Just curious if you have ever tried this for real:
"if I was hypothermic it would make a big difference if I could build a fire faster and with shaky cold hands when everything in the woods is soaking wet.
If I have to wonder the woods for half an hour to find enough dry kindling and decent wood while injured or freezing thats not a good situation. Its so much easier and safer to simply pull out my Mora and split any old stick that happens to be near me and make feather sticks and piles of dry shaving ect,ect, thats worth the few unnoticeable ounces for me."
When I have been this cold, with hands shaking uncontrollably, I haven't even been able untie my boots. I can't imagine how I would hold a knife with enough dexterity to make fuzz sticks. Even striking a flint, match or using a butane lighter wasn't easily do-able. Thankfully I had someone else with me who wasn't as cold and could light the fire. However, even shaking as bad as I was, I could (and did) still search for and gather dry wood. This required less coordination than using a knife...by a long shot. Not saying YOU couldn't do it, just that I couldn't.
But a fire, however you go about making it, is IMHO the most important thing to make work if you get stuck in a bad situation, not only to keep warm (it is not always cold when a swollen river blocks your way), but also can provide long distance signalling if needed, and I personally also think the psychological benefits of having a fire in times of stress can't be over-rated. I carry a flint, and a stormproof butane lighter, as well as some dry waterproof tinder, even on day walks. That's how important I consider the ability to make a fire. I used to carry stromproof matches, until I got caught in a storm where I really needed them, only to find that the striker I needed to light them couldn't be kept dry long enough to do the job. Then again, I'm not sure it would have made a difference in that situation. The wind and rain were so strong, without any sign of shelter, that I don't know if I could have got the stove to stay lit anyway. The windscreen had disappeared in a gust of windI don't think a fire would have kept burning either. The wind reached gusts in excess of 200km/hour that day, so was not a day that anyone should have been in the area, even in a well-built house! Obviously these winds were not forecast, otherwise we wouldn't have been there...