Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $8
Ultimate Survival Technologies' Sparkie is a decent flint-steel emergency backup for starting a fire. At 1 ounce and $8, it's an easy addition to your emergency kit.
- One-handed operation
- Usable after becoming wet
- 1 ounce
- Compact size
- Hard surface required to operate
- Requires knowledgable firebuilding skills (see below)
The Sparkie provides an inexpensive, lightweight backup for starting fires.
I have always carried a small Bic lighter, along with a book of waterproof matches as backup. But "waterproof" is not "Denatured Alcohol-proof," as I recently discovered from a very minor spill. So for $8, I picked up the Sparkie and have been satisfied with it.
I don't need to rehash all the pros and cons listed above, but I will point out that the Sparkie does require knowledge for building a fire from tinder (or a product like "Wet Fire"). Flint & Steel produces a spark, and not a flame, like a lighter or matches will. Anyone relying on this for an emergency fire should practice with it first.
Also, the Sparkie is optimal with a hard surface to push on. Mud or soft ground offers less chance of producing a spark. In this way, traditional flint & steel has an advantage. Of course, you can use the finger technique show in the video or use a stick below your tinder for a hard surface.
Decent product. Reasonably priced. Light enough and small enough to justify carrying it as a backup.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7.50
I keep one of these in my cook kits instead of a lighter or matches and am never without fire.
- One handed use
- Long lasting
- Doesn't stay closed
- Small platform
I have two of these that I have been using for 2+ years now and found that they are the perfect pack-size for a stove kit. Sparkie puts out a good spark which can burn for a second or two. It has always worked for me when wet from rain or snow, but I haven't had to use it after being submersed it in water yet.
I have an original Light-My-Fire steel which is now obsolete compared to this because it's quite bulky and much more difficult to strike a good spark.
- Sparkie doesn't stay closed — ever. This doesn't really bother me because it stays in a confined kit. The steel still works.
- You really need a hard surface to push down on to get a good spark, soft ground and pine needles don't work at all, so I throw a stick or rock in with my tinder to give Sparkie some purchase. Unfortunately the end of the steel is rather small and slips off of things easily. When lighting a stove, it can be tricky to push it into the burner or pot support, but with some practice it beats having to remember to bring matches or a lighter.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Designed for use in the most adverse weather conditions, the lightweight and compact Sparkie(TM) fire starter from Ultimate Survival Technologies is a must-have for any serious adventurer. Weighing in at less than 1 oz., the Sparkie fire starter is about a third the weight and less than half the volume of its big brother, the BlastMatch(TM). Internal tungsten carbide striker allows simple 1-handed operation; user must press thumb button to engage the striker. Rubberized grip gives you great control during use. Spring-loaded flint bar rotates 360deg to allow for even wear; bar retracts inside the body for compact storage. If the Sparkie gets wet, simply wipe it off and it's ready for use.
Lightweight and super compact, the Sparkie Firestarter from Ultimate Survival Technologies has everything you need to get a fire going anywhere. Able to be used with one hand, it's simple flint design allows you to quickly and effectively start a fire, even if an injury is hindering you use of both arms. The flint shaft can be rotated to extend the life of the product.
- Mountain Gear
CLOSEOUTS . A must-have tool for every outdoor adventurer, Ultimate Survival Technologiesand#39; Sparkie fire starter offers one-handed operation and can start a fire in virtually any weather conditions. Available Colors: BLUE, SAND, GREY, FOREST, YELLOW.
- Sierra Trading Post
Sparkie™, the newest fire starter from Ultimate Survival Technologies, features one-handed operation in a lightweight, compact design. Built on the premise of the original BlastMatch™, Sparkie™ can be operated with one hand and start your fire even in the most adverse weather conditions. Weighing less than one ounce, Sparkie™ is approximately one-third the weight and less than half the volume of its big brother the BlastMatch™. It features a reconfigured striker tab enclosure and spark bar. The compact body has a rubberized grip wrap giving you maximum control and comfort during use. Dimensions: 1.2" x 2.3". Wt: 0.85 oz.
- Vargo Outdoors