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Swedish Firesteel firestarter
One essential survival skill is the ability to make fire. Not only does a roaring fire provide heat, it also allows you to boil water – especially when the water quality is suspect. In daily urban environments, carrying a disposable lighter or a box of matches is usually enough. Here we cover two alternative fire-starting tools, the Swedish Firesteel and the Spark-lite Firestarter.

Swedish Firesteel – US$15

Swedish FireSteel is a flash of genius, developed by the Swedish Department of Defense for the Swedish Army. Generating sparks of up to 3,000°C, it makes fire building easy in any weather, at any altitude. Used by a number of armies around the world, Swedish FireSteel’s dependability has already made it a favorite of survival experts, hunters, fishermen and campers. The Swedish Firesteel is very durable and should last 12,000 strikes – used twice a day, it should last you well over 16 years!

Spark-lite Firestarter – US$9
Spark-Lite Firestarter
The Spark-Lite is the official U.S. Military firestarter. It’s extremely light weight and simple to use, and should fit well in your emergency kits. This is the firestarting tool used in the Doug Ritter Personal Survival Pak. To use this simple tool, just pull a Tinder-Quik tab from the plastic case and ignite with the Spark-Lite. Tinder-Quik is waterproof and will burn for 2-3 minutes giving you plenty of time to get your fire started. The fact that Spark-Lite comes with Tinder-Quick is very useful – you don’t have to hunt around for dry tinder to start your fire. Of course, the Spark-lite will even work with other materials you can find outdoors such as milkweed and other fiberous materials.

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