Fire Starting Gear

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JD Spydo
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Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:28 pm

Well on this Off Topic section of this great Forum we've talked a lot over the years about "prepper/survival" related subjects. And I'm happy to say that I've learned a lot over the years with the plethora of information that has been shared here. I've been studying survival type subjects for at least 20 solid years now and what I find interesting is that two of the most important skills of survival is to #1 have a method of producing safe, potable drinking water>> #2 having a proficient method of being able to start fires in the wilderness without the use of matches, lighters and most other modern convenient methods of starting fires.

With good information on those two subjects all the other vital survival information can be made easier if you've mastered those two skills. So on this thread I would like to explore and talk about all of these FIRE STARTING DEVICES you read about in backwoods and survival type magazines. In the past few years I've gotten a couple of "ferro rods" and one striking device and have had some dependable success.

A good friend of mine who I talk to on the phone a lot got himself one of those "fire piston" devices and he now swears by it. He claims it's the easiest way to produce a burning ember and easily start a fire in a bind. I'm planning on getting one of those
Fire Piston devices myself. OK I know I've only scratched the surface. So let's talk about the various types of fire starting gear. Now he said his fire piston is made by a company know as "Wilderness Solutions">> and over the past 3 years I've heard nothing good about them.

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odomandr
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby odomandr » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:19 pm

I don't mean to sully the thread I actually still have a ferro rod in the camp chuckbox. But lighters are so dependable a bic is about as good as it gets and will go from soaking wet to lighting again in most environments relatively quickly. They don't lose fluid like they used to and they are amazingly ubiquitous and affordable.

I'm not above a lighter and am curious if you also pitch a canvas a frame tent and haul the cast Iron out.

I do bring the cast iron and recently picked up a campmaid dutch oven setup for that use so I'm not just being a smart ***. After a recent trip where a coleman propane bottle accident left me without eyebrows, I decided I would reevaluate my gear because the new age super soft columbia fleece I was wearing that morning quickly melted into a hard scratchy get this off me piece of shirt.


My question after all this rambling is why and where do you draw the line for modern ease and convenience?
"Yeah? Well, you know, thats like uh, your opinion, man" - Lebowski

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby M Sea » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:20 pm

16369F23-8839-4969-AE4F-2B408EAB87AE.jpeg
I always keep cotton balls bathed in vaseline for a quick start. I use several fire starters but this one has been my go-to as of late.
:spyder:

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:57 pm

I've gotten lazy. I've found over 25lb of fatwood locally over the past few years and haven't even gone through half of it. I split a few chunks off with my knife and light them with a bic.

Image

I can do friction fires and spark fatwood shavings with ferro rods, but I figure why work harder than I have to.

If anyone here wants to try a chunk of fatwood I could mail them some.
Last edited by vivi on Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby Mushroom » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:59 pm

I don't go out of my way to do any "bush crafting" so I will typically just use a Bic lighter if I'm camping or backpacking. If I'm backpacking I will also carry a ferro rod as an emergency backup but have never actually "needed" it. Only time I have used a ferro rod was because I wanted to.
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JD Spydo
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:50 am

Mushroom wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:59 pm
I don't go out of my way to do any "bush crafting" so I will typically just use a Bic lighter if I'm camping or backpacking. If I'm backpacking I will also carry a ferro rod as an emergency backup but have never actually "needed" it. Only time I have used a ferro rod was because I wanted to.
Oh believe me I know where you're coming from. I've been at the deer hunting camps having so much to do at times>> when the last thing I wanted to do was to revert to ancient methods of fire starting.

But it never hurts to learn new skills. Even if you don't use those skills you still have that emergency knowledge in your brain just in case all else fails.

I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned using batteries as of yet. Good replies so far guys :)

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:02 am

odomandr wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:19 pm
I don't mean to sully the thread I actually still have a ferro rod in the camp chuckbox. But lighters are so dependable a bic is about as good as it gets and will go from soaking wet


My question after all this rambling is why and where do you draw the line for modern ease and convenience?
OK Brother I do indeed see what you're saying and I know where you're coming from.
Because I've been at deer hunting camps having so much to do just to keep sanity that at times that learning new skills seems annoying at best.>>> but it's never a bad idea to learn new skills even if at the time it seems like a PITA.

And I do sort of take issue with you about a Bic Lighter being dependable in the wet. Because Brother my best friend just gave me a device this past summer that blows Bic Lighters completely away. And this device will ignite a fire no matter how wet and dismal the conditions are. It's called the "SURVIVAL LIGHTER" and after my pal showed me how it worked I was mind blown and would take one of these over 20 Bic Lighters any day of the week. But even having this new toy I still want to know more methods and hardware to start fires with.

But Brother my whole point is this: Don't discard the idea of learning more survival skills. Especially in the areas of making water drinkable and knowing other methods of starting fires. Those are the two essential skills that will keep your body temperature at 98.6>> in other words those skills will keep you alive

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:13 am

vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:57 pm
I've gotten lazy. I've found over 25lb of fatwood locally over the past few years and haven't even gone through half of it. I split a few chunks off with my knife and light them with a bic.

I can do friction fires and spark fatwood shavings with ferro rods, but I figure why work harder than I have to.

If anyone here wants to try a chunk of fatwood I could mail them some.
Hey it never hurts to know about materials that ignite easily. That is part and parcel of fire starting skills and thus will make the chore a whole lot easier. And yes if had my choice I would also take the "easier" way out>> who wouldn't? But my whole thrust of this thread is to learn new skills and the hardware involved.

I've heard of this "fatwood" you're talking about and I think I might have something similar up here in Missouri. We have a species of pine that grows in parts of the Ozarks Mountains that we use to start fires with. I've heard it called "Short Leaf Pine" but I'm not 100% sure that is the textbook name for it. But you can take splinters and shreds of this wood and literally light it with no more than a wood match.

Having the right tinder is a big, big help and if any of you want to compile a list of ideal materials that can be used as easily ignitable tinder that would be cool.

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:26 am

odomandr wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:19 pm

My question after all this rambling is why and where do you draw the line for modern ease and convenience?
So you're the one that played the role of "Ernest T. Bass" on the old Andy Griffith Show :rolleyes: :D I had often wondered what ever happened to him :D

I don't draw any lines. If a guy has no interest in any of this>> well that's his or her decision. The reason I started the thread is because I've kind of made learning these older skills a hobby in a way. And I'm always wanting to know of more hardware and materials that will make these skills easier to implement.

And I get your point in a sense>> like what is the practicality of knowing these skills? But you could also make the point of why any of us on this forum would be so obsessed with knives and all of the aspects of the making of them and the materials that go into making them when you actually could just get by with some second rate piece of bargain basement junk you can get at Rip-Mart. >> The answer>> Because there are some of us that are curious and want more knowledge and want to improve in that area of endeavor.

But it's all GOOD Brother and you tell Sherriff Taylor I said HELLO :D

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby VooDooChild » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:28 am

Ive got a ferro rod laying around just to have it. Some storm proof matches as well.
A small magnifying glass as well.

But I agree with a cheap bic lighter. Maybe get one of those storm proof lighters that wont get blown out by the wind and are water tight if you were worried about that.

I dont ever want to be in a situation where my only choice is a friction fire.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby ChrisinHove » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:35 am

As a cadet we used wool from fences as tinder - which is fine if you’re in in sheep country!

Otherwise, I’ve had enough piezo igniters fail over the years to learn to keep a Ferro rod igniter with every propane stove. If that fails too, I’ll just go to the pub

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:45 am

VooDooChild wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:28 am
Ive got a ferro rod laying around just to have it. Some storm proof matches as well.
A small magnifying glass as well.

But I agree with a cheap bic lighter. Maybe get one of those storm proof lighters that wont get blown out by the wind and are water tight if you were worried about that.

I dont ever want to be in a situation where my only choice is a friction fire.
Glad you brought that up about "magnifying glass">> The sun has to be out for them to work. But if the Sun is out they do real nicely. So it has it's limitations. It's kind of funny because when I was a kid about 12 years old me and a buddy got sent to the principal's office for starting a fire in the playground with a big magnifying glass I brought to school that day :D

It's funny now remembering it but back then you would think me and my buddy robbed a bank or local store the way the teacher and principal acted. They were really ticked off in bad way :o

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby vivi » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:18 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:13 am
vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:57 pm
I've gotten lazy. I've found over 25lb of fatwood locally over the past few years and haven't even gone through half of it. I split a few chunks off with my knife and light them with a bic.

I can do friction fires and spark fatwood shavings with ferro rods, but I figure why work harder than I have to.

If anyone here wants to try a chunk of fatwood I could mail them some.
Hey it never hurts to know about materials that ignite easily. That is part and parcel of fire starting skills and thus will make the chore a whole lot easier. And yes if had my choice I would also take the "easier" way out>> who wouldn't? But my whole thrust of this thread is to learn new skills and the hardware involved.

