Do you really need another way to start fires? Probably not. Would you like one if it looked as slick as Sparky? Probably yes.
If you’re a frequent camper or an experienced outdoorsman, you’re probably also familiar with the process of starting a fire using batteries and fine steel wool. Simply bridge the battery terminals with the steel wool, wait a few seconds, and, congratulations, you’ve got the start of a fire going. Sparky is, basically, just that, except it replaces the ugly battery with an elegant-looking apparatus that you lay onto the wool to get sparks going.
Designed to look like a writing instrument, Sparky consists of a tube-shaped metal with a copper tip and a screw-on cap. It comes in two types of bodies, aluminum and copper, each one weighing 3.1 ounces and 6 ounces, respectively, with a look that resembles a premium pen, rather than a handy camping tool. Inside, the body holds a pair of AAA batteries, with the copper tip connected to the positive terminal and the body connected to the negative one. To light up a small bunch of steel wool, simply remove the cap from the device, touch both the tip and the body to the wool, and wait a few seconds until you have big enough sparks going to tinder an actual fire.
Features include a clip on the cap for securing on a pocket rim, knurled grips, O-ring to prevent dirt, and a 6.5-inch length. If you don’t have steel wool available, by the way, it can also work with aluminum foil, such as those you can in gum wrappers.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Sparky. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $30.