Mini ferrorod struggles

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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Instead of fiddling with car antennas, belfie sticks and so on, is it not better and easier to buy a quality, full size Ferrocerium rod?

What's a belfie stick? Anything like a feather stick? :) :)

I have my minni ferro toggle on my hat strings. I just wrap them round my finger with the toggle uppermost and strike downwards. Not a good description. I'll take a photo tomorrow if I can do it one handed and show what I mean.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Instead of fiddling with car antennas, belfie sticks and so on, is it not better and easier to buy a quality, full size Ferrocerium rod?
Apologies Janne, that was flippant of me. A tube is used to encourage embers into flame in much the same way a bellows is used; you just blow down it to add air to the ember. They are very effective and save you having to put your face close to the fire to blow on it. A telescopic version such as a car arial or a selfie stick just makes it easier to pack.
 
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Janne

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Broch, no worries, be more flippant, it is all Good!
Well, that is a very good idea!
Specially for us approaching the ‘elder’ age with a stiff back!


@Woody girl sorry, It should be a selfie stick.

My (used only once) ferrocerium rod got ruined, like chewed by a mouse, by storing for some years in our hurricane emergency box.
Now I know why!
 

Woody girl

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Nothing wrong with a bit of flippancy if it's done in the right manner. Let's have a laugh eh?
In fact to be honest I laughed so hard at your post Janne I spilt my cup of tea! I had a mental image of someone trying to make a self ie stick spark and start a fire!
It's easy to get confused... especially as you get older... :) :)
Yes I knew that you meant a selfie stick.
I just found your post and Brocks reply very funny.... sorry...... I got a strange sense of humour. Couldn't resist making my reply once I had cleaned up the spilt tea and made another... which I actually got to drink instead of wear! :) :) :)
 
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Janne

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I saw Broch glueing the mini ferrocerium rod to one of those long antennas, then getting sparks!

I used to have a car ( -91 AR Spider) with a long antenna. That is the last one, all cars since then have a boring antenna thingy inside the rear windscreen.
I used to attach a streamer to the AR antenna. Cool dude I was!
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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:D

My sister had streamers on her bicycle handlebar grips. While I had playing cards attached to my wheel struts with clothes pegs so my bicycle sounded like a motorbike. Well, it did to me anyway :)

I used the pocket bellows earlier. Blowing into a small wood burning stove with your face right in front isn’t a great idea, you get a faceful of ash and smoke whooshes out just before the fire is ready to flash into flame. Then the smoke alarm goes off, the dogs bark, and a sleepy lady is asking me what the hell is going on :) It’s a very good tool indeed.

I really rate the little fire kit from Polymath, I ought to do a mini review. Adding a solid magnesium pencil sharpener and wooden dowels to make shavings is genius. To get all that stuff for under £12 is a bargain.
 

Woody girl

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I had luminous streamers on my little aixim car. It was so small that I couldn't find it in the supermarket car park unless I pulled the aireal up as high as it would go so you could see them.. imagine a car smaller than a smart car!!!
I have streamers on the handlebars of my motorbike... but they are black leather.!
Yes the face full of smoke when blowing on a fire is a pain. I keep meaning to make myself some sort of blow pipe. I may butcher the aireals off one of my old radios that I keep meaning to get fixed... I never will, as nobody seems to fix things nowadays. Might aswell use it for something else
Thanks for reminding me to do that.
I've made more charcloth this weekend and I'm putting together various fire kits for myself.
 

Janne

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I used to have a ferrocerium rod, about 5 cm long, years ago. Learned to use it, then went back to matches.
Easier.
I think that is one of the joys with bushcrafting, different ways to do stuff, and you choose what you like.
I used to smoke ( tobacco ciggies), lots of them as a mozzie deterrent when in the wild, and it was easier to have matches.

We use our wood burner in Norway every single day when we are there, usually lit twice daily.

I will take the idea of a ‘blowing tube’ with me. I have a bit of a problem being on my knees lighting it and blowing, and the tube will help tremendously!
Many thanks for that idea!
 

TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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As to blowing tubes, yes they work upto the point when one inhales at the wrong moment and gets a lungful of smoke. Used to have an old bent aluminium arrow shaft for that duty until I learned the hard way ...

After that a telescopic tube bellows sounds a brilliant idea.
 

John Fenna

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Oct 7, 2006
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Selfie sticks? Car antennae?
Nah - I do it the bushcraft way!
A length of Elder stem is a great blow poker, a busted arrow or crossbow quarrel,- or even just blowing through the lanyard hole in your knife handle all work well.
As to spark sticks..... I carry a disposable lighter or flint and steel set in preference to a ferro rod. The lighter is the "modern" way, the F&S the trad way :)
I do have a lot of different spark sticks - none work as well as the Bic or F&S!
Too much kit is sold as "Bushcraft" when Bushcraft is a set of skills - not a pack load of gear :D
 

TLM

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Now lets see: VERY few elders here, no lanyard holes in a puukko, no flint in Finland. Plenty of ferrocerium rods, matches and lighters.

Too much kit is sold as "Bushcraft" when Bushcraft is a set of skills - not a pack load of gear
I can't disagree to any of that but just one note; certain small amounts of technology make life a lot easier.
 

Broch

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I am indebted to you John for teaching me the flint and steel method but, in my experience, when the wind is blowing and it's raining cats and dogs, the most reliable way to light a fire is with a good quality ferro rod - far more reliable than a match, flint and steel, or even a BIC lighter. You can get your tinder well under the kindling and out of the rain and send a shower of 2000 degC sparks well into the tinder. A gentle blow down the bellows tube (yes, I've used elder as well) and the fire's going without hassle.

You see, I don't practice and teach 'bushcraft', I practice and teach wilderness skills :)
 

Janne

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I wonder how many people think that using ferrocerium rods is old fashioned/traditional/ ‘paleo’?

Ferrocerium was invented about a century and half ago, but came into widespread use when lighters were designed. The ‘flint’ scraping the wheel you thumb is ferrocerium.


Btw, Bushcraft = wilderness skills ? Same stuff?
 
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Broch

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Btw, Bushcraft = wilderness skills ? Same stuff?

There's definitely a cross-over but to me there's a difference - perhaps all semantics really. Kephart, Mason and Cone all called it Camping and Woodcraft. To me, bushcraft is all about studying and practicing ancient methods of living in the wild up to and including the iron age - perhaps even early medieval. Whereas I study and tutor those skills, wilderness skills includes the use of modern materials and methods to live, work and play safely and comfortably away from civilisation and includes the use of relevant bushcraft skills.

I don't think anyone would claim using a ferro rod was bushcraft but learning to use it effectively and understanding the advantages it gives are good wilderness skills :)

Like I said, semantics!!
 
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