According to Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals. That would make him a good guy to have around when we need to make some embers glow in a campfire. Absent a Titan, I’ve always been partial to the Bic® Butane, plus Coghlan’s Plastic Matchbox system. Bics require no intro. They’re reliable, lightweight and inexpensive, and you should stuff two or three into empty pockets. Coghlan’s boxes are retro, but decidedly effective. These high-visibility orange plastic matchboxes have a watertight seal to prevent moisture from dampening the matches, and they include emergency fire-starter flint on the bottom. They’re available at most outdoor stores.
For another few dollars, you can add an REI magnesium fire-starting tool. Similar to a hotel-sized bar of soap, use the back edge of a knife to scrape off the magnesium shavings, then scrape the sparking insert rapidly next to the shavings to ignite. This compact tool can start hundreds of fires. Estimated Street Price: $6.
12 Reasons To Have A SPOT
1 OP readers tend to be mature individuals with families and responsibilities; they have outgrown the invincibility of the teens and 20s. (What? Me, worry?) 2 You don’t have to be far from the trailhead or your car to have a problem that can quickly become an emergency. 3 You don’t have to be old to experience a medical problem (snake bite). 4 Photographers often work alone; photography isn’t a buddy sport. 5 Great photo opportunities are often in remote areas and rugged country. 6 You don’t have to wait for an emergency; loved ones just want to know that you’re okay. 7 If you’re running late, save everyone the trepidation and unnecessary worry. 8 Cell phones have limited range and signal accessibility. 9 You don’t have to be the one with the emergency; you might save the life of someone else. You can be the prepared one. 10 Keep a record of where you’ve been, where the best shots are. 11 Easily share adventure locations with others. 12 The SPOT is only $150, plus service.