Zippo's windproof lighters became a staple of American culture. Now, they've taken to the outdoors.
When I hear a zippo open, I instantly think of a 1960s detective lighting up a cigarette. They can be associated with so many parts of our culture, that they part of our culture. And, if you've ever played around with one, you know they're cool.
They're actually really good lighters, too. You can easily refill them and they last a long time, but they have one feature that stands out above everything else--they're legitimately windproof. Have you ever seen someone try to light something in the wind with a gas station lighter? It can be painful to watch. Zippo lighters pretty much always stay lit in the wind. So, aside from the nostalgic appeal, they actual serve a practical purpose.
Well, Zippo tried to inject aspects of their windproof lighters into their new line of camping products. They had the idea of making fire-starting products that could start a fire in the worst possible conditions. After trying them out, I can say they actually work.
Typhoon Match Kit
Of all these products, this is undoubtedly my favorite.
If you're using a lighter, you have to keep it safe. If you drop it in water or it's in a bag that gets wet, you're in trouble. The Typhoon Match Kit eliminates those risks. These matches are legitimately waterproof and windproof, and they're stored in a durable, floating, waterproof case. I like the fact that you can hook the case to your belt or your backpack, and the size definitely seems practical. The only drawback I see is that you can only store 15 matches (which isn't a ton), but you can buy extra matches through Zippo if you need them.
So next on my list of favorites would have to be the Tinder Shreds. When you're planning on camping overnight, you're almost always planning a fire. Depending on how much you can pack with you, sometimes bringing a fire-starting log isn't an option. Relying on kindling in the woods can be troublesome if it's wet or bare.
The Tinder Shreds are very flammable and efficient, though. They stay lit for a long time and hold up in tough conditions. However, what I like best is you can pack them into a small container without taking up much spacee. It's just like having a bunch of Duraflame logs, just without the hassle.
Emergency Fire Kit
The Emergency Fire Kit and the Typhoon Match Kit serve a similar purpose, except this one comes with small fire starters that are stored under the actual lighter. It also features a floating, waterproof case, making it the ultimate backup plan. I personally like the matches paired with the shreds better, but this is a solid item to have if you ever find yourself in a really bad spot.
This is as efficient of a ferrocerium rod and striker set as you'll find, I've just always been of the belief that there are better alternatives. The biggest pros are it's virtually impossible for it to stop working and it's small. However, the problem I find with going this route is you have to have dry kindling. If you don't have something really, really dry, or something like a fire log or the Tinder Shreds, it's not very effective. If you prefer this style, this is a top-notch product. I just prefer the others.