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I Wish I Had A Swedish Army Firesteel When I Was Young

Updated on June 14, 2013

Times Have Changed - Not All Bad

I picked up something when I was shopping for my big canoe trip this weekend. I wish I had one of these gadgets when I was in Scouts so many years ago. The gadget I picked up was a Swedish Army Firesteel. Basically it is a flint and steel brought up to today's standards. This high tech flint and steel will produce 12,000 spark strikes. That's a lot of fires you'll be able to start.

I like a flint and steel because you don't need to worry about keeping it dry. Being able to make a fire is a fundamental skill everyone should practice and practice often if you are going to be confident about making a fire when you need one.

I bought several of these Swedish Army Firesteels and have one tied to each PFD as well as in the truck glove box and on my belt. I believe in being prepared. That a hold over from spending 21 years in the Scouting movement. Using one of these steels and my Scout trained skills in fire making and I have no problem lighting a fire is as little time as with a couple of matches. Why wouldn't any one use these if they could do that?

Be Prepared Before You Strike

Setup you kindling before you strike your steel.
Setup you kindling before you strike your steel.

I have lived with the mindset of "being Prepared". Not to the extent of those "Preppers" out there but I do like to know what I am getting into in most circumstances. By owning a Swedish Army Firesteel I know that I am confident I'll be able to make a fire wherever and whenever I need to.

Having said that there are things one needs to know and do beforehand to ensure success. I've already mentioned practice, that is important. A little forethought is also important. The one thing that you need to be successful at fire lighting with a flint and steel is dry tinder.

The other is building your fire with kindling in the proper way. Don't strike your steel if the kindling is not setup . Be prepared before you strike. Then your fire is ensured.

Camp Fires Are Memories Being Made

Campfires are awesome
Campfires are awesome

When I go camping or doing anything outdoors I usually carry with me a small tin of char-cloth to help catch the spark from the flint. If I didn't have the char-cloth I would usually scape the inside of my cotton jack-shirt or the side of my jeans to gather a small pile of lint-like cotton which was great to catch a spark if it was dry.

Making your own char cloth is as easy as cutting up an old pair of cotton jeans or a cotton tee-shirt into squares that will fit inside an airtight metal tin, A tin like what chewing tobacco or mints come in are great options. Burning the closed tin in a fire for 10 to 15 minutes is all that is required. The cloth will burn in the absence of oxygen and turn into char cloth. Let it cool before you open it to check , otherwise it will just flash over if it is too hot. Having this in your pocket or pack will ensure a successful fire almost every time.

For other fire starters you can make at home before you go check out this lens - Easy To Make Campfire Basics

"Being able to make a fire is a fundamental skill everyone should practice and practice often if you are going to be confident about making a fire when you need one."

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world. - C. D. Warner

What Are Your Thoughts - Memories- Ideas.

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    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @jpmny999: Campfires = memories...

    • profile image

      jpmny999 4 years ago

      Sitting around a campfire is so much fun.