Rating: 5 / 5
This is a sure fire way to start a fire -- if there is anything dry enough to burn in the area.
The cotton starters just need to be broken up a bit at one end or the other. Then the striker (like a mini bic lighter flint and striker system) is used to put a spark on the cotton starter. It has not failed any number of tests, to start.
Then, it burns hot enough to start even damper small twigs or whatever, which then can be used to start larger pieces of wood. Here are some pictures of getting a BushBuddy ready to make tea at a walk stop. Total time from start to finish, inlcuding heating water and drinking tea was about 15 minutes:
Spark-Lite starter pod inside stove body. Pine needles, even when damp at first are heated and lit. Then its pretty much a piece of cake:
Fire safety is important, this is a damp environment, with a stream all along one side, and it is permissible to use wood fires at this time here. This system will not always work because fire season when no fires are allowed will limit its use, but the pure pleasure of this system in the fall, winter, and spring is a 5. No other stove, and a total of about 5.5 oz. for as much cooking as you could ever do. And, free fuel.
I am giving these Spark-Lite fire starter kits to friends as gifts because they are so much fun.
The box included, without the instruction sheet and carboard holder for the cottin jobbies is about 1 oz., without the box is less -- and I have cut starters in half and should probably cut the handle of the striker off to really make it light.
The Gear Shop web page and photos are:
BPL has tested this product and finds it very durable and tough after testing it:
"Test #1: Water Resistance. We submerged each kit's firestarter in water, and stored the tinder in a saturated humidity environment (suspended in a cheesecloth bag in the headspace of an aerated fish tank) for 24 hours. The Spark-Lite was the only firestarting kit that lit its tinder within five attempts at activating the firestarting mechanism.
Test #2: Weight and Size.We weighed the bare minimum kit to start a fire. The Spark-Lite Firestarter (0.19 oz / 5.4 g) and the Spark-Lite Tinder-Quick Fire Tabs (0.024 oz ea / 0.7 g) combined to make the lightest - and most compact - kit possible.
Test #3: Wind Resistance. Once the Tinder-Quick Fire Tabs are lit, they resist wind very well. We were able to expose the tabs to significant winds and they remained lit, burned hot, and kept their flame for an average time of 2:15 (mm:ss). At 0.024 oz apiece, the Tinder-Quick Fire Tabs offer outstanding performance."