When outdoors there’s nothing more important than the fire. This vital part of human life and history has various functions, in everything from spreading warmth and enabling cooking to being a social focal point. But how does one actually start a fire? Let’s take a closer look at how you can practice this useful and striking skill.
There are different ways of starting your outdoor fire, using everything from basic matches to more high tech equipment. With this said, it’s hard to compete with the fire starter. Its convenient size makes it easy to take with you, always within reach in your pocket or backpack. A fire starter can also be trusted to perform, no matter the weather, whereas a rainy day and wet matches might spoil the adventure.
In combination with your survival knife, the fire starter will keep you safe and warm no matter the surrounding. Just make sure your knife has a sharp grinded spine so you can use it to make sparks fly!
Start with collecting some bark, tinder or a similar material that you wish the sparks to catch onto. Use the knife to scrape and roughen the bark – this will make it easier for the sparks to really catch fire. If you’re working with a brand new fire starter, it will have a black oxidized surface. Scrape this off with the back of the blade before you start using it.
Always use the back of the knife blade – the spine – when starting your fire. This way you protect the sharp edge so that your knife can keep its edge retention for longer.
Now it’s time for the actual fire starting! Hold the fire starter against the bark and scrape some magnesium on the bark. Draw the knife spine against the fire starter. Now sparks will show and catch onto the bark. Since the sparks have a limited time of burning, you need to have some speed in the movement. Continue to draw the back of the knife against the fire starter until a small fire has been ignited on the tinder.
Then it’s time to ensure that your fire will continue to burn steadily. This can be done by blowing gently on the tinder and eventually place additional kindling on top of your flames to make sure that it continues to burn. And there’s your fire!
There are also some additional tips and tricks that may be good to have in mind when using a fire starter:
It is important that the sparks have most of their burning time on the tinder you want to catch fire and less time in contact with the blade spine.
If your strikes are too slow, a torching or welding on the blade spine might show up. This may anneal the sharp corner of the knife blade, resulting in the spine losing its hardness and going blunt. This is fairly easy to fix with a basic diamond honer, drawing some strikes across the spine.
To prevent the fire starter from getting “road bumps” like a washboard, make sure you’re drawing the back of the knife against the fire starter at different angles when lighting the fire. This may “ride out” potential bumps.
That’s it! Now the warm, sparkling fire shouldn’t be too far away. To bring a fire starter along on your outdoor adventure is an easy way to prepare yourself for whatever challenge you may face. Bring out your cooking equipment and make a delicious dinner, gather around and enjoy.
1. Roughen the bark or tinder.
2. Scrape some magnesium on the bark with the spine (the back of the knife blade).
3. Draw the knife spine against the fire starter to create sparks. Repeat until your tinder has caught fire.
4. Start your fire!
Morakniv products are available at Al Sayad Hunting Equipment: Port Saeed, Dubai, UAE, 04 295 9666