Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spark-Lite & Tinder Quik Tabs Review

The Spark-Lite from Four Seasons Survival; has been the official fire starter for the U.S. Military for over 25 years. After testing it I understand why. It definitely has its advantages and applications, and we will go over those. The Spark-Lite comes in a water resistant case with 1 Spark Lite, 8 Tinder Quik tabs, and very clear operating instructions.

The case did take on a little water after submerging. Some of you may prefer a waterproof kit over a water resistant one. The Spark-Lite is about the size of 4 matches. The whole Spark-Lite Kit will fit into a standard waterproof match case; making the kit waterproof. To others this may not be a concern since the case did float in my test as well as the effectiveness of the Tinder Quik tabs.
The Spark-Lite kit will fit in a waterproof match case
The Spark-Lite kit is small and is about the size of a box of matches. It weighs a few ounces, and will go unnoticed on your person or in your pack. It is by far one of the lightest fire starting tools on the market.

One Spark-Lite is able to spark 100's of times. So after you've exhausted the tinder tabs it can be used on natural tinder. I did get it to ignite some very dry dead grass; it wasn't easy but possible. I was also able to start a fire with jute fairly easily.

One of the best attributes of the Spark-Lite is the fact that it can be operated with one hand. This would help facilitate fire craft when someone is injured. I can see this as one of the main reasons the U.S. Military adopted it for their Aviation survival kits (for downed pilots).

Wearing gloves didn't hinder the Spark-Lite sparking wheel in any way. I was also able to start a fire easily with gloves on; this is important in cold weather environments.

During my testing I submerged the Spark-Lite for 30 minutes. Also submerging a Tinder Quik tabs for 5 minutes and lightly soaking another. 
Submergint the Spark-Lite
Without shaking any excess water off the Spark-Lite, it took about an impressive 7 strikes to start producing sparks.  The Tinder Quik tabs absolutely blew my mind, they actually burned 45 seconds longer when wet. I think this is due to the fact of it not being a huge flame. But still impressive, taking only 6 strikes to light when the tab was wet. So as I said above, there is really no need to waterproof the kit.

Tinder Quiks burn time ranged from 2-2:30 minutes on average. I also cut a few tabs in half and recorded the burn time as 1:23 per half average. I suggest cutting the Tinder Quik tabs into fourths and adding some natural tinder for the most efficacy. 
Half of tab
Four Season Survival suggest placing a few items into the Spark-Lite kit to make it a mini-survival kit. You can also wrap duct tape or para cord around the kit. I constructed the kit from the list from Four Seasons Survival as well as water purification tabs. Here is an example below.
This would be all the kit a light backpacker, mountain biker, or hiker may need in a temperate environment. Great for anyone in a harsh weather conditions or a possibility of someone getting injured. I  plan on carrying the Spark-Lite for the next year and continue testing and will update in the future.

I was super impressed with the ease of fire craft with this kit. The Spark-Lite is a super easy one handed sparking tool. Enough cannot be said about the Tinder Quik tabs either. No matter your preferred fire starting method, you should definitely have some Tinder Quik tabs with you anytime in the wilderness. The Spark-Lite kit is a very economical, light weight, and all-weather kit you can depend on. I always say that you should always have 3 methods of fire craft. Make this one of them, in case you do become injured and you can't strike that ferro rod. Considering the size and weight, you can tuck it away and forget about it being there. Until you need it. 

Four Season Survival website: http://www.fourseasonssurvival.com/


3 comments:

  1. cool we have them in our awesome Ultimate EDC kits
    www.acwtactical.com

    ACW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. just bought their ACW EDC kit its awesome

      Delete
  2. Spark-Lite is one of my favorite choices and they really produce some high-quality fire starters. However, there are also other brands that are definitely worth considering. For example GERBER BEAR GRYLLS FIRE STARTER, or THE FRIENDLY SWEDE MAGNESIUM ALLOY FIRE STARTER, or maybe TITAN SURVIVORSTEEL | COMPACT EDC FERROCERIUM FIRE STARTER ROD. You can check out their reviews here: http://hikingmastery.com/top-pick/best-fire-starter.html

    ReplyDelete

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