Gear Review: Coghlan's Flint Striker

A simple magnesium rod that's an easy fire starter.

Bear Grylls always makes it look like a snap to start a fire using one of these gizmos, but I’ve tried many that make me feel like a dunce. Not this one. Just scrape the magnesium rod with the included metal striker—aiming down into dry tinder—and watch the sparks fly and fire come to life.

Ergonomically, it’s easy to hold, so it worked miracles even in damp camps in the Northwest, when my fingers were cold and clumsy. And no matter how wet it gets, I could just give it a wipe and be back in business. Try that with matches or a Bic. Compared to competitors, it’s a bit on the heavy side for gram-counters, but its reliability makes it easily worth an extra ounce. $4; 1.7 oz.;