Starting a Fire With a Magnesium Fire Starter
April 4, 2013
The magnesium fire starter should be the first thing you make sure you have with you when hiking, hunting, camping, or running for your life. Always reliable, water proof, altitude proof, lightweight, and easy, it is a really simple way to start fires. When the magnesium is ignited it reaches temperatures of 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit. That will definitely get a fire going. You can light fires in the wind, rain, and snow. I would never travel long distances without one.
Here is how to use one to light a fire in dry or wet weather.
The first thing you want to find is some spanish moss or lichen hanging from trees. If there are evergreen trees around, look underneath them for small twigs either on the ground or on the tree that don't have any needles on them. See the second photo for what they should look like. You will want to gather several large piles of them, around 40 to 50 twigs. Gather more if it is raining or sprinkling out.
Next, gather up some larger sticks like in the third photo. You will need 20 or so of that size. You can break longer sticks into short pieces. Then find some dry wood that is bigger in diameter for maintaining the fire once it is going. The driest non-green wood you can find is always best.
Find some kind of base to light your fire on. Look for a piece of bark or large flat rock. Place your spanish moss or lichen in a pile on your base as in the first photo. Use a knife or striker to scrape shavings from the magnesium bar into a pile next to the spanish moss. Once you have a nice pile of shavings ready use your knife or striker to scrape the opposite side of the magnesium bar with the flint on it. Direct your sparks towards the pile of magnesium and it will ignite. Quickly place your moss on top of the burning magnesium and the small twigs. Feed your flame gradually with increasingly larger pieces of wood until you have a nice fire going. Sit back and enjoy the heat from your fire.