Saturday , 27 May 2017

Pocket Bellows Fire Starter Review

Product reviews can sometimes take on more meaning than others. That happens to be the case with our Pocket Bellows Weatherproof Fire Starting Kit review. Starting a fire is a simple task with the right equipment but when you screw up and are unprepared, starting a fire can be anything from easy.

At a recent fishing trip into the High Uintahs in Northern Utah we showed up unprepared for the conditions. Thunderstorms had recently come through and blasted the area with large amounts of rain. The wood we brought up in our truck was soaking wet. With a knife and a few matches it took the 3 of us almost 90 minutes to get a fire going. With the right gear it would have taken a fraction of that.

Needless to say when I saw a video of the Pocket Bellows start a fire from wet wood on Youtube, I figured I needed to check this simple tool out and see what it could do. I haven’t been overwhelmed by recent fire starter reviews so I’m eager to see something new.

Pocket Bellows Fire Starter ReviewThe Wet Weather Fire Starting Kit consists of a 9 pack of fire starting wicks called Fire Fuses, a ferro mag rod with striker, and a metal retractable straw (think of a car antenna) that works as a bellows.

Performance

We felt pretty optimistic that the Pocket Bellows Wet Weather Fire Starting kit was going to perform. After all who names their product after something it can’t do? Answer: very few.

First we took the Wet Weather Fire Starting Kit and laid it out on the table and read through the instructions (we are dealing fir fires here so safety is first). Next we got some wood laying around the garage and soaked it in a bucket for 2 hours. From there we took a parang (a South East Asian machete) and hacked off some kindling and made the typical tee-pee base for a fire.

Fire fuse pocket bellows fire starterNext we took the Baddest Bee Fire Fuse and frayed one end and placed it under the kindling. From there we threw 1 spark at the base with the ferro magnesium rod to ignite the fuse. Immediately a 4 inch flame ignited and shrunk down to 2 inches for the next few minutes. As the fuse continued to burn we then extended the Pocket Bellows and started with soft blows of air into the area. This made the flame grow and burn hotter.

On one occasion though we did put out the fuse with a blow of air that was too strong. The ol’ adage of practice makes perfect applies here. In the end we were able to get the wet wood burning in about 10 minutes. Not bad at all compared to what we dealt with on our fishing trip.

Ease Of Use

Starting a fire can be really easy in some cases and not so much in others. The tools of the trade can make a BIG difference. We’ve had some other fire starters that were simply a pain to deal with but the Pocket Bellows tool combined with their Baddest Bee Fire Fuses makes getting a fire up and running in no time.

Simply remove a fire fuse and fray the end of it with your fingers. Place the fuse at the bottom of the firewood and throw sparks at the fire fuse with the included ferro rod. Once the fire starts breath into the bellowing tool and stoke the fire and watch it grow before your eyes.

Weight

At just a few ounces, the Pocket Bellows fire starting kit won’t break your back on your next trip. The 3 included items won’t be a burden in your survival kit or bug-out-bag.

Size

The tube that fits the bellow, fuses, and ferro rod measures 6 inches long and is 1 inch in diameter. Not the smallest fire starting kit you will ever see but still small enough for us. Considering you will still want to carry a knife to cut the kindling it is far from the smallest kit out there but still very manageable.

Price

You can pick up the 3 piece kit from their site for $24.95 or you can get the Pocket Bellows Weatherproof Fire Starting Kit from Amazon for a few dollars less. The price seemed a little steep to us but when you break it down into parts the value is better than the first impression. You get  9 Fire Fuses, 1 ferro rod with striker (these sell for 5-10 normally) and the bellows.

Because the metal bellows and the ferro rod are pretty sturdy they should last a long time and increase their value. You can purchase the pocket bellow by itself for $15 which I think is not as good of a value overall.

Summary

elements of a fireA fire needs three elements to flourish. Most fire starters provide the heat/ignition (an example is a match or ferro rod) while others supply the fuel to get things going (products like InstaFire, Live Fire or Utility Flame). This kit one ups the rest by providing those two areas but also oxygen through use of the bellows. A strong fire needs all 3 elements and this kit provides the whole solution.

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