Author Topic: Who makes fire without matches????????????  (Read 15858 times)

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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Who makes fire without matches????????????
« on: February 08, 2012, 05:29:44 PM »
I love making fire.  Being a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts (of America), I teach fire making skills to the scouts.  One of the things I try to get the boys to learn is "One Match Campfires".  At this point in time, this is not hard for my scouts.  Now my scouts are continuing firemaking without matches.
Personally, I have started fires with: firesteels, flint and steel, lenses, potassium permanganate and glycerin, fire pistons, and batteries and steel wool.

I have had no success with a bowdrill.  I have gotten tons of smoke and no lasting coal.  I'm struggling with this but I am not giving up. 
Here is a couple pictures of matchless fires.  Post yours, too, and any other unique ways of making matchless fires.

Lens



Potassium Permanganate and Glycerin




« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 05:42:59 PM by MATT CHAOS »
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Offline Red

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 06:25:45 PM »
thats cool! i dont carry matches. the way my fire kit is set up, if you cant get a fire with it, you dont need to be out in the woods.
"Big drama next few hours.. But whatever happens, no matter what they tell you.. Don't let 'em take them chains off me.."

Offline greyhound352

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 06:40:58 PM »
I haven't tried the bow drill or friction fire yet, I hope to attempt it on my next trip out. I have been successful with various fire steels on natural and man made tinders. I have also made a few fires with flint and steel with various strikers such as files, primative c strikers and strike all tool.
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Offline Gurthy

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 06:50:57 PM »
I've had some limited success with the bowdrill but I do not practice nearly enough. Most often I use my flint and steel for fires. 

I have 3 firekits:
  • modern (matches, Bic, ferro rod, PJ cotton balls, innertube, parafin candle)
  • traditional (flint & steel, glass lens, jute, charcloth, beeswax candle)
  • primitive (cedar bow drill, cedar bark, birch bark, beeswax candle made in a dirt mold using milkweed cordage for wick)

I usually carry both my traditional and modern kit when I'm out... the primitive kit is reserved for garagecraft mostly  :-[

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 07:06:48 PM »
I love flint and steel. I haven't tried a bow drill in about a year. I had success with one using a broomstick as a spindle and a wooden yardstick as a hearth board but that was years and years ago.

I do have some well seasoned juniper I want to try, and a few big mullein stalks drying in a corner of my shop.


Offline bushraider

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 07:21:43 PM »
Im a "Firesteel-Aholic" I use it any chance i get. I have used matches at one point or another and I keep some UCO storm matches around. I honestly suck at the bow drill or hand drill....If need be I can start a fire with stix, but I just don't....I like flint and steel aswell.

Offline madmax

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 07:29:39 PM »
I love flint and steel.  Getting better at the bow drill.  Hand drill's next...maybe...ok lol, I've got to do it at least once.
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Offline trentu

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 07:56:30 PM »
I use a ferro rod the most but try and keep my skills up with the fire piston, glass, bow&drill and friction stick. My wife tries to hide them. I will start a campfire anywhere!
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Offline Red

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 07:59:03 PM »
I use a ferro rod the most but try and keep my skills up with the fire piston, glass, bow&drill and friction stick. My wife tries to hide them. I will start a campfire anywhere!

somehow i believe that :D
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Offline Great White Hunter

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 08:41:54 PM »
I use a LMF ferrocerum rod. LMF is the best.

Offline Zeus

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 09:00:46 PM »
I use a LMF ferrocerum rod. LMF is the best.

Well they are lighter than road flares. I used to sell mischmetal rods myself, but there wasn't much money in it. Advertising costs were outrageous! ;)

Offline Yurtdweller

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 11:39:04 PM »
Has anyone tried natural materials, for flint and steel. I have heard Milkweed pod insides work well uncharred even. And someone mentioned that mullen pith works pretty good as well.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 12:00:14 AM »
Has anyone tried natural materials, for flint and steel. I have heard Milkweed pod insides work well uncharred even. And someone mentioned that mullen pith works pretty good as well.

I have tried mullein pith sliced thin enough as to be almost transparent, but no luck yet. I'm going to try again sometime. Haven't seen any milkweed in my area.

Offline Kep

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 02:30:10 AM »
I use a variety of different methods including the bow drill, hand drill, ferro rods, Fire piston, flint & steel (including iron pyrite & flint), matches and lighters, magnifying glasses, battery & wire wool and chemical means, ive tried the fire plough and that is just hard work, like wise the fire thong, i dont use fatwood as it  is like rocking horse poop round these parts, IE - non existant.

