Fire can be made in many ways and with many tools. The simple creation of a spark and catching it on an easily burnable material is one of the older methods. A good example of such would be flint and steel, and a modern twist on that is the quite popular ferrocerium rod. This spark stick is essentially a larger version of the material found under the spark wheel of a bic lighter. Their popularity has grown, and big makers such as LightMyFire and Exotac certainly make some nice modern versions. The thing these items typically lack is an included amount of fire starting material. The creative minds of Idaho Survival have solved this problem by making the handle material out of a great fire starting material, fatwood. The Idaho Survival Fire Stick Fatwood Ferrocerium firestarter is a excellent combination of primitive fire starting materials and modern fire starting methods.
–Quality and construction–
One of our original worries with having a wood handled ferrocerium rod was that the fatwood might be a bit rough. This was not the case. Idaho Survival has taken some time with the construction of the Fire Stick ferro rod and made sure to smooth out the fatwood handle to be comfortable and easy to grip. The hand itself is a generous chunk of very resinous fatwood. Having this much material ensures that you can start quite a few fires and also maintain an easy grip on the ferrocerium while striking. The addition of a lanyard hole to the end of the handle allows for the additional of any length of paracord. As shipped the Idaho Survival Fire Stick comes with a length of leather to act as the lanyard.
–Usefulness and durability–
As with any ferrocerium rod the usefulness comes from it’s ability to create a shower of intensely hot sparks that can easily light various material on fire. The other part comes from making sure you have the right material to light on fire. To test both of these features we proceeded to shave off a small amount of fatwood from a supply provided by Idaho Survival, and place it in a small pile on a small piece of birch bark. The goal was to start this small amount of material and place it into our Emberlit Fireant titanium stove and cook a small breakfast.
When we matched up our blade to the Idaho Survival Fire Stick fatwood ferrocerium an ample amount of hot sparks were produced easily, and we were able to keep a hold of the fatwood handle with ease as well. Within a few strikes our fatwood shavings caught flame. Even with a small pile of shavings, they burned for a long enough period of time to allow us to place them, and multiple types of other material in our Fireant stove to get our whole fire started and maintained.
The extended usefulness comes from the ability to handle and reuse this fire starter over and over again. Idaho Survival has thought of this and made sure to provide a large, both in length and girth, ferro rod to allow for ease of striking and for long term repeated use. Also the handle size should allow for extended use, even as it’s fatwood is whittled down. Considering many other ferro rods have only a small handle knob, to be gripped by just a thumb and forefinger, you will have a long way to go to shave the Idaho Survival Fire Stick down before you get it to that size.
We love fire, especially in the outdoors. Who doesn’t? Every aspect is fun, and the first step is always fire starting. Using a ferrocerium rod is pretty easy, and there are many makers, but the Idaho Survival Fire Stick fatwood ferrocerium is a great combination. Having these two great materials together means only having to keep track of one thing in the pack, and ensures you have the materials you need to get that fire going. When compared, by features and price it is quite hard to beat. I would beat feet over the their Etsy store, and drop another $8.50 for this item any day.