Posts Tagged ‘flint striker’

We like to go camping a lot. Last year, we managed to make a fire by using a flint striker. We wrote about that in our article called Making the Fire. We used a Coghlan’s flint striker the last time and it is a pretty good flint striker. John got a different kind for Christmas.

It was made in Sweden by the company Light My Fire. The flint rod measures roughly 4 cm long. It comes with a piece of steel for striking. It has approximately 3,000 strikes and it throws pretty good sparks, although throwing good sparks takes some practice. Once you learn, it is very easy to strike and starting a fire using a flint striker is very satisfying. Not worrying about your matches blowing out or getting wet is nice too. On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product a ten and so would John. If interested, you can buy it here.

by Dink

We got today off from school so our dad took us camping again! We camp a lot, don’t we? Since we had to leave late yesterday, we picked a camping area that is close to our home. We got there pretty late and picked out a campsite. When we stepped out of the van, the first thing we noticed was that it was really cold, a lot colder than our last camping trip near the Susquehanna River. Actually, the reason it felt so cold was because it was quite windy in our campsite. We were on a hill, and our side was getting a lot of wind, which made it feel colder that it actually was.

We set up our tent, and then went fishing in a lake nearby. I decided to use a lure and a fish bit on the very first cast! It was big enough to eat, but we didn’t bring the things necessary for cleaning a fish, so we just tossed him back into the lake. We really didn’t expect to catch anything worth eating, and we weren’t prepared when the I caught that fish. I guess next time we go camping we’ll bring what we need to clean a fish. Our dad caught a fish a few minutes later, and then it got dark so we had to quit fishing.

We then went to eat at an Italian restaurant called Rocky’s Pizza that was in a town nearby called Thurmont. We usually bring our own food, but this time we decided to eat out. After we ate we went back to the campsite to make a fire, because it was really cold. Usually when we make fires, we just do it for fun, but this time we really wanted one.

We tried to make a fire with my flint striker again, but this time we couldn’t get it started like that. I think it was too windy and the wood was a little damp. Plus, we were mostly out of our dried morning glory vines and those are the best kindling I know of. In case you’ve never read our fire making articles, we use dandelion fluff and dried morning glory vines for our tinder and kindling. We finally gave up the flint striker and used matches instead. Even with matches, we barely got the fire going, but we finally did after several fails.

Today we decided to hike up to a place called Isabella’s Rock. We looked at a sign and found out that it was only a quarter of a mile away. But we went anyway and it was pretty fun. The hike up there was rather rough. It was a pretty steep climb and there were about three dense caves of briers and plants that were hard to get through without being poked with a thorn. When we arrived, we never really figured out which rock was Isabella’s Rock. There were about 5 large rocks and we couldn’t tell which one was Isabella’s. We stayed at Isabella’s Rock for a while and looked around, but eventually we started home (through the forest of briers). Then we went fishing again! Unfortunately, nothing bit this time, but we tried to use some different lures and things. We basically all started out with rooster tails, but I switched to a jitterbug after a while.

A jitterbug is a lure that might look like a frog to fish in the water. Unlike rooster tails, jitterbugs float. You can either let them sit, or you can reel them in as soon as you cast. Jitterbugs have a little metal plate on them that stirs up the water when you reel them in and some hooks. I guess that catches the fish’s attention and they bite it! Unfortunately, nothing bit my jitterbug. Dink eventually switched to an artificial minnow. It actually went through the water like a real fish, but nothing bit that either.

The second day of fishing wasn’t quite as good, but we went on a hike which makes up for not catching anything. After we went fishing, we had to pack up and leave. Although very short, this camping trip was very fun.

by Dink and John

Since we’re going to go camping sometime this summer and we’re going to need to make fires, Dink and I decided to practice making one at home with our flint striker. We got it going good, and after we had the fire pretty high, we proceeded to douse it with at least a gallon of water. The fire swiftly went out, but we knew that we could make a fire with a flint striker.

On a couple of other camping trips, we used magnesium and purell, but the fire Dink and I made at home was made without magnesium or purell. I think it was because we had such good tinder to start it with. We used dandelion fluff and dried up morning-glory vines. Both those things were very dry, and they made a very good combination. The dandelion fluff only takes a spark to ignite, and the morning-glory stuff only took a tiny flame to ignite. If you get a spark on the dandelions, it will make a tiny flame, which will ignite the morning-glory stems, which will hopefully ignite the leaves and small twigs you have laid out.

If your tinder is very dry, it will be very easy to get a fire going with a flint striker as long as you know what you’re doing. You have to know how to make the fire bed, and if you do, it shouldn’t be too hard. Now Dink and I know that we can make a fire as long as we have the right things. We didn’t lay the fire down in the normal way, as you can see from the picture, but it still worked. We gathered a bunch of dried morning-glory vines and dandelion fluff and put them in a sandwich bag for when we go camping. They will probably come in handy and we look forward to using them.

by John

Last summer when we went camping we wanted to see if we could use a flint striker to start our fire. We brought a Coghlan’s flint striker and we were able not only to light our fire, but we also lit our lantern and mosquito repelling candles. In order to get the original fire going, we did use magnesium, Purell, a couple of paper towels, and dead leaves, and it still took us about half an hour to get it going. Once we did get it going, though, it was very satisfying to sit back and watch the fire that we just spent thirty minutes making.

Anyway, we were very pleased with the flint striker. This product includes a metal striker, but you can also use the back of your pocket knife. I recommend this product highly for hardy campers. One interesting thing that we noticed was that the side of the flint striker and flint rod that you use effects it. For example, if you use the top side of the striker and the top side of the flint rod and you notice that it is not making any sparks, you might want to flip either the striker or the flint over and try again. I know this sounds like it’s just my imagination, but it really matters which sides you use. If it’s not making sparks, it could also be the layer of paint that they put on the rod. You have to scrape the paint off before striking.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful. If you’re planning to go camping this summer, then you might want to consider buying this product, which you can do here. If you do end up buying it or any other flint striker on the market to take camping, remember this: bring magnesium or some other tinder starter with you, because it is VERY difficult to start a fire without magnesium, unless the leaves you are using are REALLY dry. Believe me, because we had to use Purell, magnesium, a paper towel, and leaves to get it going and it still took a half hour. One last thing I’ll say is you might want to watch a video of somebody using a flint striker. We watched Survivorman and that was helpful to us.

by Dink