American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ultimate Survival WetFire Tinder

Ultimate Survival WetFire Tinder comes in a box of 8 squares for around $6. This tinder feels paraffin based but I've never seen an ingredient list so can't be certain.

Each block comes wrapped in a gold mylar wrapper and measures approximately 2.5" X 1". This wrapper can be compressed to 1.5" X .75" for ease of carry and storage. Inside you'll find a white "brick" of tinder that can be cut, sliced, or smashed to produce fine flakes of material. Somewhere online I read a comparison to dried coconut and found the comparison appropriate.

One "brick" of tinder is more than enough to get a fire going and I have found a single piece enough for three fires in good conditions and still two in wet conditions but you're probably looking at one piece per fire in the worst of conditions (i.e. wet, heavy snow.)

This stuff WILL burn while surrounded by water (see picture) and during testing I sprayed various amounts of water on and over the tinder before, during, and after use to see what effect it would have. The short answer--none. As a matter of fact, dry or wet, this stuff goes up fast from the spark of a metal match.

Speaking of burning, WetFire was designed to be odorless (it is,) smokeless (it is,) and non-toxic (it'd better be) so it is already ahead of Trioxane and Esbit tabs. Trioxane comes in a box of 3 bars which can light several fires but leaves a residue and smells strongly of chemicals. Esbit comes in a 12-pack, leaves some residue, and smells strongly long before ignition. I once carried an Esbit stove and extra tabs in my pack and it quickly fouled everything in that pocket with the smell of the tabs.

It's more expensive than making your own Vaseline-soaked cotton balls but I can carry a cube of WetFire with a metal match in my pocket which makes it, ultimately, more likely to be with me in an emergency situation.

Thanks for reading,



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