Whether you're lighting your fireplace for a cozy winter night or building a campfire to roast marshmallows in the summer, here are four surprising products products that'll spark your curiosity every time the spark a flame.
Little known fact: Lighters don't actually need fuel. A new breed of lighters uses arcs of electricity rather than butane-fueled flames to ignite your tinder. They're inexpensive, they never run out of fuel (you just recharge them over USB), and you can even use them when it's windy.
But mostly...they're just really cool.
For lighting a campfire or a igniting the tinder in your fireplace, we recommend the Power Practical Sparkr Wick, which features a long neck to keep your hand away from the flames, plus two criss-crossing electric arcs to light your tinder or ignite your gas faster. For some of our other favorite electric lighters though, check out our roundup on Seeqr.
UCO Stormproof Matches
They look like matches. They work like matches. But they don’t perform like any matches you’re used to. You can literally strike an UCO Stormproof Match, dump it in a glass of water, pull it back out, and it’ll still be lit. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and then, to make sure it wasn’t a magic trick, tried it myself. It really does work. Of course, that means they’ll also stay lit in the rain, in the wind, and if you accidentally drop them into a pile of dirt.
The brand also sells Stormproof Sweetfire strikeable fire starters, which strike just like the matches, but stay lit for up to 7 minutes while burning their renewable, sugarcane by-product biofuel base. Just light one up, throw it under some logs, and you’ll have a roaring fire in no time.
Paracord survival bracelets usually incorporate emergency paracord, a compass, whistles, and small knives, but some also build fire starters into the buckle.
It’s basically just a cleverly disguised flint and striker. One side of the buckle incorporates a magnesium fire starter. The other side acts as a striker. Get down near some kindling, apply some pressure, and rub them together until the sparks catch. Don’t want to wear a bracelet? This Bear Grylls fire starter is just a larger version of the same thing, but you can wear it around your neck or toss it in your backpack.
The Leatherman Signal multitool offers a similar fire starter to the survival bracelet, but one that's built into a feature-packed tool that you can use for all sorts of other tasks. Inside, you'll find pliers, wire strippers, knives, scissors, screwdrivers, and more in addition to the ferrocerium fire starting rod.
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