Ferro Rod Vs. Flint And Steel

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Justin Baker, Jan 17, 2020.

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  1. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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  2. Brownbear

    Brownbear Master Survivalist
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    It's quite a good article

    From a prepping perspective a ferro rod will eventually wear out - with some of the more recent "fat" one that will take a very long time and, of course, you get lots of good sparks.

    I prefer flint and steel myself, but more for aesthetic than practical reasons.

    The key advantage with a ferro rod is that it will work with a feather stick, which is easy to make (and keep dry) whereas I sometimes feel I am carrying round some sort of medieval apothecary's kit in my tinder pouch for traditional flint and steel :D

    As a final thought, there has been some talk of ferro rods being mildly carcinogenic, although despite a small number of articles I have not found any reasonable confirmation of this.
     
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  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I like different methods so I've got matches, disposable lighters, a magnifying glass(for sunny days), many ferro rods and several flint and steel, no need to limit oneself to just one method.
     
  4. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Justin,

    Ref: "a preferred..";

    I use a philosophy that is different than most use in the US.

    It is not a single preferred method.

    My governing philosophy is that as a function of time, whether 2 days of an evacuation trek or 2 months of sheltering in place, the time line and my decrepit body demands DIFFERENT methods.

    If, for example, one experiences hand injuries or aggravated injuries during the evac, only one hand might be available to start a fire until paws are healed.

    There are ways to make fire starters requiring the use of only 1 hand. I learned of them overseas.
     
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  5. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    Phase one after post S.H.T.F. I will use kitchen matches and hand out disposable butane lighters to the heads of the house hold on our survival retreat . ------ Phase two depending on how responsible the designated fires starters for each house hold were , will hand out after the disposable lighters are gone , either more disposable butane lighters or zippo refillable liquid fuel lighters . ------- phase three after all fuel for the Zippos are gone " that would take years " and I will be about 150 years old at that time . I will hand out large ferro rods , one to each household . ------ phase four we will be to use the flint and steel and I will be about 200 years old at that time . Just a note , I have noticed even my flint and steel striker from much use " playing " shows wear where it has been repeatedly struck . This tells me even the steel striker has a limited life span . I am sitting on a mountain made up of a lot flint so an unlimited amount of flint is available .
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  6. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    I agree wholeheartedly! Multiple ways to do anything is my preferred method!
     
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  7. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    I agree about the planning part, but I am also aware of how fast a plan can fall apart in 'sticky' situations, and usually am well versed in not relying on any one plan to be the end-all,be-all of any given situation. Plans A,B,C, and even D are likely to go astray! But plans and prepping physically makes you more able to adapt successfully in any situation!
     
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  8. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    I have also learned of one way to start a fire with only one hand, and have practiced it so as to be somewhat proficient in it. This is what I learned: set your foot on the knife's handle firmly @ 90 degrees to secure it in place. Once the knife taut, take a ferro rod and strike it up against the blade of the knife. If you did this with your kindling or other 'poofer' (my own nick-name for cotton balls w/ lighting medium) close enough to your foot, the spark or sparks that will be created will indeed ignite.
    ~~ What are some of the other one-handed methods you've learned?
     
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  9. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    The chemical change that takes place when you strike the ferro rod does indeed create a bit of carcinogenic release, but much less than the actual fire you are starting!
    And what a great feeling that truly is!!!!
     
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  10. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    I did some more reaserach on the carconogenic properties of ferro rods. I found the rare-earth metals composition of modern ferro rods:

    iron - 20.8%
    cerium - 41.8% - non toxic
    neodymium - 4.4% - a salt - only very excessive breathing of the dust can be toxic to lungs
    praseodymium - 4.4% - a salt - non-toxic
    magnesium - 4.4 % - actually used as a cancer fighter, especially in pancreatic cancers
    lanthanum - 24.2% - also used to fight cancer!

