Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Iron Pyrite

There has been significant discussion recently on the forums about Iron Pyrite, why this has come about i don't know, but it has been one of the subjects of the moment for sure.

I'm lucky where i live as i get to find small pieces of Pyrite in the garden and just occasionally when I'm out and about up the woods, i get to find pieces like those pictured, the coin is a ten pence piece for scale, pieces this large are not that common, but just now and again you hit the jackpot and find a good sized lump like these, more often than not though the pieces you find are about the size of the ten pence piece or a bit smaller.

Pyrite of course is one of those useful naturally occurring materials that can help us with our quest for fire, and without a shadow of a doubt would have been highly prized by our ancestors, pyrite when struck against flint, produces dull orange, low temperature sparks, but if your preparation has been done correctly with regards to your tinder, you can catch a spark and blow it to flame. 

When using this fire lighting method, which i don't very often as it's hard work,  i like to use Amadou as a tinder, but it must be prepped correctly, the surface must be fluffed up so it resembles very fine cotton wool if you want to catch that single solitary low temp spark, of course once the Amadou is going, you can then use stuff like Cramp Balls (Daldinia concentrica) as an ember extender to help you blow the ember to flame.

1 comment:

  1. I see nothing wrong with learning to use Pyrite to start fires, but I don't see any point to carrying Pyrite as a fire starter unless you just want to. There are just too many other ways to start a fire. I can find Pyrite balls locally, but I view them more as a curiosity than a practical fire starter.