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Fire Starting Tools

This page covers common fire starting tools that can be included in a survival kit. We have separate articles covering usage of the tools. Please click on the pictures or titles for each article. The menu on the left can be used also.

* Magnifying Glass
* Ferrocerium fire starters
      - Ferrocerium rod
      - Blast Match
      - Swedish Firesteel
      - Strike Force
      - Magnesium Block
      - Misch metal rod
* Spark-Lite and Tinder-quik
* Potassium permanganate and glycerine
* Lighters
      - Butane
      - Naphtha

Magnifying Glass


Ferrocerium fire starters

Ferrocerium Rod

Ferrocerium: a pyrophoric alloy of iron with cerium; used for lighter flints. It is capable of igniting spontaneously in air with the use of friction. This alloy of iron and rate-earth metals is used for tools such as Swedish Firesteel and the Blastmatch. It has been used for the flint in lighters and military tracer rounds.

Below we use a the backside of a pocket knife to scrape the ferrocerium rod. The sparks ignite the dry grass bundle.




Swedish Fire Steel

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Strike Force

Magnesium Block

Do not hack at the rod. Not only is this dangerous but it will also damage the flint rod.

We scrape the blade down the rod side to get a spark. We use the back edge of the knife in order to protect the blade edge. For demonstration purposes we used the edge of the knife hoping to create a large spark on film.


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Potassium permanganate ( KMNO4 )

Potassium permanganate and glycerine will react and cause ignition. used to soften water in water filtration systems, potassium permanganate can be used for water purification, and can act as a disinfectant. Please handle with care, the reaction is pretty intense and if you spill it, it can stain purple. We only handle it outside in a controlled environment.

Here we place the potassium permanganate on the tinder. We took the time to make sure the blades of grass were flat so the powder is not wasted. A few drops of liquid glycerine are placed on the powder. It takes a little time for the reaction so be patient.

How does this fit into your survival kit?

* The glycerine (glycerol) - can be used as a laxative when used with a suppository. Sold in pharmacies in liquid form inside the suppository. It is said it can also be used as a skin moisturizer.

* Potassium permanganate - can be used to purify water, treat and disinfect wounds and as shown above for fire starting.

* Glucose - we will cover this soon.

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