The two items from Exotac we are taking a look at are the fireSLEEVE and polySTRIKER. Both items serve a critical purpose for any go-bag. Fire starting is a critical survival skill to know if you spend any time in the woods or austere environments. Here at the Loadout Room we have covered fire starting in several articles due to the importance of knowing what kit to have and how-to actually get a fire going.
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Typically in my fire kits I prefer to have 3 methods of ignition. My go to piece for ignition is the bic lighter. The bic lighter is compact and easy to use. If you need a fire in emergency conditions you’ll want instant flame. With the bic lighter you get instant gratification of the flame (flick my bic). They are also cheap and available almost anywhere. Even though these are great to have in your kit they do have one downfall. That is if they get wet, more often than not they will not work and you’ll have to wait for them to dry out. Exotac has the perfect solution to that problem and that is the fireSLEEVE. The fireSLEEVE is a rugged waterproof housing that contains your bic lighter. It also has a rubberized cap that is easy on/off. The cap is a friction fit that creates a waterproof seal keeping the lighter itself and flint dry and ready to use.
The second piece of kit I always have in my fire kit is a ferrocerium rod. The benefit to these are they are lightweight and waterproof. They do require some practice to become proficient with. They come in several different diameters and lengths. For a minimalist go-bag I prefer to keep things lightweight. In my personal experience you get what you pay for and that includes the ferro rod. Yes there are cheaper ones, but they do not produce sparks consistently, requiring more strikes which wastes material on the rod. It can be a challenge to find a smaller ferro rod that is both durable and made with quality materials. Exotac makes a ferro rod called the polySTRIKER. The polySTRIKER is an ultra-light, long-lasting, and waterproof ferro rod that produces sparks over 5000 degree F.
If you’re looking to either build a fire kit or bolster an existing kit then take a look at these two items from Exotac.