REVIEW – As an Eagle Scout and father to a scout, to me the idea of a firestarter that works by just pulling a string felt slightly insulting a first. Fire making is an essential scout skill, after all! Then I looked back at all the times I’ve been in difficult or near-miserable situations where a quicker fire would have been nice. Besides, I was completely fascinated by the concept. Pull a string?
What is it?
- Measures 1”x2”x5” and weighs 4 oz.
- No kindling
- Lights wet wood
Design and features
On one end of the Pull Start Fire is a green string. This is designed to loop over something heavy or stationary as a sort of anchor.
The other end is the red strong. This is what you pull to start the fire.
The back label has everything you really need to know: Loop the green string, stack wood, pull red string.
This is probably a good time to state the obvious:
- Do not use this indoors except perhaps a fireplace. Even then I’d be skeptical. When you pull the red string, the starter generates a plume of smoke as a warning indicator.
- Do not let children use this product without direct supervision. In my case, my son is in high school and has earned the rank of Life Scout (one step from Eagle). I still watched him.
- When outdoors, only build fires when it is permitted, and safe to do so.
- Remove the plastic overwrap.
- Always have water or fire extinguisher nearby.
This pretty picture shows an ideal setup with plenty of big logs (fuel) to burn once the starter gets going. Note the big heavy logs around the green string. Every good scout looking at this photo will wonder “where’s the tinder and kindling?” You don’t need it. However, performance will probably be awesome if you add it!
Some scout friends and I set this up in an outdoor fire box with some spare 2×4 lumber.
I let my son set this up per instructions with minimal guidance. We’re not camping anytime soon due to the pandemic, so we set this up in a backyard. Because it was a test, we didn’t build a full “log cabin stack of wood” around it. That might have been a good idea, because pulling the string moved the fire starter around. As you can see, he used a stick to push back against the Pull Start Fire. Yes, he was surprised by the “pop!” sound.
Note the plume of white smoke. That’s intentional and by design. Pull Start Fire uses some kind of flint to get things moving. After that, it burned steadily for 30 minutes. It reminded me of a Duraflame log.
What I like
- Easy to use
- Burns for 30 minutes, which should be plenty of time to get a fire going.
What I’d change
- I wonder about shelf stability. It’s not indicated.
Need a hassle-free way to start your campfire? Get one. Insulted such a thing exists because you’re an Eagle Scout? Get one anyway. Be Prepared.