Fire starters and flint sticks are made of metal and minerals and, unlike matches, will survive anything from damp air to a dunk in the creek. Carry them as a backup to your waterproof matches. Fire starters and flint sticks won't get stale, but you can wear them out.
Flint and Steel
Flint and steel is the traditional matchless fire starter. You may use a flint rock picked up on the trail and cause a spark by striking it with a steel knife. This method will last as long as you have a supply of flint stones and until you get tired of nicking your knife.
FireSteel Magnesium Rod Fire Starter
FireSteel uses a magnesium alloy rod that you scrape with a provided metal blade. This type of fire starter throws a super hot spark onto your tender, but each time you scrape it, a tiny bit comes off. FireSteel says their products will last from 1,500 strikes for a Mini FireSteel to 12,000 strikes for a full-size unit.
Blastmatch by Ultimate Survival Technologies is a flint-based fire starter with a tungsten carbide striker in a pump-like device that you may use one-handed. Because you may rotate the flint bar for even wear, the manufacturer states the device can throw about 1,000 sparks.
Magnesium Block Firestarter
Magnesium block fire starters consist of a block of pure magnesium, which you scrape with a knife to create a small pile of metal shavings. You then light the shavings by striking a provided Ferro cerium rod. This device will provide hundreds of fires before wearing out.
Article Written By Denise Bertacchi
Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.