A friend of BD by the name of Davo runs the FB page called Snowy Peak Adventures. He does a lot of survival training and also manufactures Ferro rods for fire lighting. Here’s some back ground on him and some info on the Ferro rods.
So it may be interesting to people who know me how I became interested in the outdoors and woodcraft, as I abhorred going out on field exercises during my military years.
Vast nothingness on display in Mt Bundy
Although some good times were had out at Mt Bundy training area and on Talisman Sabre, the thought of doing military style field exercises still make me cringe to this day. I grew up watching Les Hiddins’ Bush Tucker Man and then later on enjoyed Bear Gryll’s Man Vs Wild and after discharging from the army in April 2012 I found myself wanting to get away from the technological madness of working in an office. I began spending most of my weekends heading out into the middle of nowhere eating grubs, sleeping on the ground next to a raging fire and chopping huge pieces of wood. It almost became an obsession spending most of my spare time watching YouTube videos on survival knives, hunting, trapping, foraging, reading the SAS survival manual by Lofty Wiseman and using my military knowledge that I had gained to really challenge myself and remove myself from 21st century drama.Some things have changed in the years since then. I no longer eat every bug I find and only eat foods that I know are safe, have taken a more realistic approach to camping and no I generally sleep in a hammock, mat and sleeping bag instead of the on the ground. I follow a more holistic approach now, which can be described as bushcraft, which was popularised by Les Hiddins and Ray Mears. I’m also a bit of a knife nut and have accumulated more than 50 knives over the last few years, selling those that I don’t use and forever on the hunt for the perfect knife, a quest that is never complete. I’ve modified my gear list over the years from Spartan, to light loads, to heavy load outs and back again to a minimalist approach to gear list. I rely on the bare essentials without sacrificing comfort and I’m always learning new techniques and skills. It is my hope to perhaps create a survival school in Tasmania one day in the future.
I’m currently living in the Huon Valley with my wife and two daughters, the eldest being 7 and youngest 2. We have a property overlooking rural houses, fields of blackberries and cows and only just recently had our road sealed. The great thing about Tassie is that we haven’t been hit too badly by price rises so most houses down this way are reasonable affordable and still have decent sized backyards for kids to play in.
For the last few years I’ve been working with different types of woods to create ferrocerium rods, knife handles, wooden spoons, pendants and restoring items like chopping boards and old knives etc. These are just some of the tools and items I’ve been producing as a direct result of realising that you can not only have something that is functional, but that they can be beautiful as well. The ferrocerium rods seen in the pictures are made using Tassie timber and antler. The antler handle is from Fallow Dear and the other is one of my favourites, Huon Pine. The Ferro rod is a frequently used tool in the outdoor community, especially those who are into bushcraft and survival. The Ferro rod (also referred to as a flint and steel, which is technically incorrect) is a modern replacement for traditional matches and lighters, as the average sized Ferro rod can theoretically light 8000 fires and are less affected by the elements.
Time to spark up
USE: The Ferro rod needs to be struck with a sharp piece of metal or stone at about a 45 degree angle to create a spark, using a slow downward drawing motion. It can be used to light gas bottles, cotton balls, twine and natural tinder’s including back and leaves.
I recommend watching some videos by Mike McQuilton from MCQBushcraft on YouTube as he has some really informative videos on correct fire steel technique using both strikers, knife spines (not knife edge) and utilising different tinder’s. In terms of maintenance, there is very little to worry about. I would recommend limiting Ferro rod contact with water as they do corrode if left in moisture rich environments over time.
Happy fire making!
Please check out Snowy Peak adventures at FaceBook
Feature image: viewed 04APR18 1857 https://www.facebook.com/snowypeakadventures/
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All other images: ©BelligerentDigger 2018