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Ferrocerium rods

20613 Views 81 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  ninjasurvivor
I believe there is way too much interest in Ferrocerium rods in a "Wilderness Survival Kit". This is equipment that you should have on you (on your person)whenever you are in the "Wilderness". That could save your life if you were separated from your main pack or gear. Honestly, I find them great fun to use. But they realy are little more than a novelty, fad or toy.

I drop Bic lighters in with all my gear. Do you know what Bic lighter is?...

Its a FERROCERIUM ROD! complete with built in idiot proof striker, and its own "tinder" or FUEL in one tiny, self contained unit!

Not to mention, Its WATERPROOF, fast, lights on the first try, requires no techniqe to use. And If I fall in a river and have minutes to get warmed up while Im shivering severly, I dont have time to gather tinder or, scrape and play with "toys".

I do not consider a firesteel to be true Bush craft as, you still need the Firesteel. If you can plan ahead and bring a firesteel, you can bring a lighter instead!

What will you do if you drop it in tall grass or snow and cant find it?

I prefer the bright red lighters, good luck finding that narrow little rod that looks like a twig! this may **** some of you off but, it is reality.
Your first priority is to learn to make fire using a Fire Drill (Hand or Bow). You may not have a rod (or anything) with you when you need a fire. THEN, carry a lighter!

Some will say "A lighter can break" well, this is true. My experience from 15 years of smoking, lighting 20 cigarettes a day is that I only recall 2 lighters ever "failing" me they were both cheap gas station plastic lighters. the only time a Bic didnt light was when it was out of Fuel!

And if you're worried about it falling apart in your hands, buy TWO! I have several 5-packs in my closet with my gear these will light thousands and thousands of fires! they are $4. Fire is too important to not have when you need it! You can still have a rod if you like (I have one on my keychain) but do not rely on it as your only source of fire, you could die.

If you are trying to conserve space, they make a Mini-Bic (This is what I carry in MY belt kit) that takes very little space.

Don't misunderstand me, The most valuble "skill" you can have is being able to make fire with nothing, from sticks. And I advocate this techniqe whenever you light a fire in the wilderness for practice. I just do not want to die in the wilderness because i didnt have a fire when I NEEDED it.
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I see some holes in your logic, but that's ok. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion.

Your original post comes off as condescending and aloof. Maybe try toning it down a bit, if you want to better prove your point, would be my gentle suggestion.

To say that a Bic lighter is always superior to a ferro rod is a bit ridiculous. It's true, however, that both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Ferro rods have no moving parts to seize up or break. They never run out of fuel. They work immediately, no matter how long they've been exposed to moisture or submersion. The ferro rod doesn't require the fine motor skills that a Bic would, if you're in the beginning-to-advanced stages of relies on larger muscle groups/movements which would be easier for a person in a life-or-death, need-a fire-right-now situation.

And most importantly... They teach the critical skill of proper fire preparation and building before ever making the first spark. Skipping the "tinder stage" of proper fire building is dangerous and perhaps foolish. You might get away with it sometimes using a Bic, but sooner or later it'll come back and bite you square in the ass...hopefully not at a bad time.

Before you try to flame me, I want you to realize I'm no rookie. I've been practicing the art of survival/bushcraft for well over 25 years now. My skills are pretty well honed, but I would never say there's no room for improvement...that would be foolish. I have also been a smoker for over 20 years, and carry a Bic AND a ferro rod on my person, daily.

The Bic is back-up only, IMO. I would never count on it as a critical piece of fire starting gear, in a true survival situation.
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