We do love our fire at GearWeAre. And we love tools which help us make fire and look like heroes in front of the ladies. We love them even more if we can hold a cold beer in one hand whilst lighting a fire with the other!
So Ultimate Survival’s Blastmatch, which has been in my camping gear for the last couple of years, deserves an honourable mention.
What you get with the Blastmatch is basically a spring-loaded flint the size of a Biro Lid, and a Tungsten Carbide (tough stuff, won’t wear away) striker all in one unit. You simply hold the striker down with your thumb, and press the flint into the ground and you get a huge eruption of sparks which burn 3x hotter than a match and will send any tinder well on its way to becoming smoke.
It takes a little practice to get the Blastmatch mastered. Because you have to push down quite hard to get a good strike, if you’re on soft ground, or using very loose tinder it can be all too easy to slip and send your tinder flying. This becomes very exciting if it happened to catch light! A little practice makes perfect though, and you’ll soon get the hang of things. It is much easier to use on solid ground, or fired onto a solid log. It can be downright impossible to use if you’re trying to strike into soggy ground.
The one-handed thing isn’t a gimmick. Ultimate Survival say that the Blastmatch was designed by Air Force Pilots who wanted to be able to light a fire in the event of injury. Traditional strikers need 2-handed operation, so the spring-loaded Blastmatch was devised.
At around £18 for a Blastmatch in the UK, it’s considerably more expensive than a basic fire steel. You do get a lot of flint, and a very neat little package which is perfectly safe when stowed and carried in a pocket or bag, but it’s still quite bulky compared to a basic steel.
SUMMARY: The Blastmatch is a device that makes people say ‘whoah’. It creates a big sparkle of sparks and is very easy to use. It’s not ideal for every situation though – being an acquired art when you have very soft ground. It’s also very expensive when compared to basic fire steels.
From: Lakeland Bushcraft