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Ultimate Survival Sparkie
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Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 03/10/2009 18:59:42 MDT Print View

Blastmatch vs Sparkie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWb_nzYVkFs

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
email on 03/11/2009 23:22:33 MDT Print View

I just received an email from the Director of Commercial Sales at Ultimate Survival.

They were very helpful in addressing both of my concerns with the Sparkie.

see below

"I noticed on your video where you thought the spring was sticking on Sparkie. It is actually the smoke from the sparks which leaves a residue behind which makes the rail stick. All you need to do is wipe off the sides and the tip of the rail with your fingers and it will move freely again.

We are coming out with upgrade for Sparkie next month where the Spark bar will be able to rotate for more striking surface."

Sure does make me feel noticed and appreciated :)

m@

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
blown out version of the Sparkie on 03/20/2009 20:49:40 MDT Print View

Sparkie guts

Bailey Gin
(pugslie) - F

Locale: SLO County
Re: blown out version of the Sparkie on 03/20/2009 21:57:23 MDT Print View

I bought the Sparkie and broke the retractor release mechanism the first day. I could retract the flint into the case but not release it without prying it out. A few days later I broke something whereas I couldn't the sriker to make contact with the flint/ferrocerium bar. I took it apart and got the ferrocerium bar. With the bar and jig-saw blade its very easy to get big longer lasting sparks.
The Sparkie was very easy to use thou even one handed...acurrate spark placement too.

b.gin

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
you must have seen the spark-lite on 03/21/2009 00:52:04 MDT Print View

I do have a regular flint-n-steel, got it at the Piek Market in Seattle about 20 years ago. Actually it's a magnesium bar set in a cedar handle. There's a strip of flint epoxied to the magnesium, and a 2" piece of sawblade attached to the handle by a thong. Works great. Shave some cedar off the handle for starter, shave some magnesium to mix in with the cedar, it'll burn hot no matter what.

But if you're goal is to go lightweight, you know the anwser- it's the sparlite for sure. Weighs a fraction of an ounce

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4jMjxwNgOk

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
absolutely on 03/21/2009 10:41:52 MDT Print View

Taylor:

You are absolutely correct. I watched your video and I have not found anything lighter either. This is ideal state for weight.
I have not used this striker. How does it perform if no tinder is available?


I've used a handful of flint & steel strikers. Traditional flint-steel combinations create a spark. However, it's my opinion that Ultimate Survival Technologies is doing something to their Carbide steel striker or their Ferrocerium bar compound to create larger than normal sparks. And the sparks seem to stay light for a little bit longer on the ground.

My best guess is :
- either they are blending the Ferrocerium bar with magnesium to create a longer burning spark
- or the carbide steel's positioning is an ideal angle throughout the entire striking motion allowing for the user to press down harder and get more dig into the Ferrocerium bar.

I have never seen the size of sparks I get from a Blastmatch or a Sparkie. I've tried researching this online - have not found anything yet.

Can anyone chime in and help explain how they get such large and long burning sparks?

Edited by matthewjamesroberts on 03/21/2009 10:42:59 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: absolutely on 03/21/2009 11:30:58 MDT Print View

My question is what they will ignite. They will clearly ignite fuel (e.g. alcohol), and specially prepared tinder that you must carry with you. But how easily will they ignite commonly available natural materials?

-- MV

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
Not just magnesium on 03/21/2009 16:18:11 MDT Print View

http://www.campinggeardemonstrations.com/Product-Line/p/CG1007


I found it. 1/4 way into the video Ultimate Survival Technologies states "The spark bar is not a magnesium fire starter. It mixes several metals together to produce hot, intense sparks. The carbide striker is perfectly set to produce those sparks"

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
is bigger better? on 03/21/2009 19:01:42 MDT Print View

I only just found out about spark-lite recently, I haven't got one yet. I'm confident it will always ignite liquid fuel, esbit tabs, and dry tinder. This thread is the first I've heard of the UST sparkers, looks they definitely spark bigger and hotter. The question is whether that's neccessary.

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
RE: SparkLite on 03/22/2009 12:19:58 MDT Print View

I would not rely on the SparkLite as an emergency firestarter on its own, but for starting stoves and lighting tenderquik it is fine. I use it to light my alcohol stove.

