Over the past few years, we've come on in leaps and bounds as we continue to build awareness of the traditional flint and steel method of fire making. Since we began to expand our reach from our corner of Europe to the wider world, we have been featured in all kinds of online articles, blog posts and videos by respected bushcraft kit reviewers from around the world. We even participated in a giveaway competition sponsored by the UK's Bushcraft and Survival Skills magazine!
With all this coverage, some of you have gone on to choose one of our hand forged steel strikers or even a comprehensive fire starter kit. We've received plenty of kind words and encouragement, but sometimes our readers ask if we'd like them to share their whole fire making story with us, such is their enthusiasm. One such reader is Jim from Wales in the United Kingdom. This is his story.
Back when I was just a lad, there was nothing I loved more than the outdoors. It wasn't all that long since the war had ended, so most families didn't have much, mine included. As kids we had to make our own entertainment. Luckily, I was born and raised in a pretty rural, hilly corner of the country full of trees and even a giant mountain lake.
Of course, living in such a place back then, even us young ones had at least a basic grasp of which berries were edible and which to avoid. When we couldn't find forest fruits like blueberries, we would make do with what we called "bread and cheese". This was just a mix of hawthorn berries and leaves - not all that palatable, actually, but it was better than nothing!
When you start getting on in years, you start reminiscing about the good old days and it's the same for me. I remember one of the older boys always used to carry around this piece of metal around his neck. He said it once belonged to his grandfather and it was for making fire. By then, we had long been using matches to light our campfires and hearths at home, so I barely even believed him. I just assumed it was something of a talisman, or something to remember his grandfather by.