As you should know by now, fire is critical to survival. At a minimum, it will help prevent hypothermia, which is a very real threat in even somewhat mild weather. Plus, let’s face it, being able to get a fire going in adverse conditions is just pretty damn cool and is guaranteed to impress those who lack the skill.
The Pocket Bellows Fire Kit is an excellent addition to the fire making arsenal. With just the contents of this small kit, you have the tools you’ll need to get a fire going in virtually any conditions. The kit comes in a durable plastic tube that is just shy of 6 inches long and about 1 inch thick. It isn’t crush proof. In fact, there’s actually a little give to the plastic, which serves to keep the plastic from cracking. Each end is protected by a rubber cap, making the tube waterproof.
Inside, we have a smaller container filled with Baddest Bee Fire Fuses, the V-3 Pocket Bellows, and a small ferrocerium rod with attached striker.
The ferro rod isn’t anything special. I don’t mean that in any sort of a negative way, though. Just that it isn’t anything out of the ordinary as far as ferro rods go. Easy to hold, easy to use. I prefer a thicker ferro rod but the idea here is to have everything fit into a small kit.
The Baddest Bee Fire Fuses are ready-to-light tinder. These small but powerful “tinder torches” are impregnated with a 100% organic beeswax and olive oil concoction. They are petroleum and hexamine free. They are also 100% made in the USA, which is awesome! Out of the package, the Fire Fuse is small and thin, the fibers tightly wound together.
Using your fingertips, you pull the fibers apart and create sort of a puffball out of it. This is about halfway “fluffed.”
This is then placed at the base of your fire build and lit. It took only one scrape down the side of the ferro rod for the sparks to light the Fire Fuse.
The Fire Fuse burns hot and is all but impossible to blow out. However, it doesn’t burn very long, about 45 seconds or so by my estimation. That’s okay as long as you have all of your other fire making supplies at the ready (which you should anyway). But, know going in that you need to be Johnny-on-the-spot with the rest of the fire making process.
That’s where the V-3 Fire Bellows comes into play. See, fire needs three things – heat or spark, fuel, and oxygen. This kit supplies you with tools for all three. The ferro rod is the spark, the Fire Fuses are the fuel, and the Fire Bellows helps you with the oxygen. The Fire Bellows is a metal tube that extends from 3.5 inches to 21 inches, very much like an expandable radio antenna.
This tube is what allows you to direct oxygen to where it is needed most, the base of the fire. Most people are familiar with fanning a fire, using a newspaper or something to push air at the flames. The problem is, that doesn’t work all that well, particularly if you’re dealing with damp wood and such. You need to get the oxygen down into the fire so it burns hotter, drying out the wood.
The Fire Bellows works great for that purpose. The tube is long enough to keep you from singing your eyebrows should the fire blaze up a bit. I’d like it a little longer but 21 inches seems to suffice.
At the end of the day, I like this kit quite a bit. It is compact, easily fitting into just about any pack or even a cargo pocket. While the tube is pretty well packed, you could fit a few strike-anywhere matches in there as well, just to up your odds of successful fire making.
Making fire in adverse weather conditions is as much an art as it is science. It takes practice as well as the proper tools. This kit will give you the latter but it is up to you to put in the time for the former.