Lynn LeFey wrote:
I have the same magnesium block I've had for like 20 years. It works. But, it's good to know that some chinese crappy ones don't.
I only pull my block out every now and then to practice using it. as others have said, it's not something that people can just magically do, and I like keeping that particular skill fairly sharp. I find getting fires started via magnesium scrapings particularly challenging in wind, since it tends to just blow the scrapings everywhere. I think my most consistently successful method is to put the shavings in a little cup made of aluminum foil. I also hold the striker stationary and pull the block back away from the scrapings, to keep from knocking the scrapings everywhere.
nice idea on the tin foil cup!
Sticky side up duct tape works too. Get a strip of duct tape, weight it down at the ends, put magnesium shavings onto the sticky duct tape so wind doesn't blow them away.
This also helps with overly aggressive strikers, even with no wind, you can send the sparks off a fero rod so hard / fast that they knock your tinder / shavings all over before they catch a light.
Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.