When you have a tough job to do, you need the right tools for the job. And one of the toughest jobs in the realm of survival is wet weather fire making. It seems that the more you need the fire, the harder it is to create. That’s why I’m such a big advocate of redundant gear and task-specific kits. So when I saw the UST Watertight Fire Kit hanging in the camping section of the local department store, you know I had to pick one up. Here’s what I found inside.
The grey plastic box was very light, and semi-transparent, although I wish it was orange or some other bright color for easier location and retrieval. Inside the kit I found a SparkForce ferrocerium rod, a zip-top bag with six tinder pieces, and an instruction sheet.
The ferro rod sparked very well, throwing a spray of sparks that were short but numerous. The tinder piece (once fluffed) took the spark easily and burned for a little over three minutes. And there was plenty of room to add more fire starting supplies. (UST offers a beefier kit for $15, which includes some WetFire cubes, and they use the same box. I suspect this accounts for the free space in this cheaper kit.)
Here are the specs:
— Waterproof plastic box with rubber seal and slim profile
— Black lanyard and carabiner-style clip on the outside of the box
— SparkForce ferrocerium rod with orange lanyard
— Six Light-Me Tinder pieces
— A serviceable instruction sheet
— And here’s why it’s only $8.50: it’s made in China
Certainly, I wish this kit was made in the USA. I also would have liked a higher visibility color for the waterproof case. But those issues aside, I think this is a great kit for the money (especially since the SparkForce striker alone sells for $8). There’s also room in the box for a book of paper matches, a full sized butane lighter, and a half-dozen cotton balls for extra tinder. Make those additions, and you’ll have a fire kit that would make Daniel Boone turn green with envy.
Find out more about the UST products at www.ustbrands.com
Have you tried this kit? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.