Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert.
Recently I sent out an S.O.S. to the bushcraft world explaining that I was unable to replenish my supply of flint for my strike-a-light set.
Mark from Nehawka Primitive Skills responded and offered to send me some flint.
His blog profile states "I've been interested in primitive skills ever since I read Larry Dean Olsen's book, Outdoor Survival Skills, decades ago. The past 10 years, or so, I have been striving to learn the skills...flintkapping, hide working, friction fires, edible & medicinal plants, etc. Having gained some proficiency, I have been demonstrating and teaching at historical events and gatherings. It is a never ending journey."
I have Larry Dean Olsen's book and it is one of my most treasured skills and bushcraft books.
Every time I read it, I learn something new. I highly recommend it. Mark's site is brilliant. Check out one of his Flintknapping 101 series.
So just before this past weekend, a package arrived in the mail. And like I once wrote, ..."there's nothing quite like the feeling you get when a package arrives for you in the post box."
I very excitedly opened the package, and in it was a box.
And in the box were about a million pieces of flint (well, a whole bunch anyhow...) and an item wrapped in newspaper.
At first I just stared at the flint, figuring I had just hit paydirt. Who needs gold when you have a box of flint? But as I pulled the chunk of rolled up newspaper out, I realized there was something inside.
It was a paleo-knife. I'd not read Mark's note carefully on the inside flap of the box. It is amazing!
So, so far I have cut up some beef jerky withe paleo-knife. But the first thing I did was grab my steel striker, a small piece of charcloth and hit a spark off it with a new piece of flint.
It took 5 seconds and my charcloth turned into a hot ember.
I have much more to write about flint, and fire lighting with a strike-a-light in general - I intend to write about Keith's (Woodsrunner's) book Primitive Fire Lighting - Flint & Steel that I ordered some months ago and got in a package from Australia.
But first I need to thank Mark of Nehawka Primitive Skills for his thoughtful and wonderful gift. I am going to knapp a piece or two of the flint and see what I can make!
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