The Swedish FireSteel Mini has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best fire starters for 2020.
Historic Range: $6.45-$10.49
Reviewers Paid: $7.25-$8.00
A simple-to-use, never-can-go-wrong piece of gear. Use as your primary ignition source or as a backup.
I bought mine back when they used wood for the handle instead of plastic...doesn't make a difference in the performance, it just looks less industrial, like it's something from your old scout days.
If you use a canister stove, then this is all you need to light it. I don't even bother with a lighter anymore. And forget the piezos...they don't work very well in the humidity I've found. This always does the trick with one spark...hey, isobutane is really flammable!
And once you got your stove going, you can light anything else with the stove. I still carry some matches in my first aid kit, cause you never know.
I learned a new trick this week...you can use a tampon (unused of course!) as kindling to get a fire started! The cotton burns VERY well. And the video showed a guy using one of these flint strikers to get the tampon burning. Pretty awesome, especially for us women adventurers.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $8
The FireSteel Mini Emergency Magnesium Sparker is a must-have for any backpacking emergency kit. I never used mine until this weekend, but thank god I had the foresight to include it in my homemade gear repair kit.
I was hiking on the Maine Appalachian Trail in early October, 2010 just after 4 inches of rain, only to discover that 1) the piezo lighter system on my isobutane stove had finally busted, and 2) I didn't have any matches in my emergency kit. With night time temperatures, in the 20's, I needed some hot food after hiking or I was going to have a few cold nights until my next town resupply, 75 miles to the south.
Luckily, I had include a mini Fire Steel in my emergency first aid and gear repair kit and I was able to use the striker to consistently light my stove for the rest of my section hike. Awesome piece of kit, and a must have for any hiker. For just $8, this is a must-have for any trip. Saved my behind - that's for sure.
Price Paid: $7.95
It just WORKS!
- That's HOT!
This thing just WORKS!
I could end it there, but allow me a moment of your time and I'll embellish a little.
I've used this to start everything from dry pine needles and leaves to sawdust to a white gas stove. Cotton balls with a dab of hand sanitizer catch the spark perfectly. The striker throws a spark far enough to light an alcohol stove (soda can, Vargo or Trangia) or safely ignite my Svea 123R. I now carry one in each of my packs, one in each vehicle, and a spare in my expedition first aid kit.
I use the mini to cut back on precious ounces. I tied the cord as a single, longer piece with zipper pull cord tabs at each end rather than the original loop. This give me a little more "oomph" on the strike. Other than that, there's no need to change a thing about this. It's like the wheel — no need to re-invent or re-engineer it.
The only drawback? I can't think of anything more positive to say about it. Use it once, and you'll wish you had always carried one.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7.25
Just like the Scout version, but on a diet, though only for weight and size.
Definitely not on a diet as far as performance.
A great super light fire striker. A must for the ultra light camper.