I teach friction fire and fire making in general making on a regular basis and demo it at schools and other events too, i had a conversation with a guy last year at an event i was at when he told me matches are cheating, so i told him, if strike anywhere matches or Bic lighters had been invented 6000 years ago, trust me our ancestors would have used them, their technology wasnt primitive, it was the latest and greatest thing and the easiest most efficient way for them to make fire at the time,  who is to say in 6000 years from now that Bic Lighters & matches will not be viewed as we view the bow drill & hand drill today?

When im out and about and have a fire, i use whatever i feel is best on the day or whatever skill i want to practice, regardless though whenever we have a fire up the woods, we always light it using a different method, when you are cold and wet though, use a lighter and bit of inner tube to get a fire going, no point pratting around with friction fire and damp, cold tinder when you dont have to. ;)

Offline Professor

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 05:26:27 AM »
I have been a "fire bug" my whole life.  On the farm we had tank heaters: wood and coal-burning stoves that were submerged in the tanks of water for livestock.  One of my chores was to keep these going in the coldest weather and I always used matches.  For camping, I have been attracted to flint and steel for years, and have been forging strikers since 1982.  I have tried fire steels and carry one or two on every trip.  I want a fire piston, but it's hard to justify the cost. When the sun is out, I use a lens; and when I taught optics in high school, I always had students interested when I could set things on fire with the sun!
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2012, 01:24:34 PM »
When im out and about and have a fire, i use whatever i feel is best on the day or whatever skill i want to practice, regardless though whenever we have a fire up the woods, we always light it using a different method, when you are cold and wet though, use a lighter and bit of inner tube to get a fire going, no point pratting around with friction fire and damp, cold tinder when you dont have to. ;)

I agree!  When I'm out in the snow and cold and want a fire lit quickly, I will use matches or a lighter.  I am not there to suffer through being cold just to re-prove to myself that I can start a fire by other means.  But on a gorgeous warm day, I will take the time to use flint and steel and Char cloth to get a fire going.

PW:  I have used flint and steel with some natural materials.  Some need nothing done to them like this fluffy grass stuff I find on the side of the roads.  Other times, I char things in my char tin and things like green leaves will work (sometimes).
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Offline trentu

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2012, 04:52:42 AM »
I have used milkweed, thistle, cat tails and dandelion fluff. I always try and keep a bag of dryer lint close by. That works great. If your guys and gals jean pockets are like mine then you have at least one ball of fire starter in each pocket!  ;D
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2012, 09:59:08 AM »
I have used milkweed, thistle, cat tails and dandelion fluff. I always try and keep a bag of dryer lint close by. That works great. If your guys and gals jean pockets are like mine then you have at least one ball of fire starter in each pocket!  ;D

My last resort is my belly button lint............... .......
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Offline trentu

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2012, 11:10:26 AM »
I have used milkweed, thistle, cat tails and dandelion fluff. I always try and keep a bag of dryer lint close by. That works great. If your guys and gals jean pockets are like mine then you have at least one ball of fire starter in each pocket!  ;D

My last resort is my belly button lint............... .......

Tell me you remove it first! LOL. Please video that sometime.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 02:15:23 PM »
Yeah, I learned to remove it first the hard way................ .. :P
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Offline C3 Knives

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 11:03:52 AM »
Too Funny!  I try to do a bow and drill once a season in perfect conditions and still have limited success.  I have gotten coals many times and failed many more.  I usually use a ferro rod and fatwood.  There is lot's of it around in Colorado and can easily be found. I always carry a lighter in my pocket to be sure.
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Offline GrowlingBear

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 12:28:15 PM »
I haven't used matches or a lighter to make a fire for probably 10 years now.  I use a firesteel the most because it's always windy where I camp, but I really like the old-school methods the best.  My current favorite is flint and steel.  For some reason it's just fun to use, and it really impresses people who've never seen it.   None of my buddies have ever made a fire without lighters or matches and some kind of liquid propellant.  Sissies! LOL.
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Offline bradleybuckman

