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March 1, 2009 Comments (0) News

Inferno At Your Fingertips!!

Some fire starting proucts from goinggear.com.

GoinGear Fire Kit

I recently had the opportunity to get my paws on a fire kit, and and an exotic hardwood-handled fire steel offered from goinggear.com.  They are a fairly new retail website that offers an assortment of the smaller items to help build your wilderness kits. They offer important things such as fire steels, storage capsules, space blankets, whistles, and so much more. Their selection is wonderful, and customer service is top notch. The website is chock full of videos, products, tips, and other content.  Marshall, the owner of GoingGear, gave us an idea of his thinking with the types of items he carries on his site.  He told us the following.  “I look for items that I personally like and would use in the outdoors or on a daily basis.  I would not sell anything that I do not believe is a quality product, so focusing on items that are well made and reliable is important to me.”

Hunters, campers, backpackers, or just the run of the mill Woods Monkey all know the importance of fire and the ability to start one quickly and easily.  Personally, I have been carrying various fire-starting aids in my pockets and in my pack for years.  Sometimes, natural tinder can be hard to acquire, and dry wood can be impossible to obtain.  You then need some long-burning tinder to help give your fire that extra push to get it burning strong.  That’s where the fire kit comes into play. With a devoted kit to fire starting, you can have many different varieties of tinder at your fingertips, and choose the best one for the job. After you have chosen your tinder, you still need a way to ignite it.  This means you need a match, or a lighter or other fire starter of some sort, and it’s important to include more than one means to accomplish this. To take the guesswork out of building a kit, goingear.com has come to your rescue!!!

The fire kit I received for testing actually turned out to be a handy item.  It comes in a transparent plastic case, with the lid secured by a ranger band. The band itself can be utilized for tinder in a pinch.  They light easily, and have a fairly long burn time.  The container is stuffed to the gills with everything you need to get several fires going strong.  It includes a chunk of fatwood, a length of duct tape, a small ferro rod with striker, a couple of petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls, fire sticks, and a really neat peanut type lighter.  As you can tell, there is a plethora of fire starting materials and ignition sources to choose from. Here is a breakdown of the contents, and my personal observations of their usefulness. 

Fatwood

Starting a fire with fatwood tinder.

This is a type of tinder found in the heart wood of dead pine trees. The wood is impregnated with pine sap, is very flammable and has a great burn time.  Fatwood is a personal favorite of mine, and my “go-to” tinder.  To use, you scrape shavings from the chunk with your knife into a pile and use an ignition source to light it.  In windy conditions you can scrape the shavings onto a piece of the enclosed duct tape, and that will keep them from scattering in the wind.  I chose to use the small ferro rod to ignite my pile, and in 2 strikes I had fire!!!  I love this stuff!

Petroleum Jelly Cotton Balls

Another tinder that has been around for quite some time, and works very, very, well.  Cotton by itself is good tinder, but it has a very fast burn time.  By smearing it with petroleum jelly you increase the burn time exponentially.  What once burned up in a matter of seconds can now produce flame for over 5 minutes!  To use, you just remove one from the baggie, fluff it up a bit, and light it up.  It is that easy.  I used the small ferro rod to ignite mine, and with only one strike I had fire!  Now, you don’t even need to use an entire cotton ball. You can simply tear off a chunk of it, and it will do fine. This is an idiot-proof method to get fire.  Very easy to use, and very effective.

Fire Sticks

Fire Sticks included with kit.

I have seen these before, but have no experience with them.  They are made up of what appears to be compressed wood dust and shavings. They have what looks like a red match head coating on one end.  I tried to get them to strike like a match, and had no luck.  Either the coating scraped off, or they broke.  I also couldn’t get them to take a spark.  However, when I used a lighter, they lit right up, and I mean with a vengeance!!!  They burned for an incredibly long time–15 minutes for one stick!  A pretty neat product.  I don’t think they are as good as fatwood or the PJ cotton, but they are still effective especially when it comes to the actual burn time.

Ferro Rod With Striker

There are several manufacturers of fine fire steels.  The composition of each of them is different, but most are good.  This is no exception.  These are a misch metal type rod, and produce small molten balls that burn for a longer time then the standard LMF type steels.  You can actually pick up one of these balls with your knife and move them to your tinder if needed.  The striker is a section of what appears to be a hacksaw blade ground square on the spine.  It works wonderfully.  These types of rods require a sharp edge to strike, and the included striker is just the ticket.  The sharp spine, and flex of the steel makes it a very controllable, effective striker. This is a very good setup for the fire kit.  A ferro rod never runs out of fuel, and takes up a very little space.  In my opinion this is a must for any fire kit.

Capsule Lighter

I only recently discovered these little gems.  I swore off Zippos altogether due to their quick fluid loss.  I don’t like the idea of having to constantly monitor fluid evaporation in these types of lighters.  I don’t trust them to perform when I need them, and that’s the bottom line.  Well, jump forward a few years, and I got my hands on one of these really cool peanut lighters. It’s very small and well built.  Where these things really shine is in their seal.  They can keep fluid in them almost indefinitely.  It’s been 3 weeks since I filled this one up, and it is still full.  It works great.  One or two strikes, and it lights right up.  One cool thing about these of lighters is if you are in a survival situation with one, and run it dry, you can use the wadding in the bottom of the lighter.  Just spark it with the flint to get a fire going.  That’s pretty cool. I really like these lighters.

This fire kit gets two thumbs way up from yours truly.  It covers all bases very well, and offers the user a very sound kit in a very small package. You can stick it in your pocket and forget about it till you need it.  If you are looking for a cool little fire kit, look no further then goingear.com!

Harwood-Handled Fire Steel

Hardwood Handled Fire Starter

I also received an exotic hardwood-handled fire steel.  It is 3/8 inch in diameter, 4 inches long, and mine was handled in a very attractive leopardwood.  It was actually designed and put produced by the owner Marshall and his father.  This is hands down the best fire steel I have ever owned.  My opinion isn’t based just on the attractive appearance and the great quality of the handle job, but it’s also based on the performance of the steel.  It is very easy to strike, and produces a shower of molten balls and sparks.  The ergonomic handle shape is very comfortable in the hand, and is finished very nicely.  Another postitive attribute is that goinggear.com offers them in a wide variety of exotic hardwoods to match that custom knife handle, or just your personal tastes.  This has become my favorite fire steel for EDC carry.  I strongly urge you to give one a try. I think you will be very happy.

Goinggear.com has already started off with some great product offerings.  Marshall also let us know that he’s working on about 10 different designs for different kinds of aluminum products, and he’s hoping to have some of them hitting the streets by early next year.  Judging from the quality of what they offer so far and their excellent customer service, he’s certainly off to a good start.  I suggest you look into goinggear.com if you find yourselves in need of some gear for your kits. Even if you aren’t in need, I bet you can find something you didn’t know you needed.  I always do!

Visit: www.goinggear.com

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