by David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
All photographic images contained in this article were taken by
DefenseReview.com at SHOT Show 2008, and they are the exclusive property of
DefenseReview.com. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these
photos. All photos were shot with a 7.2-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot
digital camera (Model #: DSC-P150).
April 17, 2008
While DefenseReview was at SHOT Show 2008 primarily to see the latest tactical firearms, accessories, gear and equipment, while we were walking through the tents, we came across a very cool (and patented) survival technology combo made by Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST) called BlastMatch and WetFire Tinder, respectively.
Ultimate Survival BlastMatch is a compact, pocket-carry, all-weather, high-performance non-magnesium "flint material" fire starter device that was designed specifically for…
both downed U.S. Air Force fighter pilots and civilian mountain climbers while they are injured and operating in adverse conditions (wind, rain, snow, alpine/high-altitude, etc.). As such, an individual can operate BlastMatch one-handed. BlastMatch fire starter generates a stream of sparks three (3) times hotter than a standard match. These sparks will easily ignite wood, paper, bark, cloth, or man-made fire-starting tinders, including UST’s own WetFire Tinder. BlastMatch’s "flint material" bar is spring-loaded and rotates 360 degrees. The 360-degree rotation aspect is designed to reduce uneven wear and tear.
WetFire Tinder is a very lightweight flammable material that looks and feels like a white, chalky lightweight polymer. It was developed specifically for U.S. military personnel operating in adverse combat conditions, including high-altitude alpine environments. When used in conjunction with BlastMatch, it allows the user to start a fire even in heavy rain conditions. As was Demonstrated to Defense Review at SHOT Show, you can even ignite WetFire Tinder cubes (or, chunks) or shavings with BlastMatch while said cubes or shavings are floating on the surface of water.
WetFire Tinder burns at over 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, but apparently cools almost instantaneously when snuffed out. According to the UST website, a small pile of WetFire Tinder shavings is "enough to start a campfire, warm your hands, or pre-heat a backpacking stove."
DefenseReview was so impressed with the BlastMatch/WetFire demo at the UST booth, that we requested a sample of each product for T&E.
While we’re not qualified to outright endorse this product to military Special Operations personnel and professional climbers, since we’re not survival and alpine-trained ourselves, we recommend that military operators and climbers check these two products out and test them for themselves, to see if they fit the bill for their operational needs and mission requirements. These products are definitely worth a serious look by both groups.
Ultimate Survival BlastMatch Specs:
• Material, Flint Unit: 0.5-inch (1.3 cm) diameter spring-loaded flint bar in ABS case
• Length (closed): 4 inches (10.2 cm)
• Weight: 2.7 oz (76.6g)
WetFire Tinder Specs:
– Material: Trade Secret
– Weight (per cube): .2 oz (5.67g)
– Color: White
Company Contact Info:
Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST)
14428 167TH Avenue SE
Monroe, WA 98272-2915
866-479-7994 Toll Free