Using a firesteel
How it works: the Firesteel
A firesteel, firestarter of magnesium stick: however you call it, it comes in incredibly handy when you want to start a fire. A firesteel works under extreme conditions and has a long life span. It's a matter of getting the technique down, but then making fire is child's play.
Whether you want to light a campfire, start a cosy fire in the fireplace or use your barbecue: the firesteel sparks will ignite it. You only need three basics: a flammable substance (tinder), the firesteel and a knife or scraper.
How to spark any firesteel
The basic steps: find a good tinder to start your fire. A good example is birch bark, which is very suitable to use as a tinder. If you do not have this at hand, just make sure you always carry the so called tindersticks or tinderdust in your backpack. These are wood shavings, with a large share of resin, which can be used exceptionally well as tinder.
Then place the firesteel at an angle of 45 degrees to your tinder. This way the sparks automatically go to the fuel.
Spark the firesteel: place the scraper or your knife on the firesteel. Firesteel scrapers work best with an angle of 30 degrees, a Gerber Bear Grylls scraper works better at an angle of 45 degrees. It's a matter of practice to see what works best for you.
Both your firesteel and scraper (or knife) are now in the correct position to produce a lot of sparks. Scrape down the stick with sufficient pressure.
Tip: stop the movement about half a centimeter before the end of the rod, to avoid putting out the flame directly.
There is also another way to create a rain of sparks from your firesteel . It also works, but not as well. Actually do you do exactly the same as is written above. The only difference is that you do not move the scraper accross the firesteel, but pull the firesteel from under the scraper. With this method, please keep at least a 1.5cm distance from the tinder, to avoid a slip.
Where does the firesteel actually come from?
The first firesteels were developed for the Swedisch Army, to be able to make fire even in the toughest conditions. Rain, wind, snow and hail should not be a problem. The magnesium rod turned out to be quite suitable for this. A rod like that is also very durable. The firesteels in our assortment last from 1,500 (Light My Fire Fire Steel Mini) to 12,000 (Light My Fire Fire Steel Army 2.0) strikes. And it's a lot easier to carry than 12,000 matches! We can conclude that the firesteel is a truly steady fire maker, which guarantees many succesful campfires and barbecue party's. Once you have mastered the technique, you will have a lot of fun with this small, but powerful, fire maker.