Hot molten metal sparks...thats all we need!
The ferrocerium rod, or “ferro rod,” is one of the most essential parts of the modern woodsman’s kit today. The ferro rod is held in high standard by survivalists, bushcrafters, and preppers alike. Do a quick search online though and the information you will find can make your head spin. So what’s the deal with this magical fire starting device?
I honestly never understood the drama that surrounds this piece of gear, but like with all gear, there comes much dispute and discussion. The ferro rod has one primary function - to start fires via throwing sparks into the tinder source of choice. There is no other objective to this tool, so here are a few things you can understand if you want to dig a big deeper, without getting lost in the hole, about the ferrocerium rod. The ferro rod performs best when scraped along the full length of its surface, hence the need for a longer rod. I prefer a 6” rod for a few reasons. First, I don’t apply large handles to my ferro rod so when gripping it, I lose approximately 2” of rod length, leaving me 4” to work with. Second, anything longer just takes up way too much room and doesn’t fit well in your pack. I also choose rods that are 1/2” in diameter - smaller rods seem to not last as long and being 6’’ in length, the 1/2’’ diameter balances the rod well. Finally, if possible, I personally like to use a softer ferro rod. Ferro rods, like anything, come in all different compositions. Softer ferrocerium rods scrape better and allow more material to be removed from the surface each strike, hence more sparks. Softer ferro rods also allow the user more ease when scraping shavings from the rod, a technique used to extend your heat source.
Remember, ferrocerium rods are fire starting devices and at the end of the day if you have one, no matter what style, length, or diameter it can save your life. Give yourself time to develop your technique and learn its strengths and limitations.
For more tips and tricks check us out on YouTube @ Coalcracker Bushcraft
Stay in the Woods!!!