Anyone who’s ever spent some serious amount of time in the field or backcountry and experienced a “Worst day ever…” scenario knows a fire starter is a must have when you’re away from a support infrastructure   When things go tits up it’s always nice to have the ability to start a fire no matter what the conditions are. I’ve been wanting to check out Exotac‘s nanoSTRIKER XL and Matchcap for awhile now and decided a upcoming fieldcraft course would be a good opportunity to try them out.

I’ve only had them for a short period of time but I’ve got to admit I was impressed with the craftsmanship right out of the box. The nanoSTRIKER appears to be relatively low profile and easy to carry with a durable design. This means I’m more likely to carry it as part of my EDC kit and in theory it “should” withstand the abuse. There are two variants of the nanoSTRIKER. The original nanoSTRIKER and the newer nanoSTRIKER XL. The original might be a better EDC option for most people due to the reduced size. Personally I like the XL because it features a larger striker and thicker fire rod which will hopefully translate to increased durability and ease of use.

I picked up the Matchcap because I’ve had to learn the hard way that it’s usually a good idea to have a plan to keep your tinder and matches dry. Having the ability to strike a spark does zero good if you cant find the materials to keep that spark alive. The Matchcap seemed like a good storage solution so I figured I’d give it a try since I was already grabbing a nanoSTRIKER. Just like the nanoSTRIKER I was impressed by the amount of work and attention to detail that went into the Matchcap’s design.  For something as simple as a waterproof capsule for your matches and tinder EXOTAC still managed to put together a well thought out and “sexy” package for lack of a better term. It’s something you have to see to appreciate and serves as a reminder that there’s something to be said for American craftsmanship.

There’s also another aspect of the nanoSTRIKER that I liked and that’s the fact that EXOTAC is a American owned small business and the nanoSTRIKER is made here in the United States. To me that means something and I always try to encourage others to invest in products that are made in American whenever possible. I’m looking forward to checking it out more and taking it to the field to beat on during the coming weeks.

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Categories: The Firing Line

Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson is a U.S. Army Sniper and senior NCO with multiple combat deployments, a background in reconnaissance and small unit operations. During his 18 years of military service he has held every MTOE slot in a Sniper section to include an assignment as the SEO/Sniper Section Leader for a forward deployed Infantry Battