Having the ability to light a fire is a very important outside skill. In an emergency or wild country survival situation, it’s a skill that would, under certain circumstances, save your life. This means many folks who visit wild country want to carry with them a reliable system of igniting a fire. Amongst the techniques available is the utilising of sparks. There are nonetheless , many sparking devices available. Some are very modern, while some are more traditional. Here we look at the assorted types available.
The little strikers that usually feature a section of hack-saw blade as a striker are useable and were for a number of years included in military survival kits. They can be exceedingly valuable in creating a fire if you happen to have an acceptable tinder. The sparks created are quite diffuse and go in all directions. It’s hard to direct them into one spot, so you want some fluffy tinder such as teased-out cotton balls or a similar natural tinder like the seeds from Cat-tail, Typha sp.
The old fashioned flint-and-steel strikers, called a “strike-a-light” are good in the hands of somebody that knows how to utilize them. The sparks made are quite little and not as hot as newer sparking devices but they’re reliable and last a particularly long time. A flint-and-steel set up does need some previously prepared tinder such as amadou (produced from the fungus Fomes fomentarius) or char cloth to catch the spark. Once you catch the spark on the tinder, the smouldering tinder must be brought to some very fine and dry material – often called a “tinder bundle” – to take the ember to flames. This needs a little bit of practise as well as a awareness of materials and plant identification.
A sparking gadget which has gained great popularity amongst dedicated outdoors enthusiast lately is the Swedish Fire Steel, a. K. A a Ferrocerium Rod. They are a rod of metal which when scraped emit a shower of really hot sparks.
These sparks are larger and can be more directed than the smaller steel and hacksaw type discussed above. These devices will so light the widest range of materials – both natural and man-made of any of the sparking devices. On the basis of this point, I consider them the best device to have with you in the event you need to start a fire.
These rods are produced in several different formulas and under different brand-names. The best ones in my past experience are the models that are sold under the brand ‘Light My Fire’. They manufacture various sizes but I advocate the full-size ‘Army’ model. You obtain a greater number of strikes out of it naturally but more importantly, it is simpler to handle when your hands are cold and have maybe lost some dexterity. The smaller models are way more difficult to hold.
The Swedish Firesteel is the type of sparking device I carry. They were developed by the Swedish military and now widely carried by army personnel. They’re being adopted by many serious students of survival skills as well as hunters and recreational users of the wilderness areas.
Paul Kirtley teaches bushcraft skills. He’s fanatical about nature, wilderness, remote travel and the abilities needed to stay safe.