Offgrid Preparation Ferro Rod Fire Starter: A Giant Leap Backwards?
Who is Outdoor Element? Mix a mechanical engineer who used to design...
We're often told by purported survival experts on TV and on the internet that the most reliable and dependable method for starting a fire in the wilderness is a ferro rod (also called a fire steel). On the surface, this claim makes sense—the ferrocerium rod and steel striker are compact, have no complex mechanical components to break, and can throw a nice big shower of sparks with ease. You can even strike a ferro rod against the back of some knives.
We have nothing against ferro rods, and know that they can serve as effective fire-starters. However, many people claim that there's a superior survival fire-starting technology available: the lighter. You may think a lighter is unreliable or overly complicated compared to a ferro rod, but we'd encourage you not to jump to that conclusion just yet.
This 22-minute video from Weekend Wanderer on YouTube makes a pretty compelling case for using a lighter as your primary survival fire source:
If you don't have time to watch the whole video, here are some key points:
The host also makes several comparisons of the effectiveness of lighters and ferro rods:
While we don't necessarily agree with everything the Weekend Warrior host says, we'd agree with his point that lighters can have considerable advantages over ferro rods in many cases. No matter what, your survival kit should include multiple fire-starters—regardless of which device is your first choice.
We want to know: what's in your fire-starting kit, and which method is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.