Use a knife to scrape along the magnesium side of the fire starter. You want to scrape enough to have a small pile about the size of a quarter. Be careful so you keep the shavings in one spot. It helps to have a platform that will catch what you scrape. You can use a piece of wood, a piece or cardboard, or anything else that will help you keep everything together. Once you have a small pile of magnesium shavings, place your tinder next to it and have your kindling ready.
On the other side of the magnesium fire starter is the flint. You run your knife down this side to create a bunch of hot sparks. These hot sparks will ignite the magnesium shavings which will catch your tinder and kindling on fire. You may have to scrape the flint several times to get the magnesium shavings to ignite. It’s important to have enough tinder, kindling and larger pieces of wood available before you start. If you don’t have enough and your fire goes out, you will have to make another pile of shavings and start over. Practice learning how to use a magnesium fire starter before you need to use it in an emergency. This is how you start a fire with a magnesium fire starter for camping or survival.