Adventure Medical Kits manufacturers of a variety of survival aids, from medical kits to survival blankets to firestarters, had a new product showing at the SHOTSHOW called Fastfire™ is an all weather fire starting tinder survival product everyone should have, manufactured by SOLKOA. AMK are resellers of this product, which is interesting since both companies market other survival gear, and AMK also markets another kit under the name Survive Outdoors Longer® Fire Lite™ kit at $10.
Minimalist and practical, the SOL Fire Lite™ Kit gives you the supplies to start up to 20 fires all in a lightweight, waterproof package. In addition to the 20 pieces of waterproof tinder, each Fire Lite™ Kit includes a Fire Lite™ sparker and comprehensive fire starting instructions.
SOLKOA sell a kit comprising 4 foil wrapped packets of the 1"x1"x1" Fastfire™ product and a Faststrike™ which is a 3” ferrocerium rod attached to a 3” hacksaw blade. Weighs only 1oz! and retails for $19.95, or as an emergency kit with the striker and 2 packets of Fastfire™ for $16.95
AMK has repackaged this Fastfire™ product under their SOL brand name and sell 4 of the 1"x1"x1" cubes for $10 as their All Weather fire starter.
Each Fastfire™ tinder weighs 0 .2oz each.
Specs are impressive:
• Generates a sustained, 1300°F flame in just seconds - Burns even when WET!
• Wind resistant
• Smokeless and odorless
• Ignites easily from a spark or any flame
• Very low flashpoint (140°F)
• Lights under conditions where other tinders would fail
• Each tinder is packaged using a rugged, high quality foil that guarantees long shelf ‐ life and durability.
• Solid cubes don’t leak, spill or foul up your other gear
• Left whole, one cube will burn vigorously for 10‐12 minutes
• If divided into eighths, eight separate fires may be generated, with each tinder piece burning 2‐3 minutes each
• Once extinguished, Fastfire™ material cools to the touch within seconds
This reviewer was given a demonstration of the product at the SHOTSHOW and a single sample to evaluate. It indeed lights when wet, burns even in water and cools rapidly when extinguished.
The one negative with the product is that when trying to cut it into the 8 pieces as suggested in the advertising it tends to crumble when using a knife as a hunter might.
Having successfully cut approximately 1/8th of the product away the test began by lighting it using a cigarette lighter and dropping it in water. Like an iceberg 9/10ths of it were under the water, but it did indeed stay alight for a minute or so, and obviously a larger piece would have stayed alight longer.
Since we are having some pretty good storms with wind and rain in California, it was possible to test the "Windproof" claim, which is a bit of a stretch. In an open area in the rain 1/8th size piece was lit and it lasted maybe 15 seconds before a very strong gust of wind blew it out. One could say it was wind resistant, and better than any other commercial product tested to date. In a slightly more sheltered area, it did indeed burn for a couple of minutes so lived up to that claim, and as such plenty long enough to start a fire.
Next came the big test, lighting it with a striker or similar device. It was found to be as easy to start with a striker as does magnesium.
So, does it perform the way they state?
In a nutshell, YES and no!
Yes because it does most of what they claim, and does it well, no because the few minor remarks above.
Why is this a product every hunter or outdoors person should carry, because it is waterproof, even burns in water, weighs next to nothing and will burn for minutes, furthermore it does not leave any messy residue on the rest of your gear. This writer has advocated the use of cotton balls dipped in vaseline as an effective fire starting tool, which is a little messy if your plastic bag bursts but of course has the added advantage of its use a lip gloss in desert conditions. However although the Fastfire™ product has a single use, it does represent the best available commercial all weather fire starting option.
Will this reviewer be carrying some of the product in his survival gear? An emphatic yes!
More information on Adventure Medical Kits products can be found here
More information on SOLKOA products can be found here