I’ve spent a majority of my free time over the last thirty years of my life out in the woods. In that time I have learned a lot about nature, including plants, animals, and weather. I’ve also learned that you really only need to rely on three things to survive in the backcountry: fire, water, and a sharp blade. Out of those three things fire is probably the most critical as it can purify water, cook food, keep you warm, ward off intruders, and much more. But starting a fire can be a difficult and stressful task, with success often being determined by a number of important variables that include materials available for tinder, current weather conditions, and your level of determination.
After years of experience in the field, I’ve got my technique and tools for fire starting down to a science. I’ve even gone so far as to create my own flint and steel kit. But I am always interested in finding ways to hone my craft further, particularly when it comes to starting a fire in damp conditions or with wet materials. Epiphany Outdoor Gear (EOG) – a family/veteran owned business out of Nevada – has come up with something truly innovative in that regard. The company makes a telescoping metal tube that they call the “Pocket Bellows.” This handy tool isn’t designed to actually start the fire (we’ll get to that in a second), but it is meant to be used to stoke the embers, forcing air into your spark and tinder pile while allowing it to feed and ignite. With the amount of air you can project through the Pocket Bellows, you can essentially evaporate the moisture and force your tinder to catch fire naturally, and without additional fuel.
To help start the fire EOG also offers their “Baddest Bee Fire Fuses” which are beeswax soaked cotton tinder that acts as an ignition when you throw a spark off your knife blade while using their “EZ Ignite” Ferrocerium tool. The Pocket Bellows, Fire Fuses, and the Ferrocerium can all be purchased for $24.99 as well, giving outdoor enthusiasts everything they need in one handy kit.
EOG is truly a one-stop shop for weatherproof fire starting, and quite honestly I’m amped to test these products out in the woods. These tools are incredibly simple and easy to use – and yet they are so advanced at the same time. It is no brainer to add them to my survival kit for those damp autumn nights when keeping a fire going can become a daunting task.
I also appreciate that these tools are made in America and are being offered at a very reasonable price. It’s a welcomed change from some of the over-priced, over-marketed stuff that is out there, much of which that barely works when you need it most.