C'mon baby, light my fire. But not with just any old fire starting kit. Zippo's new Outdoor Line contains various ways to get your flame on. We tested the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter System, basically a Zippo Blu lighter but instead of butane it carries fire starting materials inside.
You flip it open or closed with the classic Zippo click, one of those truly satisfying sounds on a par with snapping chalk or popping bubble wrap. The lid has an O-ring around it that makes it very water resistant, although not quite waterproof. Inside are four tinder sticks and a flint wheel. The tinder sticks have a cotton core sandwiched in a wax casing. You just break it open, fluff out the cotton and hit it with sparks from the flint. Replacement 8-packs should be available soon for under $5.
The tinder does a good job of catching sparks, and by fooling around with it you can get a candle effect from the wax to keep it going long enough to ignite your choice of secondary tinder of twigs, dryer lint, napalm or Zippo's own Campfire Starter puck ($5.67 at Amazon), an effective blend of recycled cedar saw dust and wax. The flint stick only sparks in one direction, but you can orient it according to your preference. It also removes completely, and there is a screw at the bottom to advance the flint upward as it wears. All in all it's a nice little system. It's also a good thing you're reading this review, because there are no included directions.