Being able to build a fire in a variety of conditions is a core survival skill that all outdoor adventurers must-have. Ferrocerium rod, also known as a “Ferro rod”, is a common tool carried by many outdoor survivalists to help build a quick, strong fire.
Ferro rods, or firesteels, are lightweight, waterproof, and can be used to start hundreds of fires.
PREPARED4x was excited to launch their very own take on a ferro rod/striker product with the PREPARED4x Survival Torch. This article explores several questions about how to properly maintain a ferro rod. Like, how can you clean your ferro rod? How do you store a ferro rod? How can you make your ferro rod last longer?
Keep it Dry
If you live or camp in a humid or wet climate consider storing your firesteel in a waterproof container. If your ferro rod becomes wet simply wipe it off with a dry cloth. If you plan on storing your ferro rod for a time you can coat it in clear nail polish to protect it from oxidizing.
Make it visible!
The PREPARED4x Survival Torch already comes in a brightly colored aluminum casing, but if you are using a stand-alone rod you will want to tie a brightly colored piece of paracord around it or tape one end with brightly colored tape. The dark natural color of a ferro rod can make it easily blend into the forest floor. If you happen to drop your firesteel it may be very difficult to find it again.
Use it as a Fire Accelerant
You can gently scrape off a small amount of the metal from your firesteel and add it to your tinder. When you shower the tinder with sparks the metal from the ferro rod will also spark creating a mini fireball that will burn incredibly hot and make it easier to start a fire in wet conditions.
Pull, Don’t Push
Most people hold the ferro rod steady and use the striker to push out sparks. However, a slightly more advanced technique is to hold the striker steady while you pull the rod towards your body. This creates the same shower of sparks, but you will be less likely to knock over your tinder with your striker.
If you are using a PREPARED4x Survival Torch you can light it with the standard forward stroke with the striker.
Keeping your ferrocerium rod clean and in good shape is not difficult. These affordable fire starters are an important piece of any bug-out bag or camping pack.
As always, we look forward to seeing your pictures of you trying out our ferro rod tips and tricks. Simply tag us @prepared4x on either Facebook or Instagram or shoot us a quick message at firstname.lastname@example.org.