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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Improving the Magnesium Firestarter

In my travels around the web this week, I stumbled across a neat video in which the presenter addressed the primary weakness of using magnesium shavings as a fire starter: they're very light and wind blows them everywhere. Even the striking motion of a ferro rod can cause your shaving pile to scatter and be useless. The weakness is readily apparent, but what is the solution?

The fellow in the video uses simple duct tape to contain his shavings. As Erin pointed out a few weeks ago on the Gunblog Varietycast, one of the many neat features of duct tape is that it burns quite handily. Combined with the magnesium shavings it makes an excellent, if unexpected, firestarter. It also allows you to shave your magnesium at home, where you can a tool that is far more efficient and faster than your striker.

I'll attach the video below, but for those of you who can't watch it for some reason, here is the summary.
  1. Using whatever tool is easiest, make a nice pile of shavings. The example from the video is a file, but there are a number of other tools that would work. Having a sheet of paper or plastic to catch your shavings keeps everything contained and under control. 
  2. When you have a decent pile of shavings, take a square of duct tape, roughly 2" by 2", and rub the adhesive side in the shavings until it is nicely covered. 
  3. Roll the tape into a cigarette shape, adhesive side in. Roll it at a slight angle, so that when you're finished, a tag of adhesive and shavings are visible on one end of the cylinder. 
  4. Store in a plastic bag or some other water-tight container. 
To ignite, drive sparks onto the exposed adhesive/shaving portion.  The shavings will ignite, lighting the duct tape as well and giving you a decent bit of time to get your fire rolling.

 Video courtesy of The Prepper's Voice

As he states in the video, you can make up several of these ahead of time and have them handy. They're not Fastfire or Wetfire, but if you've already got a mag bar around, they cost you nothing but time. It also never hurts to know another way to do something, per the Angus MagGyver school of getting things done.

Lokidude 

The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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