When I see things like this for sale online, it’s hard for me not to buy . It looks like a cool little piece of ‘gear’ to have on hand, small enough to fit inside of a wallet. And when the price is under $10, with free shipping, it’s almost a given that I’ll grab one. My wife also said that it was cute.
The concept is a good one: a ferrocerium rod with tinder & small scalpel blade, all which together fits into a wallet very easily. In today’s survival mentality, and with all gear typically, is to see how small & compact something can be, in order to make it more portable. The contents of this mini kit definitely do not take up much room, & the weight is negligible. Still, I wondered if it would be practical.
I took some pics of the kit before opening it, in order to show what was in it, as well as the condition of each piece. The kit contains a 1/8 inch diameter by two inch long ferro rod, a fish hook with some line, a small portion of jute twine for tinder, a scalpel & another length of some nyon cord. My first thought on seeing the small diameter of the ferro rod was that it would most likely break. But I thought it would break from the pressure exerted upon it when trying to produce sparks. As I sliced open the tape around the rod, what was revealed was that the rod was already broken in two places, converting an already small ferro rod into three tiny, & possibly useless, rods.
However, I did manage to scrape some sparks from the rod, though I needed to hold the rod with the pliers on my multi tool. It was difficult to hold the rod with my fingers. If I was in a real survival situation & needed to start a fire with a broken ferrocerium rod, there is no way I’d be able to hold the rod & produce sparks with it.
The seller of the kit was contacted about the rod breakage, & hopefully, will replace the broken piece. My thought is that if the rod was broken in the mail, then it would surely break in a wallet, especially if the wallet was in a back pocket. Sitting down on the wallet containing the mini survival kit would probably not be a good idea. As I stated earlier, I think the concept is a good one, though would be better with a change. If the rod was replaced with a slightly larger diameter piece, I believe the possibility of breakage would be greatly diminished. Of course, this is just my opinion.
Another couple items I received recently was a small ferro rod encased in a piece of hollow paracord. A ceramic razor blade & some jute twine came with the rod. These three items are safely stashed in a spy capsule, which are hanging on my EDC wire keyring. A small blank ferro rod carried in this fashion would definitely prevent it from breaking, & is just as easy to carry. I don’t always carry my wallet, but will have a carabiner on my keyring attached to a beltloop. If you have any opinions or ideas on this, tell me what you think.