You Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark – Sparxgear Fire Piston

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Sparxgear has designed a Fire Piston, and they are using Kickstarter for funding.  Never heard of a fire piston?  Before the days of matches, fires were often started with a fire piston.  A combustible material – cloth, wood, even milkweed down, etc. – is inserted on the end of  the fire piston.  Quick compression of the piston into the aluminum cylinder (magnesium or flint and steel) causes the tinder to catch fire, and the spark can be then used to light a camp fire or fireplace.  They can be used over and over again, and they can even be used in rain and snow.  For a minimum pledge of $35, you’ll receive an orange Fire Piston with three extra flint, steel and magnenium slot rods and five extra O-rings.  Increasing pledges allow you to choose a color for your Fire Piston, or you’ll receive more than one.  Funding has been reached, but there’s still time to get in on the ground floor, as the funding period doesn’t end until February 2, 2012.

7 thoughts on “You Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark – Sparxgear Fire Piston”

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  2. Doesn’t a fire piston need to have an insulated shaft? otherwise the heat fill be conducted away from the coal and extinguish it.

    I’d have thought (and I’m open to being wrong) that aluminium would be too conductive.

  3. @Rob Spiller I don’t know the construction details of this Fire Piston. You’d have to ask Sparxgear this question.

  4. I hope they do well, but I’ll stick with by Bic lighters. I just picked up a pack of 6 at WalMart for about 3 bucks and will last me another ten or twelve years 🙂

  5. Bob,

    Do you go into the backcountry much? You should try starting a fire in windy conditions with your Bic, or after your lighter has gotten soaked. Do this in a real survival situation where you’re remote/cold/wet and tell us which tool you’d rather have.

  6. @Jblow yes I’ve been hiking backcountry, been wet in the rain, got pretty good lighting fires in the wind. Not that I think the Sparxgear Fire Piston is a bad idea- I really think it’s kinda cool, but I’d still prefer my Bics. I usually carry a few when I used to go hiking, sorry…

  7. Hi Bob,

    To each their own. Personally I see the value in spending $30 more on a tool that presumably lasts a lifetime, provides additional backups like the interchangeable slot rods, and could potentially save my life one day. No reason not to have both a Bic and the firepiston…plus its just a really cool piece of kit 🙂


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