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Flint and Steel Fire Starting

Traditional Methods Of Flint And Steel Fire Starting

In this article I shall be showing how to make fire using a flint and steel, and also reviewing the authentic fire starting kit (shown above)

For those aficionados among us - creating fire using a Flint and Steel is the oldest and considered the purest known method of fire creation.

A lot of people get confused and think the flint and steel are the same as the firesteel.
This is not true - a firesteel is actually a much more modern method of creating hot sparks.

Modern firesteels are made using Ferrocerium Alloys and normally come fitted with a nice comfortable handle, along with a steel striker to help create you sparks. (like the one shown here)

The ferrocerium rod is often referred to as a 'Ferro Rod' and will create lots of sparks in excess of 3000 deg C.

The flint and steel method predates the Ferro Rod by nearly 1000 years, going back to the start of the iron age. 

Along with the Bow Drill and Hand Drill, the Flint and Steel are considered to be true bushcraft survival methods for creating an ember from which to make a fire.

The principle behind creating sparks by striking a piece of rock are simple:

When you strike a material, like flint, with a steel object, the hard edge of the flint shaves very small particles off the steel striker.
This then exposes iron which, in turn, reacts with the oxygen in the air to create a hot spark.

The flint can be struck with the steel or steel with the flint - either way it will produce sparks.

However, I have found for best results always strike the flint with the steel, especially when using a Charcloth to create your ember.

Most 'Bushcrafters' will make up their own Flint and steel kit to suit their own needs. But, in all honesty, the contents will be very similar.

Keeping everything simple is the key to a good fire starting kit and a Flint and Steel fire starting kit is very, very basic and comprises of just two main items:

  • Flint stone
  • Steel Striker

However, I think it is much better to have a full kit all together in a neat pouch like the kit shown here:

This particular fire staring kit is from Flint & Steel and comes complete with all you need in a custom leather pouch, and very nice it is as well.

Additional items are:

  • Leather custom pouch
  • Jute Twine
  •  charcloth
  • Tin for charcloth

Custom made Flint & Steel fire starting kits
By: Flint & Steel

Techniques for Flint And Steel Fire Starting

Techniques for creating a hot ember, from which you can start a fire vary slightly from person to person, and there is no real definitive method other than to say: you just strike the flint with your steel whilst holding a small piece of charcloth to catch the spark.

stage 1:  Preparation:
Take some of the Jute Twine and strip out the threads.

stage 3:  Charcloth:
Position a small piece of the charcloth onto the striking edge of the flint.

stage 2:  Tinder bundle:
Strip the Jute Twine right down to the fine fibres to form a tinder bundle 'nest'.

stage 4:  Striking:
Strike the edge of the flint repeatedly to create hot sparks to go on the charcloth.

Final Results:

Once a spark from the striker has landed on the charcloth you have an ember to work with.

Place the hot ember into your Jute string tinder bundle, lightly blow and you have your fire bundle alight.

A very basic, pure method of Flint And Steel Fire Starting.

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?  Well, it's easier to explain on a video
I'm using the Flint & Steel kit shown above for this demo video.

If you have any comments or questions on the Flint And Steel Firemaking, please feel to add to the comments below.

3 comments

  1. BushCraft Dude

    Excelent article and a great video.
    This is my favourite fire starting method as well – I have never failed to get a fire going this way.
    I would lke to see your methods for bow drill and the bow saw as well.
    thanks, Bush craft Dude.

  2. Gringo

    Very interesting post. You explain things very well and clearly.
    I shall be trying this out as it looks a very easy method. Far better than rubbing two sticks together!!!

  3. HomeGirl

    Nice article.
    Love doing things like this and that kit looks great.
    thanks Steve

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