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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I just wanted to share a fire kit I put together from stuff we have in the shop. Every time I go backpacking here in NC, it rains on me. And when it's not raining, the humidity is 80%, so I usually have a hard time finding good kindling. I designed this kit to overcome these challenges.

Everything fits in a Coghlan's Folding Stove. I can use the stove as a...stove, but it's also a great way to get my tinder and kindling up out of the mud while I'm getting it started. I don't have snow-camping experience, but I think this would also help keep this stuff out of the snow long enough to start the fire.

I included a SparkLite with 8 TinderQuik tabs. I like the SparkLite better than a firesteel because it takes less skill and can be sparked one-handed, in the extremely likely event that I've injured myself and lost the use of a hand. This is the secondary system included in US military ALSE bags. I feel like that's a pretty good endorsement.

Also included is a Derma-Safe folding razor blade. You can fuzz a stick in a heart-beat with this. Plus, you can never have too many sharp things.

Also also included are 25 UCO Stormproof matches, which are wind-proof and water-proof and burn for 15 seconds.

Most importantly, I've included 9 hexamine solid fuel tabs. This is the best, fastest, most effective way I've found to start a fire. They burn for approx. 9 minutes each at temperatures between 1300 and 1500 degrees F. I've used them to start sopping wet wood. They're great if you're trying to conserve calories. And they even work in the stove (4 min to boil a cup of water). Not shown in this pic is the small zip-lock bag these tablets stow in.

I hope you like it. Here are the pics. Let me know what you think.

By the way, this kit is going to the Pay It Forward thread, so hopefully it will find a good home in the next few days.





 

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It's cool, but it's hard for me to imagine a fire kit without a lighter. In all practicality, a simple candle and bic lighter would be all anyone needs in any situation. That candle will give you hours of flame. You could sit it under a wet log for 10 minutes if you needed to, eventually it will catch fire.

All the items in this here kit will work too, so it will serve its due purpose either way. Lighters are good to have because it's instant flame and you can burn the ends of paracord with it, among other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's cool, but it's hard for me to imagine a fire kit without a lighter. In all practicality, a simple candle and bic lighter would be all anyone needs in any situation. That candle will give you hours of flame. You could sit it under a wet log for 10 minutes if you needed to, eventually it will catch fire.

All the items in this here kit will work too, so it will serve its due purpose either way. Lighters are good to have because it's instant flame and you can burn the ends of paracord with it, among other things.
Agreed, but the Bic Lighter is in my pants pocket, where the fire kit goes in my pack. Be warned that a Bic lighter can be tough to use in wet and/or windy conditions. For instance, last week mine went through the washer and wouldn't strike until it dried out.

This kit is for packs. I don't like the idea that all my fire-starting gear is in one place. If I lose the pack for some reason, I'll still have the lighter in my pocket.
 

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For instance, last week mine went through the washer and wouldn't strike until it dried out.
I hear people saying things like that about bics all the time, but in my experience you'll almost never have a problem with them. Granted, you wouldn't want to go swimming with it and then jump out of the water and expect it to work right away. But you can shake it out, blow into it, and give it a few minutes to dry out. It'll work again.

As far as wind goes, that can negatively effect lots of different flame making implements. Not to mention making it difficult for the tinder to take the flame. If it came down to it you would just have to try really hard to find a good spot to shield yourself from the wind. It's not like you're inside a tornado, so you can eventually find someplace to get that flame lit.
 

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There are a lot of versions of the SparkLite, and some of them aren't very good. I've been pretty pleased with the version we sell. With some of the others, you'd be better off trying to start a fire with your mind.

I thought about using a magnesium starter the one we sell from Coghlan's. Have you used one of those before?
Yes. I like the mag block from Doan better though. The magnesium softer and easier to scrape. The one from firesteel.com is even softer than that one is.
 

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Agreed, but the Bic Lighter is in my pants pocket, where the fire kit goes in my pack. Be warned that a Bic lighter can be tough to use in wet and/or windy conditions. For instance, last week mine went through the washer and wouldn't strike until it dried out.

This kit is for packs. I don't like the idea that all my fire-starting gear is in one place. If I lose the pack for some reason, I'll still have the lighter in my pocket.
I believe twyggy has a video about how to dry out a bic rather quickly, if I'm not mistaken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We sell all the components, but not the assembled kit. Ideally, you'll buy all the stuff to build the kit, then assemble it once they arrive (hint hint). I gave the kit away in the Pay It Forward promotion, and just heard from the recipient that he likes it.
 

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I have a FireSteel in my bag and I love it. I also have a magnesium rod that makes life much easier. However, I never thought about something that could be used with only one hand. Thanks for making me aware, looks like I'm adding to my bag again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a FireSteel in my bag and I love it. I also have a magnesium rod that makes life much easier. However, I never thought about something that could be used with only one hand. Thanks for making me aware, looks like I'm adding to my bag again!
Glad you like it. The Spark-Lite is beautiful in its simplicity. There are some fancier items out there that also spark one-handed, but this one is just $7.95. I think that's why the military loves it so much.
 
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