How To Make a Fire with Flint and Steel

How To Make a Fire with Flint and SteelStarting a fire in an emergency or survival situation is not only necessary to provide warmth and heat for cooking, a fire can also be an enormous psychological boost. The ability to start a fire can help provide you with a sense of being able to change your situation and affect the outcome. Making a fire is easy with a match or lighter. However, it is typically recommended that two and three methods of starting a fire are known and understood to provide the best possible odds.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flint rock
  • Steel
  • Tinder
  • Various size kindling and wood
 
Step 1
Create a tinder bundle to catch the sparks from a flint and steel. Use dry grass, fine wood shavings, shredded paper or other dry and combustible material that can easily catch a spark.
Step 2
Hold a piece of steel in one hand and a flint rock in the other. Choose a steel specifically designed for fire starting or select a piece of quality steel such as that used in tool or knife making. The higher the grade and hardness rating of the steel, the hotter the sparks will be.
Step 3
Make a slow practice striking motion with the flint and steel. Position the flint so that the sharpest edge available will contact the steel at an angle. The goal is to remove a small piece of the steel with the flint resulting in a shower of hot sparks that will ignite the tinder.
Step 4
Position your fingers safely out of the strike zone and hold the steel over the tinder bundle. Raise your hand holding the flint and bring the flint down with a rapid motion to glance the side of the steel.
Step 5
Continue striking the flint against the steel until you see a curl of smoke come from the tinder bundle. Lay the flint and steel to the side, gently pick up the tinder bundle and blow gently onto the ember to provide oxygen and help the fire grow.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
When a flame appears, place the tinder bundle on the ground and gradually feed the fire increasingly larger pieces of wood.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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