Last year, for the first time, I started a fire using just a piece of steel and a piece of flint. The steel I used was a chunk of old file and I enjoyed this challenge so much that i bought a proper firesteel for future use.
Now I should clarify here that by firesteel I mean a piece of hard steel fashioned for the purpose, rather than a ferrocium rod which some people call a firesteel.
“Ferrocerium is a man-made metallic material that gives off hot sparks at temperatures of 1,650 °C when scraped against a rough surface, such as ridged steel”.
It’s the same material as the “flint” in cigarette lighters and using a rod of the stuff to start a fire with is only marginally more difficult than a box of matches.
Having spent a few quid on my firesteel I wanted to protect it from rusting and also given its hook-shaped ends stop it from getting snagged on stuff.
So I made a little pouch for it, using (as before) the leather from a pair of gardening gloves from the Poundshop .
The “button” is a double-six domino piece that I found when camping last year. We pitched our tent as it was getting dusk and noticed a bit of rubbish, but it wasn’t till the next day that we saw the full extent. There were fag ends, bits of paper, food and loads of scarps of wood all over the pitch. Much as I hate clearing up after other people – or rather littering pigs – I did, over the couple of days, tidy it all away via the campfire and whilst doing so found the domino. It seemed like a nice little thing and so rather than bin it, thought I’d keep it as a good luck piece. After all a double six has to be lucky right?
So when I was making the firesteel pouch and pondering what to use as a fastening, the idea popped into my head to re-purpose it. A bead was needed, as a securing device, to complete the lace fastening and so I used one I had made from a piece of spalted birch.