The classic fire steel is a tool that's often overlooked as a relic...
Fire starting tools such as an ignition source and tinder are critical to survival, whether you're heading out for a quick hike in the woods or a long-term camping trip. If you don't prepare these items ahead of time, you may find yourself struggling to ignite damp wood and end up shivering in the dark. Even if you already have a fire-starting kit in your pack, the old saying applies — two is one and one is none. It's smart to carry at least one backup set of fire-starting materials.
Superesse Straps has developed a simple wearable fire-starting lanyard that's based around a chunk of pine fatwood. This resin-impregnated wood is found in the heart of pine stumps and fallen logs, and it burns energetically, making fatwood shavings an excellent tinder source.
The fatwood is wrapped with a 2-foot strand of jute twine, which also serves as a good tinder material, especially when shredded into fluff to catch sparks. A ceramic razor blade is tucked under the jute wrap, and can be used to strike a ferro rod or to shave/cut the tinder. There's also a short piece of red wax-coated tinder wick that's highly combustible, even when wet. These items are retained around the fatwood by rubber ranger bands, which are also combustible.
The Superesse Straps Fatwood Lanyard is offered with your choice of paracord (black, brown, green, orange, red, dark blue, or MultiCam) tied into an adjustable-length loop with a fisherman's knot. You can also select options of FireCord, which contains more tinder wick, or Titan SurvivorCord, which contains fishing line and snare wire.
The lanyard is topped off with a ferro rod toggle. This serves to adjust the lanyard's fit, and also to provide a source of sparks when struck with a knife blade or the ceramic razor.
Since these are made to order, many other options are available. These include spare tinder/fatwood, a P-38 can opener, a Kevlar cord saw, and a luminous compass. Pricing starts at $37 for the standard Fatwood Lanyard. For more information, go to SuperesseStraps.com.