My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

Scout Challenge - Pack 201 Killeen Texas

A few months ago, we decided to hold a Scout Challenge through our Facebook page. We had asked for troops from all over the country to send us their information and tell us a little bit about their troop. We received an overwhelming response from troops wanting to participate! Ultimately, we ended up choosing 10 troops for the Scout Challenge. Each of these troops were sent 9 fire starting items, ranging from fire starters to tinders. The troops were asked to take photos of their use of the fire starting materials, as well has give brief reviews of each item and state which ones worked well together.

The first troop to respond to us was Pack 201 from Killeen, Texas. Here is what the troop had to say about their fire starting items:

"A big thank you from the Scouts of Pack 201 Killeen Texas to the folks at for donating the tools and tender the tested this weekend.

All of the boys enjoyed learning about and using these tools, and have yet to stop talking about them.

Starters Tested

1. Aurora Magnesium fire Starter 2SA

The boys really struggled with this starter. The said it was difficult to hold onto, and difficult to strike against the small plate on the end of the starter. It took approximately five minutes to get a flame with this device.

2. Strike Master K1

The boys did not like this one at all. It was tiny and impossible for them to hold onto. It did through good sparks, and was able to get a flame after approximately four minutes with this device.

3. Doan Magnesium Survival Fire Starter

The boys liked this device as it was easy to throw sparks. However they struggled scraping magnesium into shavings. Although we did eventually achieve a flame, it was at least ten minutes and a lot of frustration.

4. Swedish Fire Steel Scout

The boys liked this one as it was both easy to hold and strike sparks.

5. Coghlans's Magnesium Fire Starter

The boys liked this device as it was easy to throw sparks. However they struggled scraping magnesium into shavings. Although we did eventually achieve a flame, it was at least ten minutes and a lot of frustration.

6. Sparkie Fire Starter

This was hands down the favorite and easiest for the boys to use. It took on average Twenty seconds to achieve a flame. They loved the one hand use, its non slip coating, and the amount of sparks that it throws. This is the one that they were still using after all the others had been tested.

Tinder tested

1. Tinder-Quik Fire Tabs

At first the boys were not able to achieve flame, with this tinder. However after a little experimentation with shredding and fluffing the tabs it became easy to get a flame.

2. Fire Fixins (Jute String and Fat Wood)

This worked very well, once they boys understood that you must separate, shred , and then fluff the twine. Then put the fatwood shavings inside the fluffed twine ball.

3. Wet Fire

Hands down the best in the opinion of all the boys. This was because it required no preparation and lit almost instantly. The also like the fact that it burned even in wet conditions. The fire ring we were using had been rained on in the major storm that just passed over Texas the night and early morning before.

Age group. 8-12

Bear in mind that these devises were tested by children, and was meant as true evaluation of what would work best for them at their age and skill level.

Each of the items tested was successfully used to start a fire, however there were distinct products that outperformed others by a huge margin." - Andre Crawford of Killeen, TX

Thanks to Andrew Crawford and all the scouts for testing out these items for us! We really appreciate it!


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May 2010:
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