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WesternHunter's picture
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Matchless Fire Starters

Does anyone here have any practical experience with the W.S.I. P-60 Hot Spark fire starter? I've been searching for one without any luck, as I've heard many good things about it. Can't seemt o find any place who still sells them. I understand that the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center tested it and liked it enough to buy some to issue in small numbers to those marines who attend the mountain survival school at Pickle Meadow, outside of Bridgeport, California

I know that the P-60 was made for and sold by World Survival Institute, sadly out of business since April of '06 when the owner died. Just wondering how it compares with a standard magnesium/flint block or a Swedish Firesteel?

I have yet to find anything that works as effectively as the standard magnesium and flint blocks. I even have had good results with the Swedish Firesteel by Light-My-Fire. Just wondering if anyone has used the WSI P-60 and how it compares? If it's even worth seeking out? Since it seems impossible to find anywhere.

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
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Matchless Fire Starters

The "Blast Match" is one handed operation and really puts out some sparkage as well.

WesternHunter's picture
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Matchless Fire Starters

Yeah I've tried the Blastmatch, but it's basically a Swedish Firesteel set up for one hand operation. The only thing I didn't like about Blastmatch was that it tended to scatter the tinder pile more than the others, and you can't control the pressure of strike.

Like I said I've used the military issue Doan magnesium/flint blocks with great ease and success. In fact I think of all the camp fires I've started I've used the Doan magnesium block for almost 80% of them for the last 25 years because I found long ago as a kid that it works better than matches. Have also taken to using the Swedish Firesteel lately. Only drawback to the Swed Firesteel is that your tinder must be ground down almost into a powder in order to catch a spark and flame. Even then it requires at least two strikes. The only tinder I've found to light up on the first strike with the Swedish Firesteel or a Blastmatch is a frayed-out dry cottonball.

Was just wondering if the WSI P-60 Hot Spark was basically the same thing as the Doan magnesium block or not. From what I've gathered the last few days, it sounds to me as though it is just a modified magnesium bock with a more robust ferrocerium flint rod than the Doan firestarter has.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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Matchless Fire Starters

Just in case anyone is considering buying a Swedish Firesteel. My suggestion is to avoid the Mini model and the Scout model, which happen to be the most common ones sold in stores. Buy their Army model or Grill model instead. These are 3/8 inch thick ferrocerium rods that are thicker, more robust, less likely to snap in two, and will last longer than their other models. The Army model is hard to find, most outdoor stores only sell the Scout model. Cabelas sells the Army model for $19.99, sadly that's about $4.00 more than it should be. You can get em cheaper from Amazon though.

I've just always believed in carrying at the very least two methods of being able to start a fire in the wilderness. My only criteria is that they be reliable, simple with few moving parts, convenient to carry, and unaffected by weather or water. The magnesium block as manufactured by Doan Machinery and the Light-My-Fire Swedish Firesteel seem to fit that bill exactly.

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