The best sparkers in my pack include a half dozen Swedish Mora knives, an ancient Barlow folder, and a custom semi-skinner by Bob Jolley, with which I've actually started quite a few fires over the years. But despite my skill, I can't start a fire today with any of these knives because the meager sparks you can expect from striking a knife blade against stone aren't hot or numerous enough to light traditional forms of tinder. You first need to catch the spark with a piece of true tinder fungus, which only grows on trees that are not native in the West, or a piece of char cloth, which is made by partially burning cotton such as blue-jean material. Then you transfer that glowing cloth to a tinder bundle and blow it to flame. In other words, in order to spark fire, I first have to make fire to burn my pants. This is a bit of a catch-22, and I walk off the mountain feeling rather inadequate to the manual.