How to start a fire using flint and..your knife!

Yeah it’s possible.. but first.. your knife must have a carbon steel blade!

The main reason is that carbon steel it is soft and produces large sparks easily compared to a stainless steel blade.

This can be a real survival tips to light a fire in a emergency situation.

When you use this method of fire starting there is also something are “walking to a past time” because flint and steel striker was a common method to light a fire from Iron Age to Modern Era, before the invention of matches.

If you want to try it, remember to carry in your kit a survival tinder, in that case a use char cloth, (next time I show you how to make it), the knife I use in this tutorial is a cheap but razor sharp folder: Opinel Carbone N°8 , love it!

For this technic i suggest a folding knife mainly to protect your fingers!

All you need (from right to the left): folding knife, char cloth, jasper and other inflammable fibres for the bundle.

In this photos i use jasper instead of flint, but you may use other rocks, it depends on the nature of your land or what you find on the soil, remember that these other materials must be really hard, glassy and expecially must take a sharp edge.

I my case I use jasper because in my area i could find it easily, and usually i carry it with my kit.

So, first of all, find a small twig, cut with the knife a small piece and use that like the photo below.

How to use the small piece of wood on the folding knife

How to use the small piece of wood in the folding knife

With this trick you can use your knife like closed but with a difference: you mantain a larger spine, that is important for big sparks.

Now take a stone (not too small for your hand) and look on closely, find a sharp edge, but if you cant find it, you have to work!

If the rocks hasn’t edge or even if is too big, you have to improvise a tool like an hammer to chipped it.

Looking for a sharp edge.

Looking for a sharp edge.

When the edge is founded put a piece char cloth on the upper side of your flint (this is a method, but you could also use the char cloth on a tinder bundle).

It’s time to start to strike!

Take the folder in a hand with the point up like the drawing, in the other hand the stone and the char cloth and strike with the right angle.

Striking angle

Striking angle

Big sparks

Sparks from carbon steel blade

When a good spark lands on the char cloth it will ignite like a cigarette.

Char cloth ignited

Char cloth ignited

You have to transfer this inside a tinder bundle and start to blow to obtain…



The flames!


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