Ultimate Survival Sparkie
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Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
video on 03/25/2009 00:18:46 MDT Print View

Well Bailey, I think Dan's video pretty much answered both our questions.


In your video I see a small razor blade (very light weight) and a very small piece of fire starter (also extremely efficient on weight). Both of which are ideal state for an ultralighter, only exception being the motor skills comment above.

...

*thinking*

...

HOWEVER, I'm being forced to "look within", deep into myself after watching this video. I'm not quite sold. The primal, savage, mountain man in me isn't satisfied with the razor blade and stubby flint.
There's no logic to what I'm about to say, it's just the "MAN" in me that has a hard time giving up his big knife and big fire steel.

This is coming from the same guy that spent $55 buying a Dremel just to shave 16 grams off of his cooking pot. Some areas I'm willing to cut weight, and in other areas...in this area, I'm gunna stick to my guns.

This forum may burn me at the stake for saying this, but I'm not ready to surrender my over-sized, man knife and obscenely heavy 1/2" firesteel.



I've drawn a line.
____________________________________________

line


who is with me?

Edited by matthewjamesroberts on 03/25/2009 00:29:01 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: video on 03/25/2009 00:58:54 MDT Print View

IMO, way too small and needs good motor skills. If you are cold, going to be tough to get a fire started.

The Sparkie is a mechanical device subject to failure.

Hard to beat a 1.5 oz magnesium block with built-in rod. These are really effective, if you practice with them. They will dull a knife, but it is not an everyday item. I leave mine at home, except for long trips or bad weather trips.

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
1/4" firesteel on 03/25/2009 02:51:54 MDT Print View

That 1/4" firesteel looks like a nice campfire conversation starter to me. But what do you use to start the campfire?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: video on 03/25/2009 08:15:16 MDT Print View

In a survival situation your "survival instincts" will kick in. Adrenalin will be flowing to the max. If not you'll be dead shortly. Knowledge of your equiment and environment is what separates the men from the boys. I have a passionate interest in surviving so my skills are extreme and so is my interest in alcohol stoves. It requires a minimum of 1 teaspoon full of magnesium to be scraped of a magnesium bar that has been spoken of. For all of you that have those bars I challenge you to scrape off that amount with your Man Knives into a manageable pile and then light it with the 1/4" ferro rod. Come back to this thread and tell us of your enlightning experience. That excersise will separate the men from the boys. It'll make you think twice about fire and sparks and survival. Let's hope we'll never need the fire making skills that we speak of. It has been an eye opening experience for me to delve into the world of fire making. I've had alot of fun learning and hope that all you will practice your fire making skill. Practice lighting your double walled downdraft wood gasifiers with a ferro rod and hacksaw blade.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: video on 03/25/2009 10:42:49 MDT Print View

Dan,

I applaud your survival skills and encouraging others to hone theirs.

As to magnesium bars, they require practice like any other tool. A tablespoon is a lot, much more than I would normally use, assuming some tinder is available. Wind is the issue with mag shavings.

As to an 'enlightening' experience, here is mine. In the '60s I did several weeks of military SERE training in the Rockies. During the evasion part, we had a week to get from point A to point B. We had to travel at night, because during the day the 'aggressors' were trying to capture us. There were fewer aggressors at night. Traveling on trails was a good way to get captured, so I traveled cross country and on ridgelines where possible. This meant we had to sleep during the days under duft, in trees, etc. We encountered the usual afternoon thunderstorms and some snow (it was summer). Those who traveled in groups got caught. Those of us who traveled solo, had a much lower capture rate. I avoided capture.

From what I remember, here was my gear.

