket.

Other than that, really cool, solid and classy!

P.S. Look at the "product views" to see what the groove is for.

I think you could turn it into one of these just as easily:
http://goinggear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=10


Edited by Basecamp (09/30/09 04:05 PM)

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#183751 - 09/30/09 05:58 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
Magnesium block + ferrocerium rod
- not ideal in every situation but overall good solution
- an advantage is you always carry tinder (not long burning tinder but at least some tinder)
- at first I didnīt like it and almost ditched it but I gave it another try and now itīs my weapon of choice

Plastic Spark-Lite
- it seems itīs quite popular here but I have the opposite opinion
- for me it just didnīt work at all, it was very unreliable
- after several promising tests it suddenly failed to light even fluffed-up Tinder Quick
- itīs very small and therefore very EDC friendly but at the same time it can be its drawback (for example if you need to light a fire with numb fingers)
- the advantage is definately one-handed operation
To be fair thereīs possibility that I had just bad luck and received a bad piece. If you decide to buy it test it a lot.

Strike Force
- excellent firestarter but quite heavy and bulky for some people
- another all-in one solution (thereīs a compartment for tinder)
- I would probably replace the default tinder in the compartment with something more reliable (there were some issues with the tinder)

Swedish FireSteel (LMF etc.)
- reliable classic
- it comes in various sizes
- no tinder compartment so you have to carry it separately or attach it somehow
- itīs my EDC (on my carabiner)

But like someone before me said itīs best to try out several types if you can and see for yourself. Not every solution suits everyone.

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