The ability to ignite a fire without the use of present-day technology is useful for survival and emergency situations. Since early man, flint has been used to accomplish this valuable yet simple life-saving practice. The most common type of flint rock is a chalcedony, which is a translucent quartz. The mineral ranges in colour from white to black, but the most common colour tends to be grey.
Locate flint rock in your area if you do not already have flint handy and are unable to take a trip to the store. Flint can be found in creeks, river bottoms and lake shores.
Collect dry tinder and kindling for the fire. Good tinders are dry grass, shavings of wood, bark and cattail leaves. Some tree fungus can also be very flammable tinder.
Hold the flint with one hand a couple of centimetres above the tinder. Take the steel and strike downward across the edge of the flint rock until sparks appear. Continue this until the tinder begins to smoulder.
Lightly blow on the tinder and cup your hands around it. The tinder will shortly burst into flames.
Place your kindling quickly over your burning tinder to keep the fire going.
Gradually add more kindling and wood until you have a hardy burning fire.
Quartz isn't the only stone that can be used to start a fire. Other types of rocks that can be used for flint are jaspillite and granite.
Before starting a fire, prepare a suitable pit. Children and pets should be supervised near or around the fire. Do not leave the fire unattended.