I've heard of this "fatwood" you're talking about and I think I might have something similar up here in Missouri. We have a species of pine that grows in parts of the Ozarks Mountains that we use to start fires with. I've heard it called "Short Leaf Pine" but I'm not 100% sure that is the textbook name for it. But you can take splinters and shreds of this wood and literally light it with no more than a wood match.

Having the right tinder is a big, big help and if any of you want to compile a list of ideal materials that can be used as easily ignitable tinder that would be cool.
Yep, sounds like similar stuff.

I think knowing how to use ferro rods and create friction fires with no tools at all are great skills to have. While I might not use either method very often, its one of those things I plan to pass down to future generations.

In general, knowing how to do things the old / hard way is good knowledge to have. Modern conveniences are great and I use them every day, but its good to not depend on them.

If by some crazy chance I'm out in the woods and need to sharpen my knife on a river rock, I know I can. If I need to make my own bread, I know I can. If I need to make fire by running sticks together, I know what materials to look for. If I need to navigate using the stars and sun, I'll probably get lost, but I'll have a decent idea of which direction I'm going in the process :D

Learning these things gives one a greater appreciation of how life was lived in years gone by.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby Naperville » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:24 pm

vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:57 pm
I've gotten lazy. I've found over 25lb of fatwood locally over the past few years and haven't even gone through half of it. I split a few chunks off with my knife and light them with a bic.
I must be an expert at using a ferro rod by now. I've watched more than 500 YouTube videos on the subject and think I can handle it. :D

But I do have one question kimosabi, I've seen fatwood in many videos, and it's been discussed hundreds of times....but they never mention what tree/plant it comes from.

Is fatwood a tree that is in decay, and dead for many years? What is it and where can I find 25lbs of it!
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby Accutron » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:32 pm

Fatwood is just the heart of a pine tree down by the stump, where all of the resin collects. It can be from any species of pine that produces a high amount of resin.

I believe I advocated for Bic lighters the last time this subject came up, but there is something to be said for refillable windproof butane lighters, particularly if you fill them with isobutane instead of n-butane. Isobutane has about a 50% higher vapor pressure, and its boiling temperature is about 12C lower than n-butane, which means your lighter will work below freezing.

I currently keep a Windmill AWL-10 in my bag, along with a Colibri Afterburner triple torch lighter, both filled with Neon brand isobutane. The AWL-10 has a platinum catalyzer and is fairly wind resistant (and waterproof), while the Afterburner has a much higher flame output but zero wind resistance.

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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby Naperville » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:04 pm

@Accutron to the rescue!

Thanks! I'll be looking for pine trees locally here. There just might be some!!!
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby vivi » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:08 pm

Naperville wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:24 pm
vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:57 pm
I've gotten lazy. I've found over 25lb of fatwood locally over the past few years and haven't even gone through half of it. I split a few chunks off with my knife and light them with a bic.
I must be an expert at using a ferro rod by now. I've watched more than 500 YouTube videos on the subject and think I can handle it. :D

But I do have one question kimosabi, I've seen fatwood in many videos, and it's been discussed hundreds of times....but they never mention what tree/plant it comes from.

Is fatwood a tree that is in decay, and dead for many years? What is it and where can I find 25lbs of it!
When a pine family tree dies and the bulk falls off, look for the standing stumps. Knock off therotted outer wood and the wood inside is soaked in pine resin. It has a distinct smell, and if you break off small chunks it lights directly from a lighter. One stump can easily net you 20+lbs.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby Naperville » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:16 pm

vivi wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:08 pm
When a pine family tree dies and the bulk falls off, look for the standing stumps. Knock off therotted outer wood and the wood inside is soaked in pine resin. It has a distinct smell, and if you break off small chunks it lights directly from a lighter. One stump can easily net you 20+lbs.
Thanks Vivi!

I need to go over to the forests nearby and see what I can find.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby VooDooChild » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:00 pm

Fatwood aka kindling aka lightered wood. Its pretty easy to come by in the south.
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Re: Fire Starting Gear

Postby vivi » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:32 pm

VooDooChild wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:00 pm
Fatwood aka kindling aka lightered wood. Its pretty easy to come by in the south.
Sure is. Used to live up by the Great Lakes and rarely ever saw any. Moved down to the south and its everywhere.

I do miss the snow though. And Great Lakes Brewing Company :)
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