I’ve got a series of firelighting kits at my disposal (including ‘teaching’ kits in several sizes) but my own personal kit is a thing of beauty, I’ve just jazzed it up with a brand new rod, and it’s ready for its close-up, Mr Lucas.
If I can, I’ll light a fire with just a bit of cotton; so I have a stormtrooper-shaped tin packed with cotton make-up pads, half of which have the luxury of a wee smear of petroleum jelly.
I make my own amazing firelighters in all sorts of shapes and colours, and in my own personal kit they’re shaped like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Brown is an aesthetic choice, but it is also ultimately the colour of all wax leftovers, and if you’ve ever mixed your Play-Doh, you’ll know what I mean. The orange versions are for cold and wet emergencies: packed inside the cotton ball inside the wax is a cluster of magnesium shavings designed to ensure a robust ignition no matter how bleak the conditions.
I prefer using a sharp piece of flint instead of the painted steel blade that typically comes with a ferrocerium rod ‘striker’ kit, and currently there are two in my tin.
The most fascinating thing about the brass lightsaber-shaped handle is this: if I take the rod and lanyard out and hammer the T-bar back into place, I can still use it to bleed my radiators.
May the Force be with you.