Review: TAD Gear Survival Spark

Lighters run out of fluid, leak and occasionally explode. Matches getwet and are, well, no match for the wind. If you’re serious about starting fires in all conditions, you need TAD Gear’s Survival Spark.

Modeled after the emergency fire starter your dad may have humped through the shit in Vietnam, TAD’s updated version remains Zen-like in its simplicity.

Comprised of a hollowed out solid brass billet, a screw-on end cap and a hardened striker wheel, this 2.4-inch stick works in rain or shine,providing a lifetime of reliable spark-ups in a pinky-sized package.

We channeled our inner Ronald Bartel on a particularly wet weekend in the Bay Area and had no trouble igniting various pieces of toilet paper,napkins and other combustibles in seconds. No kindling handy? The folks at TAD have conveniently included four Tinder Quik fuel tabs, which are waterproof, relatively odorless and burn for minutes.

But the Survival Spark doesn’t stop at fires. TAD Gear has thoughtfully placed a small channel along the body that can house a needle for sewing up flesh, clothing — really anything with a tear in it. Simply wrap thread around the needle and secure with a piece of scotch tape. Or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, use electrical heat-shrink wrap to seal the needle and thread in place.

So go ahead and feel free to flick your Bic. Right into the trash.

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