Highly flammable magnesium rod, steel striker and flint. Ignites even when wet, but impossible to light accidentally. Naturally shed elk antler handle. Handmade in Montana. (
At 5,610 °F, magnesium shavings can burn in nitrate and carbon dioxide. But most importantly for the cold camper with a book of wet matches, magnesium is hot enough to burn in water.
Once burning, magnesium shavings are difficult to extinguish, and can light damp kindling to kick-start a fire in the outdoor conditions when you need one most. Magnesium metal has two-thirds the density of aluminum, so it is very light to carry. There is enough magnesium in this fire starter to light a hundred fires out in the wild or at your fireplace.
Despite being a highly flammable metal, magnesium is very difficult to burn in bulk form. The rod of the fire starter won’t burst into flames in your pack. Without a spark to set fine shavings aflame, even a very thin strip of industrial magnesium ribbon won’t spontaneously auto-ignite before the air around it hits 1,166 °F.
Magnesium must be finely shaved to become flammable. Looped into the antler handle is the blue steel striker with an edge sharp enough to shave the relatively soft magnesium metal. Press the magnesium rod against a hard surface (the ground or a log) and use firm, even strokes running the length of the piece to make a small pile of shavings. Besides tree bark and dry grasses, anything from bits of leather or cloth and pine cones can be used as kindling. Gather the kindling around the shavings.
Fitted into the magnesium is a flint. With a series of sharp strokes, use the striker to set off some sparks. Flint-and-steel sparks are eight times hotter than a match, and when one reaches the magnesium, the shavings ignite.
Once the magnesium and kindling are burning, arrange the logs around the flame. Whether you prefer the log cabin style or the teepee style, the important thing is to arrange the wood so the combustion process is sustained by air flowing through the fire as it burns.
The magnesium rod and flint need minimal care. When carving off shavings, use strokes that run the length of the rod to prevent awkward dips from forming over time. The striker's edge can be sharpened by honing or grinding on a sharpening stone.
The company behind this fire starter and other outdoor goods was first founded in Montana in 1972. Husband and wife Gerry and Cheri attended a state fair and admired the fire starters, purchasing several as gifts for family and friends, while also striking up a friendship with the original proprietor. In 1996, Gerry and Cheri took over the company and moved its operations to Idaho, their home state. They make and assemble each fire starter, along with some help from their son.
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