LTR - Light My Fire FireSteel Scout - Chari Daignault
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Long Term Report: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel Scout
July 31, 2006
Name: Chari Daignault
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Weight: 135 Pounds (61 kg)
Email address: chari.daignault@...
City, State, Country: Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
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
Manufacturer: Light My Fire Sweden AB
Web site: http://www.light-my-fire.se/
Product: Swedish FireSteel© 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 .
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
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.
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.
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.
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.