Swedish Firesteel vs Magnesium Fire Starter

My brother and I both had our fire starters on a recent camping trip, and we decided to have a race: who could start a fire first? We created our tinder piles with shaved magnesium, mugwort, dried grasses and punk wood (dead wood that has gone through dry rot). And the race was on!

Sparks went flying, but in the end, neither of us got an ember. We think it was the tinder's fault. We'll have to try making some char cloth. Also, we had some liquid camping fuel but didn't use it for our race.

My brother eventually got frustrated that the striker fell out of his magnesium fire starter. He ended up bending it with a rock and throwing it in our camp fire at night. Nothing happened for half an hour, and then all of a sudden it lit and started burning as bright as the sun! It was so bright, we couldn't look at it, or else we'd get blinded.

By the way, as my emergency fire starting tools, I always carry a waterproof case with matches and the striker from a matchbox, as well as a cheap lighter. What kinds of fire starters and tinder do you carry at all times? Share your comments!

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