For emergency firestarting I prefer a misch metal firesteel.It throws molten little globs of steel and sparks that will ignite damp, crappy tinder easily. Using the Spark Lite and LMF firesteels is like taking an empty BIC lighter and sparking away at dry grass hoping it eventually catches, which sometimes it does. Sometimes.

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
misch metal firesteel on 03/22/2009 12:24:15 MDT Print View

You can order blank firesteels from goinggear.com for cheap.

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
Re: misch metal firesteel on 03/22/2009 22:58:04 MDT Print View

thanks for that Dustin, first I've heard of Goingear. Cool.

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
GoingGear on 03/23/2009 20:20:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tip.

I went on last night and bought a handful of firesteels !!!

They're in the mail.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 03/24/2009 08:32:17 MDT Print View

Murphy's Law says a mechanical fire starter will fail when you need it most. In an "Emergency" situation. You have to get accustomed to starting fires with natural tinder materials found in nature. You need to have the means of producing a spark with you at all times. Carry it with you 24/7. You need to practice your skills on a regular basis until you perfect them. These big "sparkers" blastmatch and sparkie are for campfire conversations and teaching boyscouts how to make big fires with lots of sparks. Small ferrocerium rods start fires just as well as the big guys if you know how and practice. You want lightweight, seek out lightweight ferro rods and implement them into your gear. I have my firestarter with me 24/7 and know my natural tinders found in the environment that I spend most of my time in. Mine is on my keychain and they are also attached to zipper pulls on my gear and in stuff sack and in altoids tins etc. The sparks that come off the last 1/2 inch of your ferro rod is the hottest and most useful. There is a thread on my website that is devoted to surviving with fire. Tells how to make the little firestarter shown in the attached photos. Tells also how to use the bigger 1/4 X 3" rods to start paper towels on fire. The photos show a brass thing with a black tip. The black tip is the ferrocerium rod. That's all I need to gat a spark to start a life saving fire. Hypothermia kills.


Edited by zelph on 03/24/2009 08:36:11 MDT.

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
Re: Re: Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 03/24/2009 08:46:49 MDT Print View

"natural tinder materials found in nature"

LOL well when you're right, you're right...there's no arguing with that. I'll just forward this on to the dept. of redundancy dept.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Ultimate Survival Sparkie on 03/24/2009 15:05:49 MDT Print View

<"natural tinder materials found in nature"

LOL well when you're right, you're right...there's no arguing with that. I'll just forward this on to the dept. of redundancy dept.>

Thank You Taylor Ginther Thank You Taylor Ginther Thank You Taylor Ginther

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
Link on 03/24/2009 18:12:12 MDT Print View

Dan,

You have my curiosity. Do you have a link to a movie or thread that shows how to get a spark out of that little ferro stub? :)

Bailey Gin
(pugslie) - F

Locale: SLO County
Re: GoingGear: ATTN: Matthew Roberts on 03/24/2009 20:32:08 MDT Print View

Matthew, when you get your firesteels can you do this simple test...how easy is it to get sparks using <1/2 inch of firesteel?

Thanks... b.gin

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Link on 03/24/2009 21:36:22 MDT Print View

Small is good. 1/4 inch of ferro rod is all you need. Don't listen to me though. I'm just a "Stovie" Listen to all the big guys out there selling blastmatches and the like. = ) Or better yet some of the other fire experts in this thread. They can get their tinder off the handle of their ferro rod holder and mix it with mag shavings.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v228/obijiwa/sub%20one/?action=view&current=MILKWEEDSEEDPOD.flv

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Link on 03/24/2009 21:53:12 MDT Print View

Those small key chain rods are interesting.

The problem I see in a survival situation is the fact that in a real survival situation you should assume that fine motor skills are gone since you will likely have cold numb fingers and will probably not be thinking that clearly.
Thus I believe you should keep your survival gear as simple as possible.
Nothing can replace practice though, you dont want to "see if I can do this" when it counts, its much better to "do this again".

A cheap option is to buy the magnesium blocks at walmart and then put a screwdriver over the rod and lightly tap on it with a hammer, this will dislodge the rod from the block and you will have a nice small light fire starter.