To paraphrase a popular TV commercial for a particular beer, I don’t often endorse a product, but when I do, it’s a beauty!”
Like many of you who believe in hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, I carry a packed bug-out bag in my Jeep at all times. It has different cutting tools, food, water, plastic bags, signaling mirror, jacket, etc.—all the usual stuff. It also has various tools for lighting a fire including waterproof match container, disposable lighter and, until recently, one of those magnesium blocks that look good, but are almost impossible to use under anything other than ideal conditions.
But now I have a much better solution, and I expect it will be the last fire lighting tool I will ever buy. (I’ll still keep the matches and cigarette lighter—I believe in redundancy.) Guns and Gunsmiths contributor and long-range rifle expert Darrell Holland, with help from his son Jonathan, have developed and produced what I think is easily the best fire starting device ever—the Lightning-Strike Fire Starter.
About the size of a small flashlight, this has everything you need to quickly and easily start a fire under even the worst conditions, even if you have an injury that only leaves you with one good arm. The aluminum body contains the flint (replaceable thanks to a set screw to hold it in place rather than glue) and the large, easy to grip striker is held on with a shock cord that also attaches to a cover on the other end. Under that cover is a generously-sized cavity filled with tinder that was also developed by Darrell.
Darrell and his son have thought of everything to make this the great product it is. The body of the lighter has a slot to guide the striker along the flint and direct the large showers of sparks onto the tinder, a shock cord joining the striker to the end cap so neither can get lost, a cord and plug under the tinder to make it easy to remove a piece, and as mentioned before, a replaceable flint. You can also buy extra containers of tinder, though this thing will light paper, woodchips, cotton wool, or just about anything small that will catch on fire.
You can buy this great product from Darrell at his website, http://www.hollandguns.com. You have a choice of blue, red or green, so get one of each and stash them in all your vehicles and backpacks.