While snowshoeing with a backpack, it’s generally a good idea to have a few safety items that are easily hooked onto a zipper or strap loop. I now have three: a compass, a whistle (from Whistles for Life) and a Swedish FireSteel. The keychain-like FireSteel is a unique fire starter that can be used in any weather, at any altitude, and used by survival experts and campers alike. Using the FireSteel – as opposed to strike-anywhere matches – to start a fire feels more primal and elemental. It’s a fire that will be more appreciated.
Industrial Revolution, maker of the FireSteel, has an interesting line of products for backpackers and campers. In fact, they’re best known for their candle lanterns, which I remember using when I was younger for backpacking trips in the Colorado backcountry with my father.
From Titanium-made sporks (spoon/fork combo) to survival/rescue knives, Industrial Revolution has something for everybody – not discounting the “Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker” (fun for the whole family). Snowshoers may also want to snag some of Industrial Revolution’s Stormproof Matches. Very cool products for safety and first-aid kits.
There are three versions of the FireSteel available for purchase:
- The Mini – Lightweight, less than 3-inches long and lasts for 1,500 strikes
- The Scout – Lasts for 3,000 strikes and available in seven stylish colors
- The Army – Durable, lasts for 12,000 strikes and available in three colors
- The BBQ – Includes a long redwood handle and lasts for 12,000 strikes
- FireSteel Combo – Includes a Scout and a package of TinderDust
Surprisingly enough, the FireSteel was developed for the Swedish Department of Defense. It has military-style benefits and is durable enough to strike when wet. Here are some notable features:
- Produces a 5,400-degree spark
- Spark can be used as an emergency signal
- Improved stainless steel striker
- Durable and long-lasting