Multiple Firestarters And Order Of Use

Discussion in 'Fire' started by CSM-101, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. CSM-101

    CSM-101 Scout

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    I was talking to someone recently about what type of gear I carry and I mentioned that I carry several types of fire starters. I generally carry a ferrocerium rod, a Bic lighter and a pack of storm matches along with some tinder.

    Of course they asked why I carry multiple starters and I explained the importance of being able to start a fire and the need to carry a backup or two, and then they asked which one I would use first.

    That was actually a good question, and got me thinking about the order I use them. My Light My Fire Army 2.0 is rated for 12,000 strikes, so even with several strikes per fire means I should get several thousand fires out of one. It makes sense to me to use this first as it will last the longest.

    I've never smoked so I don't really know how long a Bic lighter will last, but based on my usage a butane lighter should be good for several hundred fires. So I figure this is my second to use item.

    A match is a one time use item, so I tend to save these as my 'last resort' option.

    Obviously there are some conditions that would change things. A ferro rod is pretty dependent on good tinder prep, so if I couldn't get good feather sticks due to wet wood or (shudder) not having a knife on hand I might have to use some of the tinder I carry, which is also a one time use item. And if I were very cold I'd skip straight to the Bic to get a fire going as quickly as possible (insert 'ain't nobody got time fo that' meme here. :D)

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    Ill tell you I think 100 fires from a bic might be generous. May e if you throw a rubberband under the gas lever.

    I dont get a ton of mileage out of them, usually have a spare in my kit for that reason.

    Also carry a ferro rod and waterproof matches. Uses the bic 100% of the time. Has came in handy on more than one occassion.

    In cranberry my buddys bic shat out and didnt have any source of fire. Needes one for his canster stove.

    I was the only guy with multiple sources of fire and he ended up needing mine.
     
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  3. quietmike

    quietmike Hardwoodsman Supporter

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    The ferro rod or especially friction methods get used when its covenient, simply because my skill with them aren't where I'd trust my life to them. Basically I'm still practicing them to get better.

    If I'm cold, wet, or otherwise NEED a fire, I'll use whatever is fastest and most foolproof
     
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  4. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Scout Bushclass I

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    I use a ferro rod almost exclusively. Still carry two bics, but honestly usually forget they're there.
     
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  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I am of the school of, "Go hard to easy". In other words use the least dependable method first when you have the time and conditions. If you use your ferro rod for 90% of your fires then you're teaching yourself good tinder discipline. (I would add that regular paper book matches are great for learning to patiently prep
    Your tinder and wait out breezes or find a wind break) If you can consistently get a fire going with a paper match then you're pretty skilled.
     
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  6. motman241

    motman241 Scout

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    Flint and steel, then ferro rod, and if I have to - Bic lighter.

    The Bic lighters (I just say that so as to not be confused with Zippo-style lighters) are cheap enough and small enough, I have them stashed in bags, and pouches, and packs, and pockets.... even when empty, they still spark. ;)
     
  7. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    I carry three ignition devices, ferrocerium rod, matches, and Butane lighters. The majority of the time I use my ferro rod first. I rarely use matches or the lighter, but they're there, just in case.;) I also use f&s when I'm feeling 'primitive'...

    Dom
     
  8. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The same for me. I also have a credit card sized Fresnel lens stashed here and there.
     
  9. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    It depends on your time frame, and the urgency. I don't think any one rule will work for all. If you need the fire fast, the lighter or matches are the best bet. If the lighter or matches doesn't work, then go to ferro. However, to effectively use the ferro requires practice, so if you have time, it's probably best to use the ferro. If you were in a long term emergency situation, your order makes sense. Short term, it's probably go with the lighter first.
     
  10. HP500

    HP500 Scout

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    Preferred order:
    Flint and steel
    Bow drill
    Ferro rod
    Zippo
    Bic
    Matches

    However, if I fell into an icy creek, I would whip out the Bic first.
     
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  11. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Ember based>Ferro rod>Bic>Stormproof Matches>Road Flare

    Tinder order is always: on-site gathered>fatwood>go home cause fire is not happening, seriously, who can't get fire going with fatwood?
     
