Intro: How to Make Fire With a Magnesium Stick
Fire has been a humans ally and enemy ever since it was discovered. It can provide heat and protection, or can burn you, your life's hard work, or even take your life. Here you will learn how to harness it and us it to your advantage.
In survival, it provides you with comfort, heat, dries your clothes and cooks your food. Besides a shelter, a fire is the one think you want, you NEED to have. Here is how to make one with limited resources.
To make a fire with a magnesium stick, you first need to collect a few things:
A magnesium stick with a ferro rod (a manufactured flint, mine broke off) fits easily into your pocket, cheap, long lasting from Sportco
Plenty of dry wood to last you a night. Collect how much wood you think you need, then collect twice more
Open space. You don't want fire to be your enemy, and it won't if you control it.
To collect dry wood, find dead-standing trees. Only collect wood from the ground if has been a hot week (not just day) and snaps when you break it.
Organize your wood within reach of the fire, so that you can feed it before it goes out.
Your wood should consist of:
Tinder: lint, birds nests, paper, other dry fibrous material (don't use leaves or grass, they will end up not burning completely and putting out your fire. Only use if you are experienced at this)
Kindling: Match-sized twigs or chopped wood
Squaw wood: pecnil to finger size wood. Called after the Native Americans who collected them in large bundles.
Small Bulkwood: Main part of your fire. It is slightly larger than finger size to wrist size wood. GET LOTS OF IT!!!!!!!
Large Bulkwood: The wood that makes your fire sustainable. Add it too early, and you will put out your fire and have to start over again. It is the wood that makes the good coals for cooking and heat.
Now, the wood needs to be orginized in order next to you. Start building your fire, starting by lining the ground with dry wood to provide curculation from underneath, and to keep your tinder dry.
Next, get something, a branch or piece of metal you can find, to lean the kindling onto. You can make a tepee, but it is hard unless all your kindling is the same size. In the bush ( the wild) you will unlikely have that.
Now, you need to scrape about a dime-sized piece of magnesium from the rod with either your knife (not preffered) or a sharp piece of metal. Concentrate it on a piece of tinder. When using magnesium, you can use paper, cardboard, or anything that easily caches fire (potato chips? yes, anything). Get this under the kindling tent and add more tinder around and a little bit above it.
Once your tinder is down there, get your ferro rod and striker (can be knife, chipped rock, or other sharp object) and scrape the ferro rod quickly, aiming your sparks towards the magnesium pile. You will notice that it burns very quickly. This is why your materials needed to be close by.
You need to now get the squaw-wood and gently but quickly place it on the small flame. You've got fire! But that's not it. Now the fire needs to be watched. When the squaw-wood starts burning, you put the small bulk wood on, smallest pieces first. If your wood starts smoking, which is likely if you live along the Pacific Northwest, you should start blowing on the coals (4th picture).
your final step for the fire building is to keep adding small bulkwood, which you collected a lot of, right? Of course. Once the fire gets sufficient heat and starts getting coals, then you can add more small bulkwood, plus large bulkwood on top. Congratulation!Now you have a real fire that will burn for a while, depending on how much wood you put in, and can keep you warm overnight.
As a final note, you can put the large bulkwood by the fire to dry some more.
Have fun and be responsible!