Using A Magnesium Fire Starter

Using A Magnesium Fire Starter

Survival fire starter with magnesium
Magnesium Fire Starter
   Starting a fire in certain situations can be extremely hard and sometimes even impossible without the necessary skills and supplies. Understanding the many different methods of starting fire is very important and understanding fire is just as important. Starting a fire in a survival situation can be easy with lots of practice and the right tools. My favorite method for starting a fire is a magnesium fire starter. With a little practice you can master this technique that is a reliable source for starting a fire under most circumstances.

   Using a Magnesium fire starter takes little practice with the only other tool needed is a knife and a small piece of paper, cloth or moss. Most people don't understand that you scrape the magnesium off in small chunks before you strike the flint. Magnesium is extremely flammable after it is shaved off into little pieces, but you need a small pile to make sure the fire starts. Using a piece of bark to catch the magnesium as you scrape it off is another method used when in the wild. 

   The next step would be making a tinder bundle; a well-made tinder bundle will increase the chances of the magnesium starting a fire. The way I build a tinder bundle is simple, I use another piece of bark to hold the material and I find that the fibers on the inside of a piece of dead bark work great. After getting a hand full of the fibers and a handful of really small sticks I smash it all together and tear it about to create more surface area. Wad all the material together and place it on bark, the reason for this is simple as it makes the tinder easier to move after it catches fire which brings us to the next step building your fire.

   When you’re building your fire the best method is stacking your fire wood in a tepee fashion and putting your tinder bundle in the middle of the tepee. We have our pile of magnesium, we have our tinder and we have a tepee made of small dried sticks all ready to start a fire. The next step is pouring the magnesium on the tender bundle, making sure it all stays together as much as possible. Using a knife slowly shear the flint in a downward direction careful not to hit the tinder bundle. This takes a little practice to get a good spark headed in the right direction, but just keep at it until it ignites the magnesium.

   When the magnesium sparks and catches fire, carefully wrap the tinder bundle around the coal without smothering it. As it begins to smoke more and more, you'll need to blow on it and keep it going until it ignites. After the tinder catches fire carefully put the bundle in the middle of the tepee and start feeding it with smaller branches until your fire starts a big blaze. Keep adding larger pieces of wood until you have a fire as big as your space will allow.

   This is one of many different methods for starting a fire in a survival situation without using matches or a lighter. It's perhaps not the easiest way to start a fire using magnesium, but with a little practice it's not so bad and one of my favorite methods. The best advice if you're having trouble getting a fire going using this method is keep experimenting with different types of material used in making your tinder bundle.

  Get creative as that's what Outdoor Survival Skills is all about. What about those small little fibers on your shirt or on your survival pack? It all begins with the "right" spark and knowing how to control it until your fire takes on a life of its own.

  I plan on covering several other fire starting methods on this blog because it's one of the most important things to have in a real survival situation. The contents of my survival pack always consists of no less than 4 or 5 ways to make a fire under any conditions with the magnesium fire starter just being one of them. You can easily survive a few days with no food or water as you find your way out, but not so easy if you're not prepared for cold nights and a fire to keep you warm.