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

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie

I received a box from Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST) yesterday. It contained the three items pictured at left. One boxed Sparkie firestarter, one blister packed Sparkie firestarter with WetFire Tinder, and one box of WetFire Tinder.

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the WetFire tinder for use in all conditions and I was sorely disappointed when I heard the company that made it was going under. Fortunately the company has changed hands and WetFire, along with the other Ultimate Survival items, are being made once more.

The Sparkie is UST's newest firestarter and takes everything that made the BlastMatch great and made it smaller, lighter, and easier to use. Sparkie weighs in at a svelte 0.8 ounces, is approximately 1.25" wide, is 2.25" long when closed, and 3.75" long when opened. It's still operable with just one hand and now has a rod protector to help reinforce the smaller-diameter ferrocerium rod.

You can see the size difference from the BlastMatch and Sparkie both open and closed:

To deploy Sparkie you simply push on the textured section of the rubberized handle and the rod pops out. The built-in striker is fully contained within the handle. Sparkie's rod is comparable to the Light My Fire Scout in diameter and the rod support arm is intended to prevent snapping of the rod during use. It (the support) should also assist the user in striking at the optimal angle somewhere close to 90°.

There's a lanyard hole molded into the handle and Sparkie is much more "pocketable" than the BlastMatch but it's still too big for key ring carry. It will, however, easily fit into an Altoid's tin which opens up all sorts of options for a compact personal survival kit (PSK.) With a little bit of manipulation you can actually fit Sparkie into the tin the short way opening up more room for other kit components.

I'm looking forward to getting out and giving this a test later today. I'll try to shoot a video showing how I like to use the WetFire tinder as well. It's an easy technique that can also be done one-handed.

Thanks for reading,



At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks pretty cool. I'll keep my eye out for that over here.


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