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#185606 - 10/16/09 06:56 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: boatman]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: boatman
Four Seasons Survival Gear has reintroduced their aluminium Spark Light.

Great find! Here is the direct link.

Though, I've saved $18 by drilling and tapping my plastic spark light. It accepts regular flints easily now.

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#185622 - 10/16/09 08:17 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Alex]
Halcon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 61
And the wind also just causes the steel wool to glow hotter. In other words, it doesn't go out like a flame does.

I have one of the original Brass Sparklights. The new ones are aluminum, but just as nice. I do beleive, but I could be wrong, at this point, the new metal ones are exclusive to Survival Resources.

Ohhh yeah! Steel wool lights real easy with a sparklight, hehehe!

Alan

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#185625 - 10/16/09 08:57 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Halcon]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
dweste,
thanks. so how much wool do you typically use as a fire starter?

Halcon (or anyone else),
re: my questions above...

does starting with a battery damage or drain the batteries? does it matter whether you use rechargeable or alkaline batteries?

how do you know when the wool is lit if there's no flame? do you just keep sparking until the steel is glowing?

and since it doesn't go out like a flame, how do you safely extinguish it?

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#185639 - 10/16/09 09:57 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Y_T_]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Drain battery, yes. Damage, I do not know but doubt it.

I use a loose golf ball size wad of steel wool on the rare occasions I use it as a fire starter. It burns itself out quickly, just make sure you put it down on a fire-proof surface -or just into the fire.

You will see the steel wool begin to glow orange-red and shrivel up as it "burns" right away. the orange-red is like filaments in old tube transistors or electric heater elements. Try it once and you will get it right away [do not hold the steel wool when you try this].

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#185665 - 10/17/09 01:58 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: dweste]
Halcon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 61
Undoubtedly, it can damage the battery, since you are shorting it out. Practice with a nine volt battery. Just touch the battery terminals to the steel wool.

Make sure it is completely out. Even after seemingly stomping it out, any slight breeze can reignite it if not snuffed out completely.

Steel wool is no joke try it and you will see

Alan

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#185702 - 10/17/09 05:31 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: Halcon]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
thanks to you both! I wanted to get some more info on that before I tried it out so I didn't ruin some good batteries or set the neighborhood on fire. wink

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#185737 - 10/18/09 01:34 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
About once a year our Sacramento Tracking And Wilderness Training group assembles every spark and ember creating device and every type of tinder we can find and have at fire-making. Different types of batteries, matches, lighters, bow and hand drills, flint and steel, ferrosteel, etcetera are turned on steel wool, lint, petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls, hemp twine fluff, dried leaf and grass, flares, fire gels, tinder pellets packs, ecetera. It takes most of a day to go through most of the variations. So far the Fire Department has not been called.

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#185746 - 10/18/09 03:28 AM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: dweste]
UpstateTom Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/09
Posts: 165
Loc: Rens. County, NY
I have a couple of spark lites, and I like them a lot. I'm not sure if I'd like the aluminum, especially if it were cold, which is usually when I'd expect to want a fire the most. The obvious advantage is one handed use, but it's also handy because the sparking motion is less likely to cause you to bump into the tinder, moving it around.

Today I bought a roll of jute twine. $1.50 for 150 feet. It's not as nice as cotton string as far as string goes, but it lights way easier. So far this is the only solid household product I've been able to light with a spark. (Liquid fuels are easy, as are the commercial tinder tabs that come with the spark lite, and magnesium shavings.) At $.01 a foot, I now have little excuse to not have tinder everywhere.




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#185870 - 10/19/09 02:34 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: UpstateTom]
T_Co Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 184
Loc: Nebraska
Does anyone know where to get a metal sparklight?

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#185883 - 10/19/09 05:10 PM Re: Fire starters which one is the best? [Re: T_Co]
Meadowlark Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado

Just thought I'd echo the post about using too much petroleum jelly: it really is a pain to get going using traditional sparking methods. What had happened was that I'd stored the cotton balls in a small ziploc bag, which was then packed too tightly into a backpack. The cotton fibers became completely smooshed and saturated with the jelly, thus becoming quite useless in a barren area with no other easily available tinder. If I'd been in a survival situation, I would've perhaps used the packet of tissues in my pocket, ripped up part of a cotton bandanna, or else shredded up some inner bark from the wood with my knife.

However I wasn't in a survival situation and had brought along my lighter. Moral of the story: even with good fire starting tools and techniques, always (and I mean ALWAYS) have a backup.
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