Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Primitive Skills & Earth Skills

Every floating leaf needs a magnetized needle.

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LdMorgan:
Just about everybody is familiar with the old trick where you float a magnetized needle on a leaf to improvise a compass.

I was reading up on that, and found a reference to Bear Grylls showing how to magnetize a needle by stroking it through his hair on one of his shows.

I missed that show, but I didn't miss the "Bear Grylls Is a Moron" thread here on the Forum.

So here is a link showing how & why needles don't magnetize when you stroke them through your hair, and how they can be magnetized by your own personal spark of static energy.

The spark bit was very interesting, as was finding out that many commercial pins are already magnetized when you buy them.

Anyone interested in what can and can't be done to magnetize a needle just take a peek here:

http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/navigation/rbimprovisedcompass01.html



arrowbreaker:
Yeah I can't imagine stroking a needle on your hair to be the safest way to do that much less the most effective. 
Bear always has his signature/product placement (they are nice don't get me wrong) knife with him and that being metal would be much better to stroke the needle against to magnetise it surely?

Can't believe I'm 32 and I've never tried this though, always been a fan of the sun and watch method of finding north in a hurry... but not handy at night whereas this would work 24/7

drthumbs:
I have two small waffer neodymium magnets stashed in my Leatherman. Dose not do a lot of good if I dont have it, but it is a rare day whe I dont have it at my side. the proble is I do not usually have a needle on me, the the small screw driver nbit in the leathernam works

Griz:
I believe Dave Canterbury has a youtube video showing how to "prep" the needle with a 6 volt battery to make it so the needle is polarized to use for making a compass fyi.

LdMorgan:

--- Quote from: drthumbs on November 10, 2011, 12:15:42 AM ---I have two small waffer neodymium magnets stashed in my Leatherman. Dose not do a lot of good if I dont have it, but it is a rare day whe I dont have it at my side. the proble is I do not usually have a needle on me, the the small screw driver nbit in the leathernam works

--- End quote ---

A good steel needle is a very useful survival tool. Most people keep their needle(s) in a sewing kit in their pack or BOB, but that isn't the only option.

One good way to keep a needle with you all the time is to thread it with a small loop of dental floss and thin sheathe it in the side of your knife sheath, right along the stitch line.

Just bury it in the leather. Be sure to pick a Stainless Steel needle, though, so it won't rust.

The needle can stay there for years and still be available when you have to pull a splinter or thorn out, or make an emergency compass. Or deflate a blister. Or actually sew something.

That's just one trick. You can also tape a needle to almost anything solid: a Bic lighter, a survival flashlight or pencil, the back of a signal mirror. Whatever you'll actually have with you when you may need a needle. You can drill an edge of the plastic handle of a pocket knife, and stash a needle there. (Be creative!)

You can put a permanent needle case on a Leatherman tool by just soft-soldering a piece of very small brass hobby tubing to a convenient place on the handle. Plug it with a bit of cork, and you're good to go. Or glue one into a handy crevice with rubber cement. You can get it out later very easily, and the glue will rub right off the needle.

Never underestimate the danger of a splinter or a thorn in the wild. An infection that leaves you one-footed or one-handed is bad enough, but one that turns into blood poisoning will purely ruin your day.

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