Difficulty with ferro rod.
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Difficulty with ferro rod.

This is a discussion on Difficulty with ferro rod. within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; Normally I am without issue on this, but I do practice under "controlled" circumstances. Shoots and I went camping Thursday night. We set up a ...

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Thread: Difficulty with ferro rod.

  1. #1
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    Difficulty with ferro rod.

    Normally I am without issue on this, but I do practice under "controlled" circumstances.

    Shoots and I went camping Thursday night.
    We set up a campfire. I harvested a dead standing mesquite tree and oak log. We made a tinder bundle out of mesquite bark, rolled into fibers and powder. It wouldn't light, even with some magnesium shavings. So, we got out one of our tinder creations (toilet paper tube lined with petroleum jelly, stuffed with dryer lint, and wrapped in duct tape. At home we can light these fairly quickly, especially with magnesium shavings. No joy.
    half a ferro rod later, we had tried a striker, knife, and finally scissors, before Shoots finally caught a small flame which I fanned I to a decent cooking fire.

    We don't know what we did wrong. Sparks just wouldn't catch. There was a steady breeze, and the fire pit had a gap under the ring to let air in. It was humid, but probably about 40% or so. It has been raining, lady at the campground said the lake was still 19 feet above flood level, but the wood was dry, and the bark was very dry.
    Shoots "winning" spark was produced by a pair of fiskars scissors at a very shallow angle.
    Any ideas?
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  2. #2
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    I would guess the culprit would be the breeze. Otherwise your homemade tinder should have caught. Perhaps similar to trying to light a cigar in a breeze.
    Blessed be God, my rock who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war. Psalms 144:1

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    That was my thought. The sparks were cooling too fast due to the breeze.
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  5. #4
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    I've always found that a simple BIC lighter was far more reliable and efficient than ferro rods.
    Slippy and Denton like this.
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    http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page...fire%20starter

    My understanding from the Backwoodsman Magazine is that these produce a glowing coal not a spark and make starting a fire much more assured
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    With many attempts to use flint and steel and magnesium to start fires, I have had
    little success. My plan is matches, Bic lighters etc. In a pinch, I'd sooner try powder
    from a shell.
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  8. #7
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    Many problems that arise have to do with either technique or the rod itself. The best technique is to hold the steel stationary just above the tinder and briskly pull the rod up and away which concentrates the shower of sparks onto the tinder.

    The type of rod has a lot to do with it as well. I prefer the mish metal rods, they seem to throw a better spark that last a bit longer. In breezy conditions I'd make a birds nest or find/create a pocket of calm air before attempting to strike the spark.

    My preferred method is a bic lighter, however in my quest to learn the ways of self reliance I have taken it upon myself to learn other methods of starting fire. Hopefully these tips help. I think perhaps the best use of a ferro rod is to light alcohol stoves.

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    Oh, I forgot the Fresnel lens. I got one that's the size of a business card. Down here
    in AZ, it only takes a few seconds for something flammable to light up. For real
    emergency, I have a couple of 30 Cal cans full of trioxane. Up north, I loved using dry
    pine cones.
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    BICs don't work too well in cold temperatures. IE below freezing.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will2 View Post
    BICs don't work too well in cold temperatures. IE below freezing.
    Its June Will2. Jak and Shoots are in Texas. Its freakin HOT in Texas in June. Bics work in Texas every month.

 

 
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