- sleeping bag
- poncho
- compass
- topo map without major landmarks
- flashlight
- mag bar
- knife
- one day of C rations (had some matches in it)
- paracord
- NO pack

My C ration "water proof" matches got wet early on and were not water proof :( During the week I was able to trap one rabbit and one squirrel. I caught two trout. I also ate a snake. The rest of my food was dandelion leaves and some berries. One day my sleeping bag got soaked, and it snowed that night. So I traveled outside the aggressor area, which was off the map. Built a fire with the mag, and kept somewhat warm. The next day cleared, and I was able to get the bag fairly dry. Being out of the area of the aggressors, I was not concerned about hiding that particular day. When night came, I moved back to the area on the map and continued towards point B. During the week, I was even able to light the K ration cigarettes with the mag bar. :)

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
Dan Yeruski on 03/25/2009 11:30:34 MDT Print View

I have no problems scraping that amount from the mag bar and hitting it with a spark. Maybe you were just to pumped up when you tried it or something.

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
story on 03/25/2009 19:44:39 MDT Print View

Wow Nick! You're really living it up.

Who were the agressors *sitting on the edge of his seat, waiting to hear more of the story*

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Survival on 03/25/2009 22:22:20 MDT Print View

Don't really want to hijack the thread, but I have gotten more than one inquiry about my post. All branches of the military have Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) training. The government is pretty sensitive about people giving out a lot of details about the training. There are different levels of training, depending upon the risk of the 'combatant', should he or she be captured. My training was about 40 years ago, when I was attending the USAF Academy. The Academy was unique, because it had its own SERE program. Actually a part of this training was classified by the USAF as "Secret." Since many graduates become pilots, it was extensive. Keep in mind that this was during the Viet Nam war era, and very realistic. Pilots are privy to a lot of military intelligence, and are prime targets for capture by any enemy. The Air Force took this training of the cadets very seriously.

The survival and evasion training took part in the national forest, in the Pikes Peak area. The 'aggressors' were trained as SERE instructors, and acted as any enemy would in a war. They traveled on foot, and others used jeeps and trucks on forest service roads trying to locate us. I remember the area was very remote, and I did not see a single civilian during the week I described in my earlier post.

Before this training we had completed Resistance and Escape training to include a simulated POW camp. That training was unpleasant to say the least, and all of us were truly afraid of capture. Many of us had sustained minor injuries during the prior training modules, and capture meant more of the same. The simulated enemy knew the territory, there were lots of them, and they wanted/needed to capture as many of us as possible. Given the time frame, we were well versed in Geneva Convention standards, and we were appropriatedly trained to the real fact that the enemy might not honor any of them. Thus, our realistic desire to avoid capture.

The training we went through left a lasting impression on most of us. Last year I attended our 35th class reunion, and we drank many beers over our SERE rememberances and stories.

During the late 60's and early 70's the USAFA SERE program had the reputation of being as difficult as any program in the military.

In later years, due to a "harassment" lawsuit which the government lost, the USAFA SERE program was watered-down to CST (classroom training) and eventually discontinued at the Academy. Graduates who required SERE training went to the training at Fairchild AFB in Washington state. If you do a Web search for USAFA SERE, you can find more information.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 03/26/2009 16:21:39 MDT Print View

Stimulate the economy, buy commercial fire starters, blastmatch or sparkies, take your pick.



More flint and steel fire videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dos06c03p34

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDBBtUIVM5s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdW8WBY_uhY


It's manditory that you practice. It could be hazardous to your health, so be careful. Watch this guy practice and not give up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dos06c03p34

.

Edited by zelph on 03/26/2009 17:26:22 MDT.

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
technique on 03/26/2009 21:01:53 MDT Print View

Thank you for posting this.

I really like the technique holding the tinder on top of the blade with an upwards stroke. I've never seen this before.

Where did you learn this. I like it!

Ross Krogh
(rkrogh) - F

Locale: N-IL,WI, MN, IN, OH, KY
Had to try it on 03/31/2009 20:17:38 MDT Print View

I watched Dan's the video of how to light jute tufts or a paper towel using a fire starter. Since my own experience led me to believe the sparker was only useful for igniting my alcohol stove, I was so impressed I had to immediately try it myself. It took a while to get it right, but once I got the knack it was so much fun I filled the kitchen sink with little burning twine tufts and paper towel bits!

