Magnesium and ferrocerium (flint) fire starter with high-carbon steel blade on a portable key ring. Magnesium shavings ignite damp tinder and kindling easily, making this set an ideal camping companion. Measures 2 ¾ inches long. Made in Idaho. (
Sparks will fly with this magnesium and ferrocerium fire starter. Ferrocerium, also called ferro rod or flint, is a manmade metallic material that emits hot sparks, reaching temperatures of 3,000 °F (1,650 °C) when scraped against a hard surface, such as a knife or the included steel blade. Magnesium shavings are highly flammable (but fireproof in solid form, so don’t worry about spontaneous combustion) and ignite easily, creating temperatures up to 5,480 °F (3,026 °C). If your tinder is damp or less than ideal, or if you want a campfire fast, use the steel blade to scrape off magnesium shavings to help blaze the way. There is enough magnesium on the rod to start hundreds of fires.
The fire starter can also be used as an emergency or homing signal as its sparks can be seen for over a mile in darkness.
For dry tinder, hold the fire starter with the flint side up, resting it firmly on the wood or tinder. Press steel blade firmly against the flint at a 45-degree angle, scraping it down along the length of the flint. Sparks should ignite that will catch on the tinder, including moss, dry grass, wood shavings, birch bark, pine needles, cloth and paper.
In damp conditions and for difficult tinder, use the scraper to shave off a small amount of shavings from the magnesium rod. Gather the shavings into a pile on your tinder and ignite using the flint and scraper as usual.
Blow on the embers and, once your tinder has ignited, arrange kindling around and above it in the shape of an upside down cone or teepee, leaving plenty of room for the fire to breathe. Stir material occasionally or blow gently to increase the air supply inside the fire pile. As the tinder and kindling burn, add larger pieces until you have a constant fire.
Maintain the edges of the black steel blade by honing or grinding on a sharpening stone.
Be sure to put out fire completely before leaving the area.
The company behind this fire starter and other outdoor goods was first founded in Montana in 1972. Husband and wife Gerry and Cheri attended a state fair and admired the fire starters, purchasing several as gifts for family and friends, while also striking up a friendship with the original proprietor. In 1996, Gerry and Cheri took over the company and moved its operations to Idaho, their home state. They make and assemble each fire starter, along with some help from their son.
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