Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Rarely used safety and emergency gear is often the first to get cut when hikers trim weight. But considering this kit (sparker and tinder included) doesn’t exceed a single ounce, there’s no reason to ditch it. The 2.3-inch-long firestarter operates one-handed, much like a lighter: A simple flick of the steel wheel creates friction against the internal flint to create an earplug-size spark that you can easily shoot directly at your tinder.
Each kit comes with 20 bundles of Tinder-Quik (tightly-wound cotton coated with paraffin), each of which nets you a minute and 45 seconds of burn time—plenty, assuming you’ve collected fuel (additional Tinder-Quick is sold separately, $4 for a 12-pack). The wet-weather performance was impressive: Even after our tester fully submerged the tinder in water, he was able to tease it apart and get the drier interior bits to catch. He created a small windshield in order to light it in gusty conditions, but once ignited, it remained lit even in open wind. $10; 0.7 oz.; adventuremedicalkits.com