With a firm grip on the rod and the blade near the rod’s end, use your left thumb to push the blade forward. Once you get the larger pieces going, rest and recoup your energy and feel good about your accomplishment. As we travel into the woods of the Adirondacks, I hope we will all make the most of our time there by starting out with safety in mind!With this controlled grip, the spark will be a small fireball that will jump off the end of the rod onto the tinder. In fact, a great amount of swearing will help you in the woods as you endlessly hack away at the rod, until finally an outgoing expletive gets interrupted with a “holy *%#@! While this made things wet enough for a real world test, when you are in an emergency situation conditions might be a lot worse than this. Assume that everything on the ground is too wet for starting a fire. Look for downed branches that have caught on limbs, look for dead leaves on snapped branches, but most importantly look for resinous trees like the pine and cedar that are prevalent throughout the Adirondacks. Here I have found some dead white pine needles hanging from the lowest branches of the tree that will do nicely for tinder.Keeping my eyes up, I find some brown cedar twigs among the green.
Burn the driest wood first and place the wet wood on the edge of the fire to dry as it burns. Here I’ve laid two larger sticks parallel to each other and laid smaller sticks across them. I like to hedge my bet by flaking the ferro rod onto my tinder.
The knife need not be a carbon steel knife, but it will make your life a lot easier if it is. You can talk to me all you want about the advanced metallurgy available in modern knives, but you’ll never get my vintage Marble’s knife away from me.
It’s been a wet summer here and the day I did this was rare a break from the rainfall.
Now is the time to fall back upon the secret weapons that you have packed.
A fire starting rod made of ferrocerium or magnesium and a carbon steel knife are the basic fire starting tools that you should pack for survival preparedness.
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These are broken to length and grouped by size from small to large.