In the modern age we have increasingly come to rely on tools and materials that have significantly diverged from their ancient and more natural analogs. Inevitably, some of these tools are undeniably better, but sometimes the most reliable instrument is the simplest. This certainly seems to be the case for fire lighting as the best fire starter tool remains the flint and steel, a fire making method first developed in the Iron Age. Read on to find out why the best fire starter tool is to be found in the form of flint and steel fire making kits.
What Makes For The Best Fire Starter Tool?
When it comes to a survival situation out in the wilderness, the best fire starter tool must have certain properties. First and foremost, it must be reliable. After all, there is no point in using a tool that you cannot fully trust. Aside from the high-quality materials used, such as high carbon steel, a flint and steel fire lighting kit makes for the best fire starter tool because the whole approach involves a simple and quickly learnt step-by-step system.
This simplicity of this system lies in the fact that the tinder used, be it char cloth or birch bark fungus, is in direct contact with the piece of flint that is to be struck by the steel striker. This concept gives a very high level of reliability in terms of the end result. Furthermore, our not so distant ancestors considered the flint and steel fire making method to be so easy that even children were expected to be competent at this very important skill.
Why Else Might One Consider Using A Flint And Steel?
Many of us feel a certain yearning to be closer to our ancestors while out in the woods on a camping or hunting trip. There's something magical about that sense of self-sufficiency that you feel when you set a campfire in the same way that has been done for thousands of years.
This very real connection to our forebears, through the emulation of fire making techniques perfected over generations, is what makes many people consider the firesteel to be the best fire starter tool. After all, making fire is something primeval and very personal.
It's as much about how it makes you feel as it is about what it helps you to achieve, and there are plenty of instructional fire making videos available online to help you decide what might be the best fire starter tool for you as an individual.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CAMPFIRE
Once you've made your first fire using the flint and steel method, you'll undoubtedly feel a certain connection to times past. As the steel striker is the best fire starter tool for preserving this vital link to our ancestors, it's worthwhile taking a look at what our forebears might have actually done with their campfires.
Everyone knows that it's basic human instinct to use fire to cook meals, create light in the darkness of night, and to frighten off wild predators. What's lesser known is that we humans were doing much more with fire than just this.
Much as is the case today, our forebears would have tired of drinking plain old water from time to time, even if it was from a fresh and unpolluted source. This must have led to plenty of experimentation with different leaves and fruits in attempt to flavor their drinks. With a traditional flint and steel kit, Iron Age people would have needed mere moments get a fire going to brew all kinds of so-called bush teas. Perhaps this is why the steel striker quickly became the best fire starter tool.
One of the most popular bush teas is pine needle tea, a steaming hot treat that is still frequently brewed by those on camping trips to the evergreen forests of Scandinavia and Russia. Nowadays most of us limit ourselves to the use of leaves from culinary herbs to flavor our food and drink, but our forebears were a little more inventive.
Armed with the best fire starter tool of the era, Iron Age folk would brew pine needle tea for several reasons. First of all, a warm cup of pine needle tea is delicious on a freezing winter's day in the forest. Perhaps this is reason enough to give it a go!
As was the case with herbs, tree leaves were often used as a form of medicine. Though they would not have understood the mechanisms behind the curative properties that pine needles can have, our ancestors certainly used pine needles to treat and prevent various diseases. In particular, pine needles are exceptionally high in vitamin C, a sufficient intake of which is hard to maintain during the long winters of the subarctic.