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#270914 - 07/21/14 05:34 PM How Much Is Too Much?
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
While designing a kit to fit a BDU leg pocket I was struck by how much Fire making tools I had included on a paper. There was a lot, matches, mini bic, firesteel, sparklite and a lot more, including various tinder's. So, I thought I'd ask here, how much is too much? Obviously if it takes room away from other valuable items, but assuming you have the space.

Another question is, what can anyone tell me about fire cards? I have seen them mentioned, but have found virtually no information on the net. Can survival information be printed on them? Or written on them with no loss of performance. Any info at all will be appreciated.

Thanks

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#270915 - 07/21/14 05:41 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2743
Loc: USA
Making fire can be really hard to do when you need it the most. My personal opinion is if you're going to duplicate only a single thing in your kit, it should be fire making tools. I'd want to have at least two or three at the minimum.

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#270916 - 07/21/14 05:58 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Assuming were talking wilderness scenarios here, when it comes to on-the-person kit, I usually only carry a fire-steel (on my knife sheath) and some PJ cotton balls. I might also have a mini-BIC in a pocket (especially when camping). If my gear for a given activity doesn't accommodate a belt knife well, it might end up in the pack so I'll usually only have a mini-BIC and maybe the PJ cotton balls (maybe not) on my person.

In my backup/emergency kit which rides in my pack, I'll also have a Spark-Lite & some Tinder-Quik tabs, some UCO storm-proof matches and another mini-BIC. This provides, in my opinion at least, a decent amount of capability/redundancy without much bulk or weight.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#270917 - 07/21/14 05:59 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: chaosmagnet]
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
...if you're going to duplicate only a single thing in your kit, it should be fire making tools...


I think many would argue something that cuts is as important as something that makes fire.

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#270922 - 07/21/14 06:58 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
Thanks everyone.

I was raised on the belief of having three different methods of making fire. I went far beyond that in my design. It's just on paper at this point so I can be very flexible right now.

I always have pocket items for survival when I leave the road, knife, matches, lighter, compass etc. This in addition to a survival kit and whatever my daily gear is.

Cutting is another area I went heavy on, skeleton knife, razor and x-acto blades, possibly a small but sturdy folder or micro multi tool.

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#270923 - 07/21/14 07:05 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: yee]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2743
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: yee
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
...if you're going to duplicate only a single thing in your kit, it should be fire making tools...


I think many would argue something that cuts is as important as something that makes fire.


I always carry redundant cutting tools, but if I was stripping down to the barest minimum weight or space, I would carry one really good knife and three ways of making fire. But that's my opinion, and goodness knows I'm far from the most qualified here.

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#270926 - 07/21/14 07:20 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
I think I'll have room,if not then the first thing to go will be rations. I can live a lot longer without a Pure Protein bar then I can without a fire. The skeleton knife is a very good quality one.

I've found that many people on here are very knowledgable and have practical experience. A far cry from some forums I've visited where they had mainly book and second hand knowledge.

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#270929 - 07/21/14 08:11 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
I have decided that for on-body "1st line" carry, I will have 2 independent firestarting tools and 2 forms of bombproof tinder.

Firestarters:
- a mini Bic set up like this. I make the inner tube carrier longer to protect more of the lighter and provide more tinder (see below).
- a compact ferro rod with a high magnesium content and a small striker

Tinder:
- some Tinder Quik tabs
- the bicycle inner tube I use to waterproof the mini Bic. Yes this requires an open flame.

I believe this setup to be extremely capable while being very light and compact. I think packing 4+ fire methods is overdoing it. When I see guys toting antiquated tools like char cloth and flint/steel sets I frankly think it is ridiculous. They have passed from smartly applying available technology into the realm of history re-enactors and fantasy. It's good to know the old ways but I'm not going to carry an old tool that weighs 10 times the modern tool but offers 1/10 the performance.

If they want to play-act like it's still 1823 then fine, but they shouldn't pretend that they're actually being reasonable.

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#270932 - 07/21/14 08:30 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 832
Loc: Southern California
More then a while back, I took a Sierra Club field course (Nature Knowledge or WBC) and they had invited a couple of SERE instructors to guest lecture/demonstrate. One of the things I remember from their lectures was the need for at least three cutting tools, three ways to make fire, and you can't have too much cordage.

The most reliable way I've found to make fire is synthetic tinder and windproof/water proof matches followed by ferrorod, followed by a flint (not piezo) Bic lighter.

EDIT: Back when I backpacked, I carries matches in a rigid case (crush resistant), SAK/MT, compass, whistle, pen light w/batteries, cordage, and space/all weather blanket for shelter in a 1L pouch. The pouch was either in an outside pocket of my main pack, clipped to my waist for river crossings in the event I had to ditch the main pack, or stuffed into a fanny pack for around camp and day hikes. I later added a 1/2L Platypus collapsible water bottle, potable Aqua tablets, and a mini-map to the pouch.


Edited by Mark_R (07/21/14 08:42 PM)
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#270934 - 07/21/14 09:27 PM Re: How Much Is Too Much? [Re: Deathwind]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
Great info Glock and Mark.
Thanks.
I kind of like the idea of a fanny pack survival kit for around camp and crossings.Right now I'm looking at the BDU unit because it should be so hard to lose. I'll be adding velcro to the pocket flap and with two buttons it should be secure.

I absolutely agree about the old fashioned methods and tinder. Char cloth with a flint chip and a steel striker, fat wood, not for me. Might be interesting in a campground or backyard but when I leave the pavement I want modern, surefire (no pun intended) tools and tinder.

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