hi i have a firesteel made by light my fire but i can't get a fire going any tips?
From what you've written I can't tell for sure at what stage you are having trouble. But here's what I think...
There are two tricky parts to lighting a fire with things like fire steels:
1. Getting the spark to 'catch' on the tinder, and...
2. Coaxing a flame from the glowing tinder.
If you are having difficulty getting the sparks from your firesteel to ignite the tinder, I'd suggest two things to try (if you haven't already).
1. Hold the knife steady just above the tinder, and jerk the firesteel upwards past the blade. In other words you don't scrape your knife (or striker) down the firesteel. I think this makes it easier to aim the sparks into your tinder 'nest'.... and you are less likely to 'beat out' any spark that might have caught by clobbering it with your knife.
2. Get some thin, plain facial tissue paper (not the stuff impregnated with aloe vera or whatever) and tear it into thin strips... then rub it between your dry palms.... then make sure that it is 'unwrapped' (not scrunched up too tightly)... and make a nice pile of it in a safe, dry, place where there is no wind. Drop some sparks on to the pile from a close distance and you should get some joy. You may even get a flame without having to blow the spark into life.
Coaxing a flame from glowing tinder is a good skill to master. Experience should teach you a lot about this. Basically I'd get a pile of very dry, thin tinder material (like extra dry grass or fine tissue paper and make a loose ball of it. The glowing material gets placed on, or into, this ball... and then it is waved about in the air... or you blow on it in gentle puffs to increase the heat and maybe get a flame. You can overdo the blowing. You have to make sure that each strand of the tinder is close enough to the next bit so that the heat can travel easily... but you cant have the tinder ball squashed together so tight that air cant get into it.
With firesteels, I like to just scrape the last few millimeters of it. This tapers it at the end eventually. I figure this is better than making the whole steel thinner and more likely to break.
I hope this helps. Best wishes from Nelson... Coote.
thanks i'll try it out soon