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 12:11:20 PM »
I went about 2 years or so of building fires with pretty much just a firesteel, flint and steel and the bow drill. My whole idea was to learn different ways of starting a fire and hopefully become proficient enough to be able to get a fire going no matter what my resources were if I was ever in a bad situation. I got to be pretty good with a firesteel and flint and steel. I've still got a lot of work until I'm confident in the bow drill. I even tried the hand drill, but all I ever got were blisters. I guess the biggest benefit I got from that time was the knowledge and habits of learning good fire prep and material selection. I use a lighter or matches at times now, but I still practice with the other ways when I have the time and it makes sense to do so. Hopefully this year I'll get the bow drill down and have a little success with the hand drill.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2012, 07:06:12 PM »
I haven't used matches or a lighter to make a fire for probably 10 years now.  I use a firesteel the most because it's always windy where I camp, but I really like the old-school methods the best.  My current favorite is flint and steel.  For some reason it's just fun to use, and it really impresses people who've never seen it.   None of my buddies have ever made a fire without lighters or matches and some kind of liquid propellant.  Sissies! LOL.

It definitly amazes people that never have seen them used.  A few years ago, the boy scout troop that I work with won a firebuilding contest against all the other troops.  The boys had to build a fire and burn 2 different strings at 2 different heights.  They built the fire the fastest and used a firesteel (which dazzled everyone there).  It was a proud moment for me seeing the boys win and dazzle.
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Offline easy_rider75

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2012, 10:16:26 PM »
I recently  just got a small fire started the traditional way with  flint and steel. Funny thing is I just about did a little dance  when I got it going. Also tried a ferro rod  got that to but gotta say  the biggest thrill for me was using the flint. My next venture will be trying a bow drill to get one going
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Offline greyhound352

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 06:26:53 AM »
Flint and steel fire is a fun method to make fire and a reliable method.
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Offline Gurthy

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2012, 08:36:05 AM »
I recently  just got a small fire started the traditional way with  flint and steel. Funny thing is I just about did a little dance  when I got it going. Also tried a ferro rod  got that to but gotta say  the biggest thrill for me was using the flint. My next venture will be trying a bow drill to get one going

Nice work easy_rider! Feels great, doesn't it?!

Wait until you get your first friction fire... you'll really be grinning from ear to ear! There's something primal in making fire through traditional and especially primitive means that makes one feel connected to our ancestors.

Offline easy_rider75

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2012, 01:36:55 PM »
I recently  just got a small fire started the traditional way with  flint and steel. Funny thing is I just about did a little dance  when I got it going. Also tried a ferro rod  got that to but gotta say  the biggest thrill for me was using the flint. My next venture will be trying a bow drill to get one going

Nice work easy_rider! Feels great, doesn't it?!

Wait until you get your first friction fire... you'll really be grinning from ear to ear! There's something primal in making fire through traditional and especially primitive means that makes one feel connected to our ancestors.

Thanks  Mate yeah it is great fun.  I'll have to go where no one is around so I  can chant I MADE FIRE  D LMAO
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Offline Mr. Tettnanger

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2012, 11:31:56 PM »
I like flint and steel. It is quick and easy. I also like the magnifying lens method when possible. I work with eyeglasses so I am partial to the whole lens thing. I have never been able to do the bow drill method. It seems like so much time and effort. Does that make me a bad bushcrafter?

I am really getting into fire pistons. I just ordered another one! I think the way that they work is pretty darn slick. Once I get the new one and get acquainted with it, I will post some pictures and thoughts about it! I will get rid of my original one once I put the new one to the test.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 05:46:35 AM by Mr. Tettnanger »

Offline treez

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2012, 08:07:24 AM »
I have been using a ferro rod and cattail fluff, and some of the dried orniemental grass in my yard. (Just been doing stuff in the back yard). I am going to try some petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls and a ferro rod next.

Offline upthecreek

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2012, 08:34:32 AM »
fire with water :)



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Offline easy_rider75

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2012, 11:22:00 AM »
Pretty damn slick idea Creek
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2012, 11:54:35 AM »
Nice job Creek! I've done it with a lens before but never with a water lens!

Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2012, 01:06:50 PM »
Nice work! 
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2012, 02:49:42 PM »



Creek
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2012, 03:31:33 PM »
Great work Creek!
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Offline trentu

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2012, 04:42:17 PM »
9volt battery and a small ball of steel wool across both posts works great also. One of my buddys carries the 9volt battery in one of those cigarette lighter necklaces and some steel wool in his pocket. I was amazed at how well a coal it makes.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2012, 04:57:44 PM »
9volt battery and a small ball of steel wool across both posts works great also. One of my buddys carries the 9volt battery in one of those cigarette lighter necklaces and some steel wool in his pocket. I was amazed at how well a coal it makes.

This is one I've read about, and see in videos but never tried myself. I'll have to give it a try sometime just for kicks. The only thing that puts me off of this method is the battery might not work in cold weather.

