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Why Include A Ferro Rod In Your Survival Gear

Posted by Self Reliance Outfitters on August 26, 2013  

The ferro rod is a piece of survival gear without which any survival kit is incomplete. As the modern form of firesteel that has been used for centuries, a ferro rod provides a reliable way to start a fire in the majority of conditions with minimal effort. It is quite an amazing piece of survival gear, and with a little practice, you can depend on it to help you start a fire for years to come.


The ferro rod is a man-made metallic rod that is designed to give off extremely hot sparks when you scrape it against a hard, rough surface. The most common scraper is a piece of steel, sometimes provided with the ferro rod, although in an emergency you can also use the spine of your survival knife if necessary.

By scraping the steel along the ferro rod, you shear of small particles of the material. Due to the properties of the metal, the friction created is enough to ignite the particles. Burning at up to 3,000 °F, the sparks are hot enough to set fire to most dry kindling.

Ferrocerium works so well that it is used in many other applications aside from fire starting gear, including cigarette lighters and strikers for welding.


Ferro rods are so popular because they are extremely easy to use. Granted, to have any real grasp of bushcraft, or even a sense of self reliance in the outdoors, practice is necessary with all of your survival gear. But using a ferro rod is really just a matter of scraping sparks onto tinder.


As easy as they are to use, ferro rods work better with a little finesse. First, make certain you carry at least a little dry tinder with you. Tinder comes in many varieties, from pre-packaged options to tree bark. Even sparks as hot as those thrown by a ferro rod can only do so much, so carry some tinder in your survival kit.

It is also worth remembering that the best way to aim your sparks is to use your rod in the opposite way you probably imagine. Holding your scraper steady, and pulling the rod back along it, typically results in a steadier aim. It also prevents you from disturbing your kindling.

Also, although it is possible to use your knife edge to produce sparks, it is far better to use another piece of metal. If the back of your survival knife has a heavy spine, it may function alright for a scraper. But never use the sharpened edge.


Our high quality ferro rods are good for thousands of uses, and there is no better option for a fire starter in your survival kit. A good ferro rod will last for years, even in the most demanding situations, and is one piece of survival gear you can depend on.

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