Here’s another video in the survival series. In the last video I used a match to light a fire, but in this video I use a fire steel to start it. I picked up this particular firesteel at Dick’s here in Maine, but I just ordered the real deal from firesteel.com and when it comes in I’ll do a gear review. Supposedly it gives off huge sparks in comparion to what I get on the video.
This is another one of those things that a lot of people have in their bug-out bags, but very rarely ever try and use, and like most things survival related it takes a little practice and skill.
First, make sure you have some dry tinder. I like to make it as realistic as possible and only use what I can find in the forest during whatever the time of year I happen to be out there. In this case it’s early spring (April 10) and there’s still some snow on the ground in patches in the woods thus it’s still a little damp. I like to use a “bird’s nest” of dead grass whenever possible because this will catch a spark really well, but this time all I had was dead leaves and dry ferns. Crumple the leaves up as much as possible and have the dead fern standing by because once you get a flame it could go out in a second. As soon as you see the flame put a small bundle of fern (or whatever is dry and burns quick) on the flame and let it go. Then add your small kindling and build your fire up until there’s not danger of it going out.
This is not as easy as some people make it look and I would highly advise you to get out there with yours and practice until you have a reasonable amount of success with it. Also, practice under different weather conditions as well. Work on different scenarios where you live where a firesteel might save your life. Maybe canoeing in the spring or fall and your canoe or boat capsizes and everything is wet and all you have is a knife and a firesteel. Could you survive? Could you get a fire going in that event?
Again, I’m still experimenting with cameras, software, technique and so on. If you have any suggestions please put them in the comment area below. Thanks! (Some day I’ll make a blooper reel. I’ve already got about five minutes of footage of just that!) I also broke another tripod. If anybody knows a good Jarhead-proof tripod please let me know so I can check it out.