Offline upthecreek

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2012, 05:23:29 PM »
I have a strong opinion about the use of batteries. Not that it isn't effective. Batteries are made of nasty nasty stuff and it is not unreasonable at all to expect them to explode when shorted. 2 cents :)
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2012, 05:25:31 PM »
I have a strong opinion about the use of batteries. Not that it isn't effective. Batteries are made of nasty nasty stuff and it is not unreasonable at all to expect them to explode when shorted. 2 cents :)

I've seen lithium polymer batteries (used in R/C planes) burst into flames when shorted firsthand. It really can happen. I think the alkalines are a lot more stable but you never know.

Offline GrowlingBear

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2012, 08:53:59 PM »
I have a question about flint and steel:  Are there any other tinders that can be used other than char cloth or chaga?  I've only ever used char cloth, and there ain't no chaga 'round here.
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Offline Mr. Tettnanger

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2012, 09:23:38 PM »
I have a question about flint and steel:  Are there any other tinders that can be used other than char cloth or chaga?  I've only ever used char cloth, and there ain't no chaga 'round here.

You can use charred punk wood.



« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 10:16:09 PM by Mr. Tettnanger »

Offline GrowlingBear

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2012, 10:25:16 PM »
Thanks Mr. T!  So I'm guessing the tinder has to be charred, no matter what it is?
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Offline Mr. Tettnanger

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2012, 10:27:14 PM »
I would say that it does have to be charred.

Offline trentu

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2012, 05:08:06 AM »
I have a strong opinion about the use of batteries. Not that it isn't effective. Batteries are made of nasty nasty stuff and it is not unreasonable at all to expect them to explode when shorted. 2 cents :)

If the steel wool was super coarse and caused a solid short I would be real cautious but using a small fluffy ball off 0000 fine steel wool it works like a fuse. I have seen him demonstrate it for several hours without the battery even getting warm. I think it would be good for emergency use only really.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2012, 09:36:55 AM »
I have a question about flint and steel:  Are there any other tinders that can be used other than char cloth or chaga?  I've only ever used char cloth, and there ain't no chaga 'round here.

You can catch a spark with fine steel wool.  If you are looking for natural tinder that will catch a spark, I have caught some wiht cattail fluff and similar stuff.  Since I got proper flint rocks from Greyhound the other day (which is allowing me to throw some great sparks), I am hoping to find more natural tinder to work with.  Also, these have not been charred.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2012, 01:46:18 PM »
I started a fire once with out matches or a lighter.  :)

I was mowing by the house with an old three wheeled push lawnmower.  There was a BOOM and flames everywhere..      Worried about it near the house I ran across the lawn to an open space.  Turned and there was a line of flames behind me.  I danced alright.. but not about the achievement..but because my tennis shoe was on fire too.   

I've been looking for flint.. so far I've not found it.    I heard somewhere that quartz would work?   I found a huge chunk of it in the woods but the granite rock wont let loose of it.  I need a bigger hammer..

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline easy_rider75

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2012, 11:36:23 PM »
I started a fire once with out matches or a lighter.  :)

I was mowing by the house with an old three wheeled push lawnmower.  There was a BOOM and flames everywhere..      Worried about it near the house I ran across the lawn to an open space.  Turned and there was a line of flames behind me.  I danced alright.. but not about the achievement..but because my tennis shoe was on fire too.   

I've been looking for flint.. so far I've not found it.    I heard somewhere that quartz would work?   I found a huge chunk of it in the woods but the granite rock wont let loose of it.  I need a bigger hammer..

WW.

Sorry for laughing but I can picture the sight now :D

I think  quartz from what I read does  work. I have a HUGE chunk out in my woods of pink quartz just gotta get out with a big sledge hammer to break  some off on that note it did throw some sparks  when something I was hammering the hammer missed and gave a nice shower so betting it would if you  could get a sharp edge for it
?I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life.... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.?~Frank Sinatra~

Offline Barbarossa Bushman

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Re: Who makes fire without matches????????????
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2012, 09:52:47 AM »
Great thread. I'll share one of my epic failures for tinder. Never try to use cottonwood fluff. The seed fluff flying through the air and all over the ground. That stuff is more like a fire retardant. I laughed at that too Woodswoman. I think gas lawnmowers should be outlawed and make everyone use the push style.
"When times get rough and times get hard, the fat get skinny and the skinny die. Good thing you had a little fat on you when you did." An old friend