Ben's Backwoods- Fire Piston Review
Before we get into discussing this particular fire piston- lets go over some background. The fire piston is a primitive fire making device that was used in the Pacific Island Jungles. It is believed to have been an invention devised from the blowgun. In the 70's, a Navy Survival Instructor traveled to an island in the Pacific and came across a native using one to light his cigarette. The Survival Instructor traded a lighter for the piston and brought it back to the states.
How this works is that when air is compressed at a high speed it essentially heats to between 500-800 degrees and combust. The natives applied this to the small cylinder of the fire piston with added tinder to create a burning coal.
Many people may look down on this method as being ineffective. Let me go ahead and make a rebuttal to that. Essentially as long as the unit doesn't break- you have fire. Each fire can bring new charred material to help with starting the next one. Another point is that even in the strongest wind the coal will not blow out on a piece of charred material, it will only get stronger. Damp or wet conditions could pose a problem, but fire craft is difficult even with lighters or a ferrocerium rod in those condition's Don't get me wrong I wouldn't suggest solely depending on the fire piston. However, I wouldn't suggest depending on any single fire craft method either (always have back-ups). It's something to definitely add to the arsenal. Every match you strike, every flick of a lighter, and every scrape of a ferrocerium rod is one less fire from that device. This like I said is eternal as long as it remains serviceable.
Just like the bow or hand drill- it's a rewarding way of starting a fire. Especially with a fire piston of this quality and good looks. Ben's Backwoods offers these for $64. They also have another model that comes in at $35. They have a plethora of survival and bushcraft gear, some things you won't find anywhere else and are worth checking out.
Check them out at www.bensbackwoods.com