    ~~ now, with that being said, again, when you ignite anything, or creating a combustion situation, you've started

    "a chemical reaction between substances, usually including oxygen and usually accompanied by the generation of heat and light in the form of flame. The rate or speed at which the reactants combine is high, in part because of the nature of the chemical reaction itself and in part because more energy is generated than can escape into the surrounding medium, with the result that the temperature of the reactants is raised to accelerate the reaction even more. A familiar example is a lighted match. When a match is struck, friction heats the head to a temperature at which the chemicals react and generate more heat than can escape into the air, and they burn with a flame. If a wind blows away the heat or the chemicals are moist and friction does not raise the temperature sufficiently, the match goes out. Properly ignited, the heat from the flame raises the temperature of a nearby layer of the matchstick and of oxygen in the air adjacent to it, and the wood and oxygen react in a combustion reaction. When equilibrium between the total heat energies of the reactants and the total heat energies of the products (including the actual heat and light emitted) is reached, combustion stops. Flames have a definable composition and a complex structure; they are said to be multiform and are capable of existing at quite low temperatures, as well as at extremely high temperatures. The emission of light in the flame results from the presence of excited particles and, usually, of charged atoms and molecules and of electrons."***

    with that amount of chemical process happening, I'm sure some carcinogenic things are bound to fly out of it!! ;)


    ***quote from post by Victor Nikolaevich Kondratiev -
    ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA
     
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  11. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Great news that we're "selling" the view of injuries/infirmities being factored into prep/survival planning.

    I've got some restrictions on some stuff being placed on the web.

    Not to go off-topic but the principle of personal injury must also be factored into other prepper/survivalist matters. The Red Cross pushes their hand crank radio. A small AM-FM-SW battery radio does more at less weight and can be operated with only 1 hand. I talk from experience.

    Also not to go off-topic but the injury principle governs; A rope ladder to vacate one's 2nd floor from a window doesn't always work if injured. Sometimes a rope with gloves and boots works but the ladder, if injured, doesn't.
     
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  12. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Expert Member
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    I don't look at it so much as selling, more like just being practical. the fact is, even if we are not starting out our day post-SHTF with injuries, our probability of getting injured is much higher, so being able to adapt "on the fly" is extremely important. That is why I always have 'preferred' methods, but still practice and learn other ways to get the job done!
     
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  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I don't agree that there is any more chance of injuring oneself post SHTF than before it, of course you could always chop your leg off with a chainsaw!! (which is why I don't need to use one). all the more reason to be a bit more careful.
     
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  14. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Lonewolf,

    During a rapid evacuation from one's dwelling at night generates more chance of injury to oneself post SHTF than if staying in bed listening to a talk show.

    Just to shelter in place, with the stresses of post SHTF, taxes one's abilities to be as careful as usual.
     
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  15. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    just because it IS SHTF is all the reason we need to take more care.
     
  16. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    back when I burned wood for a primary heat source, the stove was lit a couple times a winter. I could have saved hot coals to relight after a cleaning. Even a camp fire can be banked to last the night.

    Sorry about the deflect so back to the original question. I have many options but prefer a piezo ignition propane torch.
     
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  17. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I love ferro rods and make my own from parts I buy off Ebay. You can get a 1/2" X 6" rod for around 5 or 6 dollars and I can't imagine how many fires that would start but I have never worn my first one out and it was only a 1/4" x 4" rod. I also have old school flint and steel but if I'm cold and want a fire right now that isn't what I'm going to reach for. Lighters, matches and things like that are great for the short term but they will be mostly gone in a year ot two. I also like the fire piston for the fact that it will last a long time. Magnifying lenses are ok but take a lot of patience and a bright sun to work at all. When I would need a fire the very most the sun isn't going to be shining brightly.

    With my arthritic joints and back there is no way that I am going to hover over a couple of sticks trying to rub out a fire so I've made sure that I will never run out of ferro rods. As I've said before, put a fatwood handle on the rod then attach a little pompom of jute twine to the handle and fires are fast and certain.
     
  18. EarlyMarksman

    EarlyMarksman Expert Member
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    I have matches and lighters for the most part. Would like to get a good quality ferro rod and some flint and steel. Really I'm more of a survivor than a bushcrafter so, while I would like to learm a couple primitive ways to start fire, whatever starts the fire is fine with me whether it be aluminum foil and batteries, matches, flint and steel, steel wool, etc. I have tried the hand drill before and almost had it.
     
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  19. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    I have a 6 inch ferro rod with a magnesium rod and steel striker in my GHB. I prefer that to flint and steel which takes a bit more effort. I also carry Titan stormproof matches (will burn under water) and a zippo lighter. I've practiced and made fire with fire bow, simple fire stick and bamboo fire saw. The joys of SERE training. If after a severe SHTF, there is always an incendiary grenade. LOL!

    Dale
     
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