Among my tribe the ability to start a fire is held in the highest esteem. You can be a turd burgling dog robbing tosspot - but if you can get a blaze going fast, all your other sins are forgiven. And we aren't talking about doing it with a match and newspapers either - that's kids stuff.
This is a PC (Period Correct) flint n steel. It is the lowest tech
method of fire starting I will sink to personally...
but the black powder geeks I used to run with would take this right on
down to bow drills and fireplugs.
Starting fires with that shite is black magic.
I ratched my knuckles to rat chit on that stupid flint and steel. I even wrote a scathing letter to the elite black powder geeks on OyTube and accused them of black magic, lying and editing their vids to make it seem possible to light a fire with junk like that. But those old liars just doubled down on their sins and a fight broke out among them on whether they could get wet tinder going with their obsolete fire starters. Seriously, the old pros make it look easy - a couple of quick strikes of the stone against the steel - and in seconds they have a roaring blaze going. A-holes - I wish I could start a blaze like them! Serious black powder geeks are certainly eccentric but they have elevated bushcraft to a fine art.
For me... I have to puss out and go with a fire starter kit. I found just the ticket from the turkeys at Track Of The Wolf. I just love that website because you can get everything you need to step back into the 17th century and succeed.
This is a high end fire starting kit ya might find near the hearth
in any settlers home back in the day.
The black powder geeks would have a field day at my expense
if they caught that Bic lighter amidst all my plunder.
I've kinda drifted away from the snobbery of the black powder geeks. I surely admire their skills with the old world tools but nowadays - the convenience and functionality of a ten pack of cheap Bic lighters is too much for me to ignore. If they die I have modern ferro-rod fire steels to fall back on.
These are infinitely easier to use than the traditional flint and steel
So my plan is this: I've heard that cotton balls, coated with Vaseline - makes for excellent fire starter. I am going to have a few of those, and some layers of birch bark in that brass container so that all I need to do is spark off my dry kindling and build up my blaze from there. I am going to make a few extra of these kits for the various duffels and stuff sacks in my camp gear so that I don't have to carry round a bunch of newspapers and other bulky materials to get my blaze going. I will try out the cotton balls and keep you posted.
Tradition and nostalgia have their place but as I get older I find myself tending to favour functionality and convenience more often than not.