I joined BPL forum just to thank you for the tip!

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Had to try it on 04/01/2009 13:18:16 MDT Print View

I learned the "SureFire" way of using the ferro rod from a grizzly looking "Mountain Man" out in the hills of PA many years ago while at a Mountain Man Gathering. He and I were sitting in his teepee talking fire stuff and the subject of ferro rods came up. It is the best method to use with a ferro rod when you want to give demos on fire starting. Ross, I'm glad you liked the video and thanks for the compliment. My videos make it look easy. I practiced alot, did my homework, and all is well = ) I'm confident that I can start a fire under adverse conditions. I carry my little ferro rods and 1 tablespoon of magnesium with me 24/7. The magnesium is contained in a hermetically sealed packet the size of a credit card x 1/8 inch thick. It's in my wallet along with a stainless steel blade. If I go somewhere that has homeland security I take measures to make myself legal; Practice your fire making skills, it could save your life or someone else. Hypothermia kills.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 04/01/2009 13:23:19 MDT Print View

Try sparking some dryer lint, that really goes too.

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
Secret Super Emergency Fire Tinder on 04/01/2009 21:33:41 MDT Print View

Im going to let you guys in on one of my little secrets.

If your ever in a jam and you need a little bit of tinder you can reach down your shirt and grab a fingernail sized amount from your inny. My bellybutton generates about one nights worth every day or two when I wear my smartwool or cotton tshirt. For those of you with outties maybe you could reach down a little further. It works great with a ferro rod.

. Callahan
(AeroNautiCal)

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
Good Techniques! on 04/02/2009 21:09:28 MDT Print View

Dan,

Thanks for persevering, and sharing your skills, I found your technique original and highly effective.

I've been using the FireSteel Army models and am thinking of getting much smaller and lighter ones, like that on my Magnesium block.

Regards,

Bailey Gin
(pugslie) - F

Locale: SLO County
Re: Re: GoingGear: ATTN: Matthew Roberts on 04/03/2009 10:17:20 MDT Print View

Did you get those firesteels yet? If so, how easy are they to create a spark...low, medium or high pressure?

Thanks...b.gin

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 04/03/2009 10:37:04 MDT Print View

Dan,

Thanks for the video. You're always a wealth of good fire-starting info. I was unaware of Jute before this - can I find this anywhere? Hardware store, craft store, etc?

- Sam

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: GoingGear: ATTN: Matthew Roberts on 04/03/2009 11:26:26 MDT Print View

Low to medium pressure with the blade of the knife drug backwards across the steel.

Bailey Gin
(pugslie) - F

Locale: SLO County
Re: Re: Re: Re: GoingGear: ATTN: Matthew Roberts on 04/03/2009 12:29:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info Dustin. I bought a couple from firesteel.com and those required alot of pressure to spark which I didn't like. I think I read somewhere that firesteels made with a higher magnesium percentage were harder to spark.

b.gin

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
going gear . com on 04/03/2009 19:10:02 MDT Print View

I can second that. I recently purchased 4 fire steel ferro rods from goingear.com

The first 10 or so strikes in one area on a new Ferro rod looked great. Molten balls of fire shoot out and sizzle on the ground. It looks cool, and is sounds primal! Very Awesome.

Until you get to the 11th or so strike. Then the rod doesn't produce much. Just shards of metal shavings and little-to-no spark.

I have struck the ferro rods with everything from steel to carbide steel (Knife sharpener). No change in the rod's inability to produce sparks.


Ditches form on the rods surface around strike 15+.ditches in ferro rod

I have written GoinGear. We'll see what they say.

Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong.

Edited by matthewjamesroberts on 04/03/2009 20:10:09 MDT.