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#184991 - 10/12/09 05:32 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: Mnt_Man
I am checking out some different fire starters like RAT Cutlery Strike force & Blast match and wanted to see what kind you folks like and why.


Mnt_Man, perhaps, you can make a new thread with the poll engine (when creating the new thread use the Poll Manager option under the message text) to consolidate the collective wisdom from this one. This way you will see at least what's the most popular fire starting method among the crowd. smile

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#185211 - 10/13/09 10:57 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: UpstateTom]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: UpstateTom
As finely as I could shave wood (pine), I could not get it to light with a spark. Same goes for a pile of shavings from the router, which surprised me because they are very fine.


I agree that lighting shavings using sparks is sometimes tricky. But it depends a lot on what kind of sparks are we talking about. For example a spark from Spark-lite is too small to light almost any wood shavings. However if you take some big ferr. rod like Strike Force and strike it really hard you get burning pieces of ferrocerium that keep burning for quite some time on top of the tinder and it makes a difference. I tried it with pine (Maya sticks) shavings and it does wonders. Though the pine wood shouldn´t be fresh. I have read that a fresh pine wood doesn´t burn well.

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#185378 - 10/15/09 05:44 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: raptor]
Halcon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 61
I love 000 or 0000 seel wool. It is the most reliable source of tinder and the one that can be lit the most ways.

It will charge with a battery. everyone here has a cell phone. the battery works well to ignite the steel wool, unless it's an i phone. Camera batteries and radio batteries are also a source of ignition. It will ignite with a magnifying glass, it will ignite with sparks from a ferro rod, or even a lighter with no fuel.

Steel wool is very inexpensive and found at all hardware stores.

Once lit, it will continue to glow in even high wind conditions. In fact, it makes it hotter.

... Just don't store your steel wool in the same container you do your batteries. Yep! I've seen it done several times and each time it wasn't pretty.

the ferro rod is very easy to use one-handed and even teach the one-handed method in my courses... No hands is another story, LOL! In combination with Steel Wool the ferro rod is even more of a guarantee then VIC balls or tinder-quik.

What steel wool won't do, rather rarely does, is burst into flame. Instead you have a big, very hot glowing ember ready to ignite whatever comes in contact with it.

Alan

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#185427 - 10/15/09 06:02 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Halcon]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Europe
I have read quite a lot about steel wool but never tried one. Reading your post reminded me that I should finally get it and try it out. It sounds like very interesting option. And the fact that you can start a fire using accumulator if you have the steel wool is kind of cool smile.

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#185474 - 10/16/09 02:00 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: raptor]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
When it's brand new it works Okay. But after you purposelessly handle it in your bare hands it seems to absorb sweat/oil and can't catch a spark anymore.

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#185502 - 10/16/09 03:38 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: MostlyHarmless]
haertig Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2201
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
I'd like to tell a little military story fit for this topic...

That reminds me of a TV show, "The Unit", where one of the guys crash landed in a helicopter. He was busily working away with a firebow (or some other primitive method - I forget which) trying to start his fire. Dude! Look over your shoulder. Right behind you is a burning helicopter! Why don't you go take your stick and poke it in there to get it lit?!

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#185514 - 10/16/09 04:45 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Alex]
Halcon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 61
Alex, interesting. I've never had that problem and my hands really sweat. Of course, there really is no need to over handle it. You pull it out of its container and zap it with a battery, No fuss no muss.

Another interesting thing I demonstrate is submerging steel wool in water. I take it out, squeeze it out, and wrap it in my shirt for a few seconds to help draw out whatever moisture is left and zap it with a battery. It works.

Alan

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#185516 - 10/16/09 04:55 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Halcon]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: Halcon
I love 000 or 0000 seel wool. It is the most reliable source of tinder and the one that can be lit the most ways.
thanks for the info, I'd never heard of that before. smile

some questions:

how exactly do you use the battery to ignite the wool? and does this have any detrimental effects on the battery itself? are rechargeables affected differently than standard?

how much wool do you use? like the whole pad or just a tuft pulled off?

you mentioned it can be ignited a number of ways. how do you know when it's ignited since there's no flame?

it sounds like it burns for a very long time, how do you safely extinguish it? or does it not out-burn the fire itself?

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#185518 - 10/16/09 05:08 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Y_T_]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Almost any shower of sparks or ember will ignite fine steel wool. A brief touch of both contacts of an electrical source to a wad steel wool closes the circuit and sends a current through the steel wool which causes it to "burn." The steel wool glows a highly visible orange-red as it quickly "burns away" without flame. The steel wool is consumed very quickly, but a big wad is consumed slower than a small bunch.

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#185600 - 10/16/09 06:23 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Mnt_Man]
boatman Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 424
Loc: Michigan
Four Seasons Survival Gear has reintroduced their aluminium Spark Light.This is the same maker of the original Spark Lite except one is plastic(economical,disposable)the other is metal with replacable flints.These are a great quality item that is prized by those who have them.They are listed for $18.00 on their web site.
Is the Spark Lite the best fire starter? For a one handed fire starter the answer is YES!This is not just my opinion either.Backpacker magazine has even stated this.It's size and negligible weight makes it to easy not to have it on you all day-every day.A metal one is just too good to be true.
(Not afiliated with this company Blah-blah-blah etc.)

BOATMAN
John

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