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Magnesium fire starters

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Coffee357, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. Coffee357

    Coffee357 Member

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    For hunting in this cold, wet weather I started to think about
    ways to keep warm and fire up the ol camp chow. Anyone
    try these fire starters? Gimmick or great idea? Thanks for your
    responses!

    Coffee
     
  2. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a gimmick. They work.
     
  3. bobs1066

    bobs1066 Member

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    Fire Ribbon is good stuff, kinda like Sterno toothpaste. I've got one of the StrikeForce mag fire starters, makes a heck of a hot shower of sparks, but you've got to have something flammable for those sparks to fall into.
     
  4. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    I'm assuming you're talking about the magnesium bar with the spark strip in the back?

    They work well.

    I've had one for a number of years.

    You'll mess up the blade on your pocket knife shaving the magnesium, so be aware of that. I've always carried an old beater knife to use.
     
  5. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    I carry the magnesium firestarter, works well, I also carry Trioxane..

    WildwarmisgoodAlaska
     
  6. Coffee357

    Coffee357 Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Coffee
     
  7. Guyon

    Guyon Member

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    These are for real. The best ones I've found are Swedish and made by a company called Light My Fire http://www.light-my-fire.com/

    The best source for these firesteels is a guy called "Bagheera" over on Bladeforums. You can usually find him over at the Wilderness and Survival Skills board. His scout troop sells them on a regular basis as a fund raiser. Pleasure to do business with this guy.

    With a good firesteel and some vaseline impregnated cotton balls in a film canister, fire starting is a piece of cake.
     
  8. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Those swede ones look nice, but its just as easy to go to a gun show and buy the US military ones surplus for $2 or so...

    WildgoodenufforUncleSamgoodenuffermeAlaska
     
  9. Guyon

    Guyon Member

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    I've tried all kinds. The US Military ones do work, as do the magnesium bars you can pick up at Wal-Mart. But I haven't found anything that'll put out a shower of sparks like the Swedish firesteels. They run about $10 apiece for the big ones (Army model), and since each one is good for about 12,000 ignitions, it's money well-spent in my book.
     
  10. mete

    mete Member

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    Yes they work but under adverse conditions of cold and wet good waterproof matches work much better.
     
  11. Guyon

    Guyon Member

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    The biggest problem I've found with waterproof matches is the striker--even with the top-of-the-line matches (not those things they sell at Wal-Mart). A wet striker is not always reliable, and on hard surfaces like rocks, match heads sometimes break off without igniting. Not always. Just sometimes.

    With matches, you only get as many shots as you have matches, and under miserable conditions, you might find yourself wishing you had more matches. With a firesteel of some sort, at least you can keep producing spark until something catches.

    Of course, we're talking about back-up systems here. Most of us are going to flip a lighter and fire up in normal circumstances.

    In my "just in case" kit, I carry three methods--a mini Bic lighter, some top quality waterproof matches, and a firesteel with cotton balls. In an emergency, I would go in that order until I got something to light.

    These cotton balls are impregnated with vaseline. You can cram a whole bunch into a single film canister, and a single ball will catch pretty easily and burn for several minutes. Break out your vaseline and cotton balls and try it out if you don't believe me...
     
  12. Southla1

    Southla1 Member In Memoriam

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    Sometimes if I really need to get a fire started in the wet woods (most of em are in Lousiiana) I carry some of those little 35MM film cannisters with gasoline, and motor oil in em. Get that going and it WILL light up wet kindling etc.
     
  13. ahenry

    ahenry Member

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    BAH! You’re a sissy, the whole lot of you! A field expedient bow-and-stick works every time.*



    Or carry a small film canister of strike anywhere matches...





    *Please note, the above comment was made in fun, and not meant to offend anyone. I usually carry a magnesium fire starter in my survival ditty-bag.
     
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    There are few lighters on the market that are made to light in high wind and wet conditions. They are nice to carry along with the magnesium, although not cheap at all but, very very nice! Don't get the cheapies, they suck! ;)
     
  15. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    The magnesium block starters work just fine, but I would want something better if I were shivering cold and wet- maybe a propane torch:D

    If you carry a small piece of a broken off file with the starter, you can get magnesium bits off the bloack alot easier without ruining your knife.
     
  16. bobs1066

    bobs1066 Member

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    Two words: the zippo!
     
  17. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

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    If you're anywhere close (enough) to your vechicle, a coupla railroad flares are always a good idea. The truck too has a liter of Coleman fuel, backpack stove, 3-pack mini Bics, matches - not to mention a gas tank & oil in the crank. Never forget the obvious stuff.

    Have a couple military match cases with flint strips on one end. Both work quite well. Used to stash some cottons balls inside, but the cotton reacts unfavorably with the match heads (even stashed on the opposite end) & makes the matches unreliable - ended up with a smallish block of fireplace firestarter stuff.
     
  18. Elmer Snerd

    Elmer Snerd Member

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    If you have a vehicle, then you can hook up your jumper cables and touch the clamps to get sparks. A battery that is too weak to start the engine should still be able to make a spark. Pre-PC cars also usually have a cigarette lighter.
     
  19. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Metal match works good.. but a wise man has more than one way to start a fire.
     
  20. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Flamethrower! Oxyacetylene torch! Napalm! Backpack nuke! Taser set on"Fry"..


    WildlightmyfireAlaska:neener:
     
  21. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Elmer,

    You can also use a short piece of 12-gauge copper wire between the jumper clamps.

    It takes about 3 seconds with a decent battery for it to start glowing red hot, and about 10 before it simply melts.
     
  22. Bruz

    Bruz Member

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    Heard somewhere that steelwool will ignite with just a radio's 9 volt battery...anyone try this? :confused:
     
  23. Elmer Snerd

    Elmer Snerd Member

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    Yes. A couple of flashlight batteries will do it. It "burns" red hot for a few seconds.
     
  24. sm

    sm member

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    Magnesium fire starters...

    ...yes they work, agree with above.

    I also carry back up methods, waterproof matches, mini butane lighter (kept next to body) Zippo.

    Used to make the 'starters' we made in Scouts--parrafin wax and cardbord mixed into a tuna fish can. Found the "tea lights" (small candles in their own tin real easier to have handy...less mess in the kitchen too.
     
  25. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

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    Firestarters - all told are where you find 'em. & that's something you can bank.

    Field-expedient are a bit more dicey than with a vehicle, but still not all that uncomon.

    Shaved, dry stuff, burns easily - worse-case, drag out your $20 bill & use it for tinder. Hunting regs, yer toilet paper, license = anything to get larger fuel to burn.

    What about that hunting reg packet you carry?

    Frankly, in most Colorado-stuff, we have aspen -a-plenty & if you can't make a fire with that, you really deserve to die.

    Had a private comminication with a TFL-guy who thought I was an idiot because I suggested he'd die without proper preventative measures.

    Nobody I know would ever wish to spend the night away from his (her) prepared camp, but there are times where one might have to (I've been turned around once or twice before).

    I'd never rely on anything "techy." You must be able to start a fire with anything you have in your pocket/s at any given time.

    Colorado, we can usually start a fire with a real minimum of mostly nothing, as compare to something "back east," or 'Alaska."
    = we're really pretty lucky, all told.

    We be dry.

    In any event, pack something that'll "make fire enough" for where you live.
     
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