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 Fire has to be one of, if not the most, important skills to master in the field of bushcraft.  Its value is massive in terms of morale, protection, food... pretty crucial to say the least.  There must also be a thousand ways to start a fire; from matches to friction to chemicals but one of the most reliable ways to  start a fire in almost any condition is a firesteel. These little metal rods are a crucial piece of kit for bushcraft; they're light, easy to use and cheap as chips. They're made of various compounds and are used accros the bushcraft field from the military to enthusiasts. They consistently produce a shower of white hot sparks in any weather; the sparks themselves are some 2000+ degrees as they leave the rod so they absolutely catch on a good bed of tinder.  They usually come with a striker and lanyard:


The striker needs the paint stripped off it to work well, its effective, but you can use the back of your knife to strike the rod just as well. Tinder choice is just as important as the method of ignition; natural choices are usually bark, grasses and lichen, but I discovered by far the best tinder yet.  Lint from the Tumble dryer. Yes, its true, not the most natural, but works a treat...its perfectly dry and it catches a spark so well.  Also, it holds the ember long enough to establish more fuel for the fire.  I keep mine in an old tin to keep it dry for when I'm out:




This little piece of equipment is invaluable and lasts forever, but they're so cheap, you can replace at anytime.  Get yourself one and have a go with different materials.  Oh, and be responsible.  Thats quite important too.

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