Any experienced survivalist knows that a Ferro rod is the survival gear you never step into the outdoors without. Here is everything you need to know about this invincible survival tool.
The A to Z of the Ferro Rod
What Is a Ferro Rod
A Ferro rod is a fire-starting tool. Besides its use as a survival gear by outdoorsmen and women, it is also used as an ignition source for lighters or a striker for cutting torches and gas welding.
What Are Ferro Rods Made Of
Ferro rods are made from ferrocerium, a synthetic alloy that emits hot sparks when rapidly oxidized through striking it. The hot sparks can burn as hot as 3,000 °C.
How Does a Ferro Rod Work
The rod breaks into fragments through rapid striking using either a striker, knife spines, glass shards, or a flint. The exposed fragments are then oxidized by the oxygen in the air, which results in fire sparks.
The sparks then light your tinder which results in an even bigger fire.
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How Long Do Ferro Rods Lastr
Ferro rods will typically have a lifespan of 8000 to 12000 strikes. It will, however, depend on several factors, including frequency of use, rod diameter, user skills, and the hardness or softness of the rod.
For instance, a Ferro rod with a smaller diameter and a softer alloy will last shorter than one with a large diameter, harder alloy and used by an experienced person.
Why Are Ferro Rods Handy for Survival
Here is why every outdoors person should own and carry a Ferro rod:
- Size: Ferrocerium rods come in small sizes that make them convenient additions to your survival pack, not to mention their lightweight.
- Hotter sparks: Compared to other fire-starting methods that you can consider, Ferro rods are the most reliable in a survival situation. Besides producing sparks that burn up to 3,000 °C, the rods do not gel up or fail to work when wet. What’s more, unlike flints that do not produce many sparks without a steel rod, you can strike your Ferro rod with any dense material and have a fire in no time.
- Easy to use: It is unlikely that you will be as strong as you usually are, in a survival situation. The rods are therefore efficient because even without much strength or practice, anyone can start a fire.
- Multipurpose: Besides starting fires, you can also use Ferro rods to emit bright sparks for backup signaling. They work as well as a small flare or firecrackers.
What to Consider to Prolong the Lifespan of a Ferrocerium Rod
Being such a crucial survival tool, you need to increase your chances of getting the best one. Here are factors to consider:
- Size: the diameter of ferrocerium rods is directly proportional to their lifespan. Most of them come in diameters ranging from 3/16 to ½ inch and corresponding lengths.
- Skill level: Inexperience in using a Ferro rod translates to too many strikes and ultimately chopping off way too much material to start a fire. This is contrary to an experienced user who can start a fire with a strike or two and far less chipping.
Also, using Ferro rods when practicing means that the rods will have a shorter lifespan by the time you start using them for a real survival situation.
- Corrosion: Since they are made from synthetic alloy, Ferro rods are prone to rust like most other tools. Therefore, the more exposed to water or sweat they are, the more likely they are to rust, which certainly reduces their lifespan.
Note: A smaller size means it is convenient to carry. The decision is therefore determined by what is more important to you.
How to Use a Ferro Rod
Firstly, gather your tinder. It could be anything from a small amount of dry grass, barks, twigs, or even cotton. It will help to get the driest material available.
Next, pile your tinder, leaving enough room for air circulation at the bottom and throughout the pile. It ensures that there is enough oxygen to oxidize the Ferro rod fragments when they hit the tinder.
Now, hold your Ferro rod against or underneath the pile. With the striker held at 45 degrees, forcefully and rapidly drag it along the rod’s length.
Doing this will produce hot sparks, and your best chance is to ensure that most if not all of them go into the tinder. It helps the fire manifest faster.
Now, you will notice smoke coming from the pile. At this point, stop striking the rod, bend over and begin blowing into the tinder. This will grow the hot sparks into a fire.
Once the fire is stable, start pilling on larger sticks and logs. Add as much as you need to keep warm or cook or until you have a roaring fire.
Watch this video as outer limitless presents on Ferro Rod Comparison: Premium vs Budget – Nathan 4071 vs Bayite:
There you have it, fellow survivalist. Surviving the outdoors requires the most effective and convenient gear one can find, and ferrocerium rods are exactly that. With a little practice, you can trust yourself to start a fire anywhere.
Do you own a Ferro rod? Let us know in the comment section below!
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