Magnesium match

by Luke
(Zanesville, Ohio, United States of America)

You can use a magnesium match. Shave the magnesium into a small pile on some dry tinder and strike the flint on the other side. When the spark hits the shaven magnesium it will ignite.

Make sure you have plenty of kindling and wood, 3 times more than what you think will be enough.






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works great
by: rwa

I use one of these on backpack trips.

They work great, my tinder of choice for one of these is Birch Bark, if its good and dry you do not even need to use the magnesium shavings, just the spark is enough.

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not automatic
by: ken

I live in Oregon. these mag blocks do work in adverse conditions, BUT, it's not automatic. if it's wet/windy, the shavings will stick to everything and not go into a "neat little pile". if you haven't practiced your survival skills, you may not. I have drilled my blocks and placed the shavings in with my fire kit. makes it a h*ll of a lot quicker to get a fire going in a stressful situation. If you can start a fire, at night, with no light and one eye closed you're on your way to surviving!

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another method
by: Anonymous

A seldom thought of method for starting fire is easy and cheap. Get a large coil of real rope from walmart or wherever.Cut two foot lengths off of it and untwine the rope, until its all fibrous. Place in a zip lock bag until needed. It makes great tinder.

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These are great
by: Chris W

Everyone who says not to carry one of these is a fool. Yes they take some practice but these could be your best friend in a survival situation.

They work wet or dry and don't worry about dulling your knife. This is survival we're talking about, not starting your everyday campfire. You can always sharpen a knife later. Matches, lighters, torches will all have troubles in the rain. To me this is a last ditch fire method and really you should always carry 3 different fire starting methods.

I have never had an issue getting a fire started with these but it does take some practice to get the shavings nice and neat.

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Magnesium made EASY
by: Anonymous

Magnesium fire starters:

Don't bother using your knife to create shavings for your magnesium firestarter. On the key chain that the firestarter comes, put about a 3 or 4 inch piece of a cheap hacksaw blade that has been broken off. It works great to make shavings and costs almost nothing.

See a picture here:

http://www.outdoor-supplies.co.uk/zencart/images/Firestarter.jpg

Hats off to Cody Lundin author of "98.6, the art of keeping your a$$ alive," for this suggestion.


Kindest Regards,
Wesley H.

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vs. lifeboat or storm matches
by: Anonymous

I have carried storm matches for many years and never had to use them. It just occurred to me the other day that the several times that I have tested them, I never have been able to get them to light. You have to use the striker that comes with the box or bottle that they come in. But the only way I have ever been able to light one is with a regular kitchen match. Kind of defeats the purpose, huh? The magnesium bar and striker works and that is what I will carry from now on. I do start fires with a magnifying glass and I carry one of those as a back-up.

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Options
by: Keith

Magnesium works great to start char cloth also. If you hold your knife or scraper steady and pull the magnesium strip away from the knife or scraper, you have a better chance of getting the sparks to fall where you want them to, instead of the other way around.

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good
by: Anonymous

I have used this mehod before and it works. good idea.

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Magnesium match blade
by: Anonymous

I keep a prep razor blade (you could use a paint scraper razor blade or drywall knife blade) with my magnesium firestarter. I actually keep two-one for practice, since it does dull quickly, and one in case I ever REALLY need it. Of course, you could probably fit two containers of lifeboat matches in the same space as one magnesium match!

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think about it
by: Anonymous

Good idea. never used it before, but sounds like it will work.

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good one
by: Anonymous

Great suggestion. i have personally used this before. it does take practice to master, but when you do, you have a sure "fire" way to make a fire.

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magnesium match
by: expert

To add to brian's comment this comes with its own peice of metal that is attached to the chain. You use that and not your knife. If you loose that you use the back of your knife not the sharp end. If you are as skilled as you say you are, you would understand that, and as always you have to practice using it before you have to use it in a survival situation. I have used this multiple times and it has proven worthy to have. I can start a fire with it in less than a minute. Practice with it when you can. It is hard to use in a pinch, if you have never used it before. Good suggestion.

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A Perfect Addition to the Magnesium Match
by: Anonymous

Add to your kit an old pill bottle full of cotton balls with petroleum jelly on them. Stick just one cotton ball (with petroleum jelly) on your firewood, then use the magnesium match... Instant fire.
Sam

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Frustrating
by: Brian

These devices do work but take alot of effort and most likely are going to dull your knife when trying to pain stakingly remove enough of the bar to start a fire. These devices are great if you have all day to wittle and it's a hot summer night. But for a survival situation stay away and go with something alot easier to operate.

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