How to make fire with a Ferrocerium rod

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Above, learn how to use a ferro rod to strike a fire.

#2: Prepare your ferro rod (scrape the coating).
Before you can spark a fire, you must remove the coating. Most
ferro rods come with a coating that prevents oxidation. To make
a ferro rod work efficiently, you need to scrape it aways so that it
ignites an efficient spark.

A ferro rod, such as the
Friendly Swede Ferro Rod, pictured right,
comes covered in the familiar protective black coating. You can
scrape the coating off, using the striker, but it works best if you
use a sharp edge like the back of your knife or the blade if you
must. If  you use a hacksaw blade you can really throw sparks!
It's okay to leave the black coating until you need it, but you
may as well learn how to use it now.

Get to know your striker. The striker is the most important part
of a ferro rod. While any sharp metal (even your knife) will work,
the striker is the part that scrapes to make a spark.

#3: Get your tinder ready.
Have tinder ready to go. Your spark can't catch a fire without it.
Tinder is the dry fluffy stuff like dryer lint or cotton, wood
shavings, inner bark of trees, an old bird's nest.

  • NOTE: Don't confuse tinder with an accelerant, such as a
    Vaseline soaked cotton ball.  An accelerant is something
    that speeds up the firestarting process.

#4: Scrape and start your fire!
The most important thing to remember is to scrape at a 45
degree angle and here's how... Place the rod's lower end next to
the tinder, then place the scraper on top of the rod, and drag the
rod back. Don't whittle with the scraper or you might bump the
tinder away from the sparks. Also, remember that the hotter the
sparks, the more efficient the ferrocerrium rod you have. Go back
to step #1 and start again if you have a low quality ferro rod.

To start a fire, follow the steps below:
Prepare kindling (whithered grass, leaves, paper, cotton). Slowly
scrape some magnesium from the lighter rod onto the kindling,
then quickly scrape the lighter rod to create a spark onto the
kindling. To make a spark, you must remove the white-hot pieces
of the ferro with the scraper.  irtually any sharp object might
work for scraping the ferro rod. For consistency, though, get a
hard steel scraper with sharp, 90-degree angles. This will allow
you to most effectively scrape the rod.

Happy endings...
A ferro rod isn't that difficult to use, but you should first try to
use one under normal conditions (and not under wet conditions
or a frustrating survival situation). Learn now to use one, well
before you need it.

You also may be happy to read these articles...

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Ferrocerium Rod
How to make fire with a Ferrocerium rod

How to use a ferro rod.
Every prepper, camper, hunter or scout master needs a quality
firestarter and should consider a ferrocerium rod in addition to a
BIC lighter. In fact, the material of a "ferro rod" is the ignition
source for lighters! Get schooled on this basic survival item,
which should be part of your everyday carry.

Affectionately called a "ferro rod" this amazing firestarter works
when wet. Think of them as waterproof matches, only better.
Learn how to use a ferro rod to make fire...

How to make fire with a Ferrocerium rod
Ferrocerium, also sometimes called a firesteel or a ferro rod, is a
man-made metallic material that's basically a combination of
cerium and iron. It's not the same as flint or magnesium, but we
won't bore you with the details to make your chemistry teacher's
eyes ignite. As a prepper you can admire the survival powers of
this awesome man-made tool because a ferro rod may some day
save your life.

You can spark a fire with a ferro rod even if you're not a Scout or
avid backpacker, but it requires technique and practice.

Here's how to use a ferro rod:

#1: Start with a quality ferro rod!
Since ferrocium is a man made device, not all ferro rods were
created equally. Get the best tool you can and here are two of
the most highly rated ones:

  • The Gerber Bear Grylls ferro rod, pictured top right, is a
    premium ferro rod that fits neatly into your gear bag and is
    only around $12. What makes it unique is that it has a
    waterproof storage compartment to keep tinder dry. The
    compact fire starter with ferrocerium rod and metal striker is
    the collaborative effort of Gerber and survival expert Bear
    Grylls. This popular tool comes with land to air rescue
    instructions and Bear Grylls' informative "Priorities of
    Survival" pocket guide, loaded with survival basics designed
    to help keep you alive until you can be rescued or rescue
    yourself. This firestarter produces very long, hot sparks to
    get dry tinder to burning quickly and easily.

  • The überleben Zünden ferro rod, pictured immediate right,
    comes with a lifetime guarantee and some extra goodies  ~
    a map scale, concave-serrated tinder scraper, straight-edge
    spine, hex wrench, ruler & bottle opener). One of the big
    differences between the Ferro Rod in the Überleben Zünden
    is the composition of the alloy used, it contains an
    exceptional mixture of materials that produce a higher
    temperature spark: 5,500° F. It's about $16-22 depending on
    the thickness of the rod you choose.
Friendly Swede
überleben Zünden ferro rod
How to use a Ferro rod