Swedish Firesteel

Developed by the Swedish Department of Defense, the Swedish Firesteel is a staple amongst the Scandinavian armed forces. A favorite among wilderness experts that pride themselves in being well prepared, a well-trained wielder has the capability to start a fire in practically any condition. Popular at home as well as in the outdoors, this product is often used for lighting gas grills and stoves around the world. Strike the two components against one another to produce precious sparks of up to 3,000 degrees Celsius, or 5,432 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rain, moisture, wind and condensation can render a lighter or a pack of matches unusable. The Swedish Firesteel still scatters searing sparks with every strike, even when the components are damp. An individual who truly appreciates reliability and the gratification of hard work will add this tool to their pack without a second thought.

Constructed for quality, this simple tool is composed of two pieces attached by a lanyard. Protective paint extends the lifetime of the steel, boasting the convenience of a thumb grip that feels natural in one’s hand. At the other end of the lanyard lies the striker, reported to produce up to 12,000 strikes – more than enough for the average wilderness enthusiast.

The chief complaint that resonates amongst users of the Swedish Firesteel is its steep learning curve. Many inexperienced users find difficulty in producing fire from this product; patience and experience are highly recommended. Nothing would be as frustrating as ascending a mountainside with this tool, only to realize that producing fire with it is not as simple as the strike of a match as a damp evening sets in. Practice using the Firesteel before setting out, it can be an incredible asset.

Simply gather tinder and other flammable materials to catch the sparks as they fly from the steel. Shelter the glowing sparks as they catch, while gradually feeding the orange smoking points to a small flame. Once this task is mastered, the Swedish-engineered device will be a treasured companion on journeys to come.

Some individuals prefer magnesium block firestarters to bring a flame to adverse conditions. Both methods have their plus sides and detractors and it is truly a matter of personal opinion. Experienced campers often get the best of both worlds by bringing magnesium shavings to place along with damp tinder. The shavings burn at an extremely high temperature, aiding efforts to set material alight.

Price: $14.25 – $19.97

I would rate this product a 4/5. A necessary edition to every emergency kit due to its all weather capability, the Swedish Firesteel provides peace of mind. Not particularly expensive in proportion to the amount of spark-bearing strikes this little tool can create, this tool comes highly recommended. Unfortunately, less experienced campers need to practice and feel comfortable with this product and should not be using it for their first time in the wilderness. Manufactured and sold by a company called Light My Fire, this product can be reliably found in most popular retail outfitters.