Ferrocerium rods are a favorite fire starter among many outdoor and survival enthusiasts. Ferrocerium is a man-made metallic material that produces sparks in excess of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s scraped with a rough surface or a sharp edge. The ferrocerium recipe varies by manufacturer, but it’s generally 50 percent cerium, 25 percent lanthanum, and 19 percent iron, with small amounts of praseodymium, neodymium, and magnesium. The most common use of this material is as the flint in cigarette lighters. And while a butane lighter may work best in most fire-starting situations, a “ferro rod” makes a great back-up. Here are three things to keep in mind when using a ferro rod to start a fire.