Idaho – -(AmmoLand.com)- I recently received a Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter rod, which is a Ferro rod. I thought all of the fire-starting rods were made out of magnesium but that is not the case. There are two kinds that are popular. They are different but perform the same task-helping you to start a fire.
- 1. Magnesium
- 2. Ferro rods (Ferrocerium)
Ferro rods are made up of a combination of metals. Typically lanthanum, cerium, iron, neodymium, and magnesium. Ferro rods usually come with a black protective coating. If you look at the video on the Uberleben website it will tell you to remove the black coating before using it which will produce a shiny metal surface beneath.
With magnesium rods I’m used to scraping them lightly and building up a small deposit of grinds and then pushing hard and lighting them, thereby igniting the pile which lights my kindling. With the Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter though you do it a little different.
Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter
Here is what seems to work best. First, using the attached scraper, remove the black protective coating to reveal the shiny metal beneath. Don’t be paranoid and think that you have to remove every speck of black coating, it will all be removed in due time.
It seems to work best if I put my kindling/fires starting material on a hard surface. Such as a rock or the ground. Press the end of the rod onto the rock in the middle of the kindling. Scrape along the rod and throw sparks onto the kindling. Viola, you have a fire.
I don’t know if you’re like me but for years I struggled to be able to build a fire. Someday I’ll do an article on this topic because it is a big subject to outdoorsmen, backpackers, survivalist and pretty much anyone that spends time in the outdoors.
If you’re building a fire with matches, you’ll probably use the tepee or building block method using either of these two constructions over your kindling and then lighting your kindling.
Using a Ferro rod though you’ll somewhat do the same but at least for me, with my striking motions I’d knock over anything too elaborate. So, I just put my kindling on a rock and lay a little bit of larger twigs on top so when the flame pops up it has something to ignite. I have some piles of varying sizes of twigs set beside the flame zone so I can then lay them on progressively to build my fire.
Probably the best kindling you can have other than gasoline is lint. Yep, that right. Plain ole’ lint out of your dryer. Grab a little bit and a pack of matches and go outside and try to light it. It is amazing as to how fast it will ignite. Carry some of this in a waterproof container in your backpack to help start your fires. And, it is free.
Let’s back up a little bit for a moment. The Uberleben Hexa Fires Starter comes with a scraper which is attached to the rod by a leather thong. In case you lose the striker, don’t panic. You can use a rock or your knife to create sparks.
I hear that a lot of the Chinese spin-off ferro rods are made of a cheaper combination of metals and thereby do not work as well as some of the better made European products, such as Uberleben. I was dealing with a Chinese customer once and he flat out told me himself-Chinese are all about cost, not quality. And as with all of your life-saving gear, practice with it before your life depends on it. Because your life will depend on it.
So, as we come to a close. Along with your Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter you also need to make sure you pack some good fire-starting material. Like mentioned above, lint is great. I’ve also heard of people that put a cotton ball in an egg carton and melted candle wax over it or saturated cotton balls with petroleum jelly. I’ve never tried these two methods but I’ve always heard they work. I usually just carry one or two Trioxane bars. That way even if my wood is wet I should be able to start a fire.
The Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter MSRP is $32 for the 6” rod and $18 for the 3” rod.
Uberleben Hexa Fire Starter SPECS:
Introducing the Überleben Hexå. We’ve been plotting this move for a while now. We got tired of waiting for someone else to do it. Our proprietary hexagonal ferro profile means 6 flat sides; or more surface area when striking. More surface area means more control, and more control means more molten ferrocerium thrown whenever you need it.
Flat profile design, for greater control and greater efficiency. Approx. 8mm of direct striker-contact on each side!
- 1/2″ thick Sånft-kōrr ferrocerium rod yields 20,000+ strikes
- Works at any altitude, in any weather… even wet.
- Includes full grain leather lanyard for multiple securing options, and 6-function multi-tool scraper.
- Available in 2 lengths (6″ & 3″)
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”