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  12. Bent Chile

    Bent Chile Tracker

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    My fire carry other than everyday is flint and steel with a lense, Bic , and matches. Now I tend to use them in that order but IF I need a fire right now I go with the Bic. I know a lot of folks question a Bic and its useful life but as a former smoker I seldom bought more than 3 lighters a year and on average I flicked my Bic 60 times a day! and a flick was a 3-5 second burst so unless your lighting wet or overly large fuel you can expect a bic to last for 6 months or more in the woods cuz I doubt you'll be lighting 60 fires a day. As a smoker I carried my Bic in my pants pocket and in the 45 years I smoked I don't think I found my lighter had emptied in my pocket by accident so carried in a tin in your fire kit is a pretty safe bet it will preform.
     
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  13. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    To me depends how badly i want that fire
    Cold and hungry ill use gasoline if it will speed things up
    I have a few zippos but stopped carrying them
    They just dont store well and lose fuel quickly
    Bic lighters i mostly use for when i cut cordage to stop the ends
    Fire starting its matches or ferro rod
    Pretty even split of which i use the most
     
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  14. Chris L

    Chris L Tracker

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    Great thread. I’m still trying to come up with the right fire kit for me and more importantly the skills. Currently I’d go with a ferro rod, lighter, and matches, but I need to work on my tinder supplies too.
     
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  15. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    I normally have a ferro rod, an Exotac titanLIGHT zippo-style lighter (leak-proof), and occasionally also a Bic (which I honestly haven't carried as much now that I have the titanLIGHT) with me. That titanLIGHT has been freaking awesome. It is seriously leak-proof. If I had any complain it's that occasionally when I open it some fuel has collected around the cap threads, but it burns off/evaporates quickly. That being said, I've been trying to start all fires with ferro rods as of late. I like the practice it makes me take with tinder prep.
     
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  16. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    I read somewhere a regular Bic lighter could light 3000 cigarettes depending upon usage....
    If You Were A Chain Smoker You could Light Your Next Cig With The Last one and save on your lighter....ugh!:eek::46::p
    Dominick......
     
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  17. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Bushclass II

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    My most used and first choice is just regular old book matches. Can get them free at the gas station, they are expendable, and go unnoticed in the watch pocket on a pair of jeans. I carry some other stuff too but most of the time the book of matches gets it done.
     
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  18. CSM-101

    CSM-101 Scout

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    I have a weakness for Exotac gear, and I've been eyeing that TitanLIGHT. I was curious about how well it retained fluid, I didn't want to end up with another disappointment like the CountyComm Peanut lighter.
     
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  19. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    If I'm out having fun, I'll use the ferro rod, a SERE sparking tool, Doan MagBar, or flint-n-steel. If I mean bidness, a BIC lighter or matches. I have not embraced "friction" fire-making to date.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 8:03 PM
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  20. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I have a suspicion that Santa will be leaving me a Titan light in my stocking. I'm looking forward to using it as I wanted a lighter with all of the pros of a Zippo such as a large continuous flame, but without the negatives of going dry quickly.
     
  21. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    I've only had it for about a month, but it has retained fluid CRAZY well. The seal is awesome (both of them). If I had a complaint, it's that while sealed, some fluid may leak slightly and get around the cap threads. Just be careful when lighting. It's never leaked on me yet though. I love it. Seriously awesome piece of gear if you like/prefer liquid fuel lighters.
     
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  22. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    In my experience, it's not QUITE as wind proof as a zippo, but it's darn close. Definitely willing to put up with it for not leaking fluid, though.
     
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  23. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    Chain-smoking is a destructive habit, but the mindset of using what one has in order to get what one wants, is worthwhile.
     
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  24. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    I carry many methods of ignition because it's fun. I also carry a goodly quantity of prepared tinders. And order of use is dependent only on whim. If, however, I was to find myself facing weeks without an opportunity to resupply, I would become a tinder hoarder of the first magnitude. Anything we can find around us that lends itself to tinder and kindling makes preserving our ignition sources easier. Once the fire is going, it helps prepare the resources for the next fire.
     
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  25. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Tracker

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    When I am out I always have a bic lighter. If I am out and about in the woods I use and ferro rod; flint and steel, matches; bic; or a magnifying glass in my bag. In the woods I always carry cotton balls saturated in vaseline. I am going to start using friction fires again as I just found my old bow drill kit I made over 10 years ago. It should be even drier now.
     
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