Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark of Night…

exotac logoEveryone’s Go-Bag should have provisions for fire starting. It’s an essential component of any survival kit and challenges water purification as the most important! In a disaster, survival or an impress your brother-in-law situation, how are you going to start a fire?

Matches? Sure, that’s great, just make sure they are water proof and you have a lot of them if its windy…

Lighter? Hey good one! If you run out of fluid you can go to the corner store and get some more…just not if your lost in the woods…

Sparks? Did someone say sparks? Excellent! Sparks are windproof, waterproof and will always work when paired with the right tinder.

Now, there are tons of methods and techniques for building a fire and tinder makes all the difference but the focus of this posting is getting your initial flame on!

Fire is many things to many people. It provides light, heat, the ability to cook food and make water safe for drinking. Plus, its just fun! C’mon, who doesn’t like a good bonfire? If you just raised your hand, leave now…E! online has posted a new video of Snooki rubbing her bum against a tree… that might be more your speed!

Off to the Great Outdoors…

Photo1153So this past weekend I packed up the kids, tent and beagle and headed out into the wilds of my backyard for a little camping! Grandma and Grandpa provided the marshmallows and roasting sticks while EXOTAC provided the fire and Mom took pictures of the trip! Rob at EXOTAC suggested using Vaseline soaked cotton balls to get things going… Now, I have always been a dryer lint-pinecone kinda guy but there were no pinecones around so bring on the cotton and petroleum jelly!!

WOW! One spark and that greasy spread out fluff ignited like nothing I have ever seen before, so long pinecones  hello Vaseline and cotton balls! Thanks for the tip Rob you have made me a believer!

Now for the nanoSTRIKER…

The nanoSTRIKER by EXOTAC is a marvel of design and function. Standard fire starters in this family have a “spark rod”Photo1152 (there is a fancier name for this…) and a piece of spring steel to scrape it with. The sparks drop onto the tinder and poof! Fire. Well, EXOTAC has taken the concept of  the ferrocerium (that’s the fancier name!) fire starter to a new level with the nanoSTRIKER. The device is designed to be self contained and small enough to put on your keychain allowing you to carry it everyday, giving you the comfort of knowing you can make fire anywhere, anytime.

Made from aircraft grade aluminum, heavy threads and O-ring seals, this is one tough little gadget. The end screws off to reveal the I-beam shaped striker, unscrew the Rod Holder from the Handle, rotate 180deg, screw it back on and Ta-Da! You now are ready to make fire from sparks!


The specially designed striker makes quick work of scraping the rod to produce sparks and gives the advantage of actually pealing a curl off the rod creating a longer lasting spark and better chance of starting your fire on the first go. With other commercial versions the spring steel rides on the rod’s surface, not digging in and only throwing a few short lived sparks making the task at hand a little more difficult. The nanoSTRIKER is more than a cosmetic upgrade to an existing product, it is an entirely new tool and will provide you years of use. When the rod wears out, approx. 1k strikes, all you do is unscrew it from the center piece and order a new one and the striker is able to be sharpened as well!

Listen, He’s Over There!…

In my testing, I discovered something unique and undocumented to the nanoSTRIKER. If you take and separate Rod Holder from the Handle and hold the Handle vertically to your lips and blow, it makes one heck of a whistle! Not only can you use it to make a fire to stay warm if lost and/or injured, you can use it signal your rescuers too!

If you own a fire starter already, throw it in your glove box, tackle box or wife’s Go-Bag and get yourself one of these. You will not regret it. If you don’t own this type of fire starter, get one! Specifically this one!

On a side note, there is something to be said for creating fire from sparks. Something indescribable that ties us to the past and a simpler way of life. Something that reminds us of where we came from and no matter how advanced our technology becomes it will always come down to this…fire provides light, safety and comfort in the dark of night and no matter where or how bad off you are, if you can make fire you will survive…

Click here to read more about EXOTAC and their other products…

Click here to order the nanoSTRIKER…

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