Ken’s Do-It-Yourself Flint & Steel Kit is very inexpensive and easy to make. The following list includes the elements and description of their uses.
- Metal Container – This “Altoid” mint candy tin is great. It houses the kit, and can be used to create char cloth.
- Char Cloth – Carbonized cotton cloth used to catch a spark.
- Cotton Cloth – Used to make char cloth. Carbonize indirectly, by placing inside tin while baking over coals, or carbonize directly by holding cloth in pliers while setting on fire, then snuffing it out with tin lid once cloth is totally black.
- Candle – Used for light or damp tinder fire-starter.
- Flint – Used with metal striker to create sparks. Any igneous, silicate based stone with a sharp edge will work.
- Striker – Piece of hacksaw blade mounted edgewise into wood block.
- Tinder – Jute string. Unravel string into fiber fuzz “birds nest”.
Process – Prepare the “birds nest” and tinder to recieve the flame that you will be making. Hold the stone with the sharp edge exposed. Place charcloth on top of the stone and flush with the sharp edge. Slightly fraying the edge of the char cloth will enhance the capability of it to catch the sparks. Hold the striker perpendicular and slightly above the stone and strike downward as if trying to slice the edge. The sparks will eventually catch on the char cloth as a bright orange glow. Blow on the spark to increase it’s size, then place the charcloth into the “birds nest”. Gently wrap the nest fiber around the spark, and hold the bundle slightly upward and blow vigerously. The fibers will begin to ignite, and a flame will ensue. Initially, it might be helpful to practice making sparks before you begin using the char cloth.