What is it?
This is a product by Exotac called the nanoSTRIKER. It is a self-contained ferrocerium rod and striker. This is a pretty cool-looking and ultra lightweight fire-starting implement. It can be added to your keychain or even worn as a necklace. It comes with a small lanyard to wrap around your fingers so you don’t lose the rod while in use. Exotac also makes the nanoSTRIKER XL, which is a bit larger, making the nanoSTRIKER the better tool for those who want the lightest and most compact option.
This is a great tool to have for any bug out bag prepper, as it is a lightweight and reliable fire starter. It is important to have some kind of fire-starting tool in the backcountry, and this one is so light that it is almost unnoticeable on a necklace or keychain.
How does it work?
The body is lightweight and made of 6061 aircraft aluminum. It has a grooved design for easy gripping in wet and cold conditions. The case is sealed with rubber O-rings to keep the contents dry when not in use. To use, unscrew the top where you will find the tungsten carbide striker. The striker is durable and provides maximum sparks while striking the rod. It can also be easily sharpened if it becomes dull.
The ferrocerium rod is a very strong and hard material that can be found inside the body. It slides out and can be turned over and screwed back into the body to create a longer handle. Sparks are created when the striker is dragged across the rod. Small pieces are shaved off of the rod and spark. When the rod begins to wear down, it is removable and can be easily replaced.
Ferrocerium fire starters can be best used with dry tinder such as:
- Dryer lint
- Shaved wood
- Dead leaves
- Birch bark
Simply bundle the tinder and have other kindling ready to go. Hold the striker and rod close to the tinder and apply light pressure while quickly sliding the rod away from the striker.
Here is another look at the main features:
- Comes in black, blaze orange, gunmetal and olive drab
- Ferrocerium rod good for up to 1000 strikes
- Ferrocerium rod is 3/16 of an inch and replaceable
- Comes in waterproof container
- Body made of lightweight 6061 aircraft aluminum
- Tungsten Carbide striker
- Made in the USA
- Body is 3.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches
- Weighs only 0.6 ounces
- Includes 2 extra O-rings
- Hole for key ring or lanyard
- Comes with lanyard loop
The handle for the striker is very small and can be hard to grip. Be careful when striking, as the sparks will be very close to your fingers. The lanyard hole is quite small and can be pretty difficult to fit a length of cord through. It can take a few strikes to get a reliable spark going. You will need to bring or find very dry tinder for this to work properly.
Should My Bug Out Bag Have It?
The nanoSTRIKER is one of my favorite tools to have while camping or hiking. Its lightweight and makes a great necklace so you will always have it handy. The rod and striker come in a durable aluminum container that is waterproof and looks really cool. Even if the rod becomes wet it will still work, making it an awesome emergency survival tool to keep in your list of bug out bag supplies. It is always reassuring to know that when all of my fire-starting tools are wet, I still have something that works.