Over the weekend I had an opportunity to play with the Ultimate Survival Blastmatch Fire Starter
. The Blastmatch is a self-enclosed hunk of ferrocerium (metal match) spring loaded inside a plastic two-part handle that can be used one-handed to throw a massive amount of sparks onto prepared tinder to get a fire going.
I actually have several of these but have never really given them much attention due to my successes with the firesteel and other methods. If it ain't broke...you know the rest.
Anyway, I grabbed one on the way out the door on Saturday morning and had it in my pocket most of the day. It is light (2.7 oz.) and only 4" long closed so it sits about the same as a disposable lighter although slightly heavier.
Operation of the firesteel is fairly simple. You release the cap and the spring-loaded flint pushes forward. The cap swings around behind and nests onto the handle. You push down on the striker and push the whole assembly into your tinder pile.
Being fairly new, the flint still had the protective coating on it. That meant it took me two pushes to get the sparks into my tinder. It also meant that I had some flint scrapings IN the tinder when the sparks flew. Obviously that meant a bigger and longer-lasting flame once the scrapings were ignited.
My daughter and I grabbed a few leaves still wet with dew and I pushed the Blastmatch down once, twice, sparks, smoke, fire. We tried it again--sparks, smoke, fire. She tried it--once, twice, sparks, smoke, fire. Remember she's five. After seeing it only twice and trying it once she could have gotten a life-saving fire started with a simple push.
That Blastmatch got a long strip of pink flagging tape and went right in with the rest of her gear. I'll also throw in a couple of Ultimate Survival WetFire Tinder Cubes
which I've tested in all kinds of weather and know to be reliable and easy to light.
One thing I just read this morning on the Survival, Inc. website was this:
As with all of Survival Inc.'s Ultimate Survival products, the BlastMatch™ has a lifetime warrantee, and will be replaced if you ever wear it out.
So, in summary, it's easy to use, works on less than optimal tinder because of the volume of sparks, has a lifetime warrantee, and costs less than $20. Heck, if you go here
you can get the Blastmatch, a Starflash Signal Mirror, two WetFire Tinder Cubes, and a JetScream Whistle for just $15.95 and it's all packed into a watertight hard plastic case that's probably worth more than the cost of the whole package.
Check 'em out.
Thanks for reading,