Thursday, May 31, 2012

Firestarter review!

I was given the awesome gift last Christmas of some firestarter.  Here is the actual one I received Jim Baker firestarter, although this one at Emergency Essentials EE firestarter looks the same on the photo.  But just to be clear, the Jim Baker one is the one I've tested.
They claim this is coated to be is water resistant.  I haven't tested this yet.  It was a slightly breezy day & we had no trouble lighting it first try.  The website claims it will burn in up to 30 mph winds (although I assume you'd have to start it out of the wind).  I tested it first in my Kelly Kettle (see last blog post).  It was perfect for that.  It boiled the water quickly, & I didn't have to add more fuel.  It also only took 1 match to light.
I had been told that you can put this out & relight it later.  I liked that idea.  The bucket says 1 cup will burn for 30 min, but if you can boil water in 6 min, I hate to waste all that other burning time.  So after the water boiled, we smothered it out, & let it cool.  (I estimate we were using about 2/3-3/4 cup of firestarter).  We were able to get it relighted but it took a few matches this time.  Perhaps sprinkling a bit of fresh on would help with that.  It did relight burn longer, but it wasn't nearly as hot, & I didn't get my water to boil in the kettle this time.  So I would probably try to do enough cooking to use it all, but if that wasn't possible, I would probably save it to combine with some fresh, & hopefully get more use out of it that way.
The wonderful woman who gave me the bucket full also gave me small packets with the instructions to put in my 72 hour backpacks.  I thought that was a great idea!  And you don't have to have a Kelly Kettle to use this, you can even cook right on top of it.  It also has a 30 year shelf life!  (Emergency Essentials also has smaller amounts if you don't want the huge bucket).  This could also be used as kindling to get wood or other things started.  Overall I'm VERY glad to have this in my storage!
One tiny complaint, the big bucket was VERY hard to open.  I had to cut the "peel" part off the lid.  And then use my tool for opening those buckets.  I'd hate to be doing that in the cold or an emergency, so I'm glad I've already opened it once & got the hard part out of the way.

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