This is a paracord bracelet I ordered online from China as it, purportedly, has a firestick and whistle as part of the locking mechanism.
I decided to try it out whilst out walking in the bush and these are the results. A normal sized firestick usually takes 2 or 3 strikes on Birch bark dust to get a fire going, regardless of how wet the Birch is. This Chinese bracelet had other plans.
To make it even more difficult to use, regardless of the fact that the firestick is only millimetres across and a couple of centimetres long, which ultimately produces a tiny spark without much heat, is that the firestick is positioned between the two clips, thus preventing any but the most awkward strike – and the clips lose a lot of plastic in the process.
I’d say it’s useable if the tinder is mega dry – which would be a feat in itself where I live at any time apart from the height of summer. It really is only either as an emergency tool or as an interesting knick-knack. In no way does it replace a proper firesteel, box of matches or a cigarette lighter for lighting a fire from naturally available material.
After ultimately getting a fire going, there is virtually no firestick left. It was a lesson in frustration and determination. Theoretically, it does what it says on the box, just don’t plan to do anything else for a few hours….
Filmed on a Dazzne P2.