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LTR - Light My Fire FireSteel Scout - Chari Daignault

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    HTML version: http://tinyurl.com/l47ev Long Term Report: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel Scout July 31, 2006 Tester Information Name: Chari Daignault Age: 43
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2006
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      HTML version: http://tinyurl.com/l47ev

      Long Term Report: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel Scout

      July 31, 2006

      Tester Information

      Name: Chari Daignault
      Age: 43
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
      Weight: 135 Pounds (61 kg)
      Email address: chari.daignault@...
      City, State, Country: Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background

      I've been an ultra light hiker for 33 years -- I take the bare minimum
      with me and prefer a pack under or close to five pounds. I've hiked
      all the Florida State Forest trails in Central Florida and climbed Mt.
      Fuji in Japan when I was nine. I have hiked dry & sandy, rough & rocky
      and wet & boggy trails and as a result, have found what does and
      doesn't work for me in terms of equipment and clothing. Central
      Florida affords a lot of sun and rains, with high temperatures and
      massive humidity. It's a great testing area for clothing, footwear and
      headgear.

      The product

      Manufacturer: Light My Fire Sweden AB
      Web site: http://www.light-my-fire.se/
      Product: Swedish FireSteelĀ© Scout
      Year manufactured [per package]: 2005
      Verified weight: 1.8 oz (52 g)
      Size [FireSteel Scout]: 3 in. (76 mm) long [without lanyard]; 9 in.
      (229 mm) long [including lanyard], .5 in. (12.70 mm) deep, .75 in.
      (19.05 mm) wide.
      Size [Striker]: 2.5 in. (64 mm) long, .75 in. (19.05 mm) wide, and flat.
      Color tested: Red
      Colors available: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue or Oak

      Please see my Initial Report on the FireSteel Scout for a thorough
      product description and an explanation of the instructions and use.

      For my impressions after two months and one week of field use, please
      see my Field Report on the FireSteel Scout .


      Testing Information

      Firestarting

      I have been testing the FireSteel Scout daily with quick tests on
      dried plant materials found on the local hiking trails. I have had the
      most success at igniting dried grasses. Larger, more dense plant
      materials are much more difficult to ignite and my patience and/or
      striker hand gives out. Although dried grasses do ignite, they don't
      actual get to a point where I feel as though I could build a camp
      fire. I usually end up with more of an ember, which dies out quickly.
      I feel I have pretty good fire tending skills and have used other
      types of firestarting tools in the past with success, so skill is not
      at issue.

      In the rain, the striker does cause a spark, but I have not been
      successful at lighting any plant material. I do my best to protect the
      fire pit from moisture, but it's possible that very high humidity is
      affecting the starter material and preventing the spark from taking.
      High winds also impact the FireSteel Scout's ability to ignite, as the
      spark is extinguished almost immediately and doesn't reach the starter
      material, even when set right on top of it.

      Accidents

      My initial concern with regard to a possible accidental spark
      occurring while transporting the tool was unnecessary. I hung the
      FireSteel Scout from a hook on my workbench and systematically clinked
      and clanked various items into it, in an attempt to see if it would
      spark. My thought being that if someone chose to carry the tool on
      their key chain, would they then risk it sparking if it came into
      contact with a key. After about fifteen minutes of manhandling, the
      FireSteel Scout did not accidentally spark one time. I've determined
      it's a very safe item to carry around.

      Emergency Signal

      Our new subdivision [so new we still don't have street lights] proved
      to be a great place to test whether the FireSteel Scout could be used
      as an emergency signal. Standing approximately 300 ft [91 m] away down
      the street, my friend waited with a flashlight. We chose nine o'clock
      at night to test, as this is when the sun is usually completely down
      during the summer [and I'm usually still awake]. Our objective was to
      see if my friend could clearly see the "signal" from the spark of the
      FireSteel Scout at that distance. Each time she clearly saw the
      signal, she would signal back with the flashlight. I struck the
      FireSteel Scout five times over my head, and five times down by my
      feet. Nine of out the ten times, I received the flashlight signal. The
      one unsuccessful attempt occurred when I was striking near my feet. We
      then did the same test during daylight hours, with full sun. That test
      was the complete opposite of the nighttime test, with one successful
      signal and nine unsuccessful. My conclusion is that the FireSteel
      Scout works well in the dark as an emergency signal, but that the
      spark is not large enough for daytime use.

      Wear and Tear

      With regard to how well the FireSteel Scout stood up to repeated use,
      I feel it held up very well. I've used it at least 250 to 350 times
      the past four months. In this manner, it could easily last almost a
      year. The firestarter end is completely silver and gouged-looking,
      with none of the protective black coating left at all. The handle has
      gotten scraped a few times when I got a bit over enthusiastic with the
      striker. The striker itself has no damage, but does have a slight gray
      to black powdery-looking coating on it near the end that gets most use.

      Final Impressions

      The FireSteel Scout is easy to use to get a spark. However, it is not
      easy to use with regard to building a fire. It takes quite a bit of
      muscle, time and patience to get anything close to what could become a
      camp fire. I have to use both hands when utilizing it, which I feel is
      very limiting. Whatever is being lit has to be able to stand on its
      own. And, due to the movements required to strike a spark, it's very
      easy to knock down whatever it is you're trying to light. It has
      limited use as an emergency signal, especially during daylight hours,
      due to the small size of the spark it creates. Overall, I feel the
      FireSteel Scout is an excellent tool to keep in an emergency kit for
      times when there are no matches or lighters to be found and you have a
      lot of time for starting a fire. But it would not be my "stock"
      firestarting tool of choice.

      Many thanks to Light My Fire USA and BackpackGearTest.org for the
      opportunity to test this product.
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