This is a neat video on firestarting with a kit that is not only pretty cool but convenient since it contains everything you might need all in one place.
Kevin: Hey, Iím Kevin the paracordist. I want to take this opportunity to show you one of my favorite items, the paracord Firesteel and Tinder Neck Kit. This kit consists of a super scraper, a paracord-handled firesteel, a jute fob, a magnesium stick. Itís softer than those lousy Wal-Mart versions that you see, so itís easier to scrape if youíve used them before. On this particular one, a fatwood stick that I harvest myself from the woods here in New Hampshire.
Starting off with the firesteel, for those of you that arenít familiar with one, essentially rubbing or scraping the scraper across the surface of the steel creates sparks. An easy scrape, a little poof of sparks, a harder scrape, lot of sparks, dancing all over the place. Often the firesteel itself, with some good dry tinder that you can find, either dry grass, sometimes leaves and pine needles, the fluffier the natural tinder, the better. Sometimes the firesteel is all it takes to light that up.
This stuffís a little bit damp, took three or four strikes and I didnít get it. Rather than waste your time and efforts and firesteel, I usually go to my first alternative, good for 99% of the circumstances. That's the jute fob, basically designed so that you can cut a piece of ... about half an inch or so is all you need and it wonít unravel. This fob right here contains five feet of jute, so simply cutting off a piece from the end. You can see here the way I designed the knot. It doesnít unravel any further. Take the piece that you cut off and just unwind it a bit, fluff up the pieces, the cords. Make yourself a little nest, takes couple of seconds.
The beauty of this stuff, as long as itís dry, itíll take a flame, it'll take a spark from the firesteel and give you flame, very very easy. I could fluff that up more, but I really donít need to. Take the firesteel, place the scraper on top and pull back. See, weíve got flames. If I was building a fire, I would take something like birch bark maybe, some other form of tinder. Transfer that flame, build up my fire. Thatís the jute fob, thatís easy.
Iíve got some water over there, so let me go ahead and grab it. Show you what youíre up against when this thing gets wet. With the aid of my kidís toy bucket here of water, what Iím going to do now is dunk the entire kit in water. You can see still thatís still burning down there. (Laughs) Anyway, the whole thing dripping with water, you see that? That essentially renders the jute fob useless. Now thatís out of the picture, imagine I fell over in the canoe or fell into some icy water or something. This is what Iím left with.
Fortunately, firesteel itself doesnít matter if it gets wet. Just wipe it off and itís back in action. That right there, itís worth the price of the mission. Letís say that I just dunked, Iíve got ... Iíve got to make a fire, not an emergency though, but itís been damp. Again, the natural tinder thatís available to me isnít fluffy. I donít want to sit here and scrape away at my firesteel all day. Thatís where the magnesium comes in as an option. Basically you want to scrape a little pile of this stuff off. You need something to catch it with. Set up something like a birch bark or something. You can use your scraper and you can scrape right down on ... along the edge of the magnesium.This particular magnesium, as I mentioned is much softer than Doan bars and stuff that you can find in Wal-Mart and other places. Itís much easier to scrape. Iím in a position here where Ö a precarious position here trying to film this, where I canít really put any back bone into this scraping. Iím trying to do this as quickly as possible. You do want to protect this shaving from the wind, because this stuff does come off very light and fluffy. The last thing you want to do is sit here and spend any kind of time making a pile of it and have that blown away on you.
Iíve got my little pile of magnesium scrapings. Iíve got a little piece of birch bark on it. I want to hit with the firesteel. You see? That was a very, very quick flare, but just enough to catch the birch bark. Thatís really all I need. Once Iíve got my birch bark caught, I can build my fire from there. That was the magnesium stick, and again fully functional after the dunking in the water.
Now for the fatwood stick. It can be scraped just like the magnesium. Scrape it off into little fuzzy scrapings, collect it all, hit with a firesteel. Itís not going to be as easy to put out as the jute or as the magnesium, but it will take a spark and it will burn longer than both of them. If you really need to, you can actually set the whole stick afire. Itíll burn for a solid 10 minutes. That will give you plenty of time, in really poor conditions, to get some small kindling twigs and things. Add it on to this to build a fire quickly.
If youíve got time and the opportunity to use your fire-making skills, then you can save this for when you really need it. Iím just going to scrape a little pile of it off into this piece of birch bark here. Try to keep it as fluffy as you can. Iíve got a decent little pile there. Now weíll see if we can get it up with the firesteel. Afraid Iím going to knock this whole thing over, but letís see. Here, couple of strikes. Watch it go. This stuff goes pretty good. Weíre just a few scrapings from it, took it off the side. Like I said, this stuff is so flammable. If you really need a fire, you can light the end of this. It was wet. Takes a second to get started here, but once it's started, you can actually see it melting, dripping like a candle. If I was to hold this upright, this piece will actually burn like a candle. I could use it for light. I could use it to transfer this flame and to put my, say, a tinder bundle or fire light up in smoke using this thing. There goes my Ö birch. Anyway, blow it out, good as new. Again, almost use it as a candle for a couple of minutes there if you need it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. This is the Firesteel and Tinder Neck Kit. Thatís me, Kevin the paracordist. Take care!