Saturday, 5 April 2008

Fuel Test: Firestarter Matches

I spotted these Bryant & May Firestarter matches, 20 in a box for £1.48 in my local Asda. According to the box, burns for 15 minutes, no kerosene, no smell, clean hands. Hmm.

Next day, I've dug out the cheap HiGear portable cooker (see Hex Stove test) and set up 500ml of cold water in an old mini-Trangia pot. Set it up with two firestarter matches, and placed pan on top, angling the sides to the stove in to support the pan.


2 minutes in - thick smoke coats base of pan. Burner hot to touch. Water still cold.


4 minutes in - bubbles forming in the water on the base of the pan. Water warm.

7 minutes in - water hot to touch, but not boiling yet. Matches burning along whole length.


9 minutes in - first bubbles break surface of water. Burner too hot to touch.


12 minutes - water boiling on surface. Poured off coup for a brew. In free Charles MacLeod cup (old design). Which was nice.


22 minutes - still burning merrily. Water boiling in pan.

23 minutes - surface flame of firelighter/match goes out. Block smouldering and solid. Scorch marks on fibre-board are from hexamine fuel tablet test. No marks this time.


33 minutes - I knocked the small amount of ash out of the stove. Blocks still solid, and snap easily. Soot washes easily off pan. No chemical residue or smell.


I found this better than the hexamine blocks (which were not from Esbit). I think a further test is needed.


Anonymous said...

My advice is use that thing under the (burnt) board

AktoMan said...

A compressed man-made fibre board isn't the easiest thing to light, so I will ignore your advice.

Gayle E Bird said...

Must be the season for stove testing.

Don't suppose you happened to weigh one of those matches did you?

AktoMan said...

I don't own a set of kitchen scales, Gayle. They are physically bigger than the hexamine tablets though.

Baz said...

Many thanks for posting these informative results.
It took a couple of reads for me - not realising the 'matches' were actually the blocks!
I like the idea of outdoors kit triumphing over basic kitchen equipment such as scales!! Wish my wife saw things that way [sigh] :o))

AktoMan said...

I have a microwave - why do I need scales? Bish bash bosh, it's done.

Aye, I used 2 of theses firestarter matches as the only fuel. Next morning I broke one up into three sections and it lit with a normal match.