This is from a member over at ar15.com
Something similar over at EDCforums.
number or reasons can cause your ferrocerium rod to decay/oxidize. It
can be related to humidity, salty environment, even the gases produced
by batteries kept in your kit. The results vary from pitting to complete
rods turned to dust, leaving you without your trusty firestarter. This
can happen both in generic ferrocerium rods and well-known brands.
Cheaper rods may have a greater amount of iron, which rusts easily and
may degrade the rod quicker and more extensively.
What can you do?
Check periodically, keep it in a sealed bag. If your rod has been used
and the protective layer removed, you may want to add a layer of paint
to protect the exposed surface. Buy a thick rod and buy quality,
something like the Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel.
all, have a backup! I know that for a lot of people their firesteel IS
their backup, but don’t forget a Bic lighter and some strike anywhere matches in a ziplock bag just in case.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.