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I was sitting on my couch watching television and saw some show on the military channel talking about thermite, and they mentioned that this is the same substance in sparklers (the handheld fireworks) and that it burns at 4500 degrees F and can not be put out by water once lit as it burns hot enough to produce its own oxygen.
So there I was thinking "Wow, that would probally be an awesome firestarter for emergencies". So I drove to a nearby store that sells fireworks and bought a 12pack of sparklers. I performed three tests.
Test one was with a whole sparkler, using random twigs and other combustables off the ground (its been raining alot over the past few days) so everything was fairly damp. I light the sparkler and insert it into the base of the small pile. After about 15 seconds it was fully ablaze and burning strong.
Test two: It is now a downpour, I again use twigs etc that I gather up from my yard. Again I use a whole sparkler, light it and stick it into the soaking wet pile of tinder. After abour 20-30 seconds the pile was fully ablaze and the rain did not even seem to effect it. I continually added pieces of wood during the 3 minute burn of the sparkler and by the time it burned out I had a substantial fire going.
Test 3: For this test I decided to cut the sparkler into three inch pieces, guestimating I would get roughly 1 minute burn time per piece. It is still raining quite hard while I gather up more tinder. I assemble another pile, insert the piece at the base and light. In about 30 seconds, again I have the tinder pile fully ablaze and am able to easily add more tinder and I am able to fairly easily get a fire going in a downpour. The 3 in piece burned for roughly 1 minute.
Cost of sparkler 12 pack 1.99
I have also tried, storm matches, and wet fire in the past and they work well too.
Anyone else have any good emergency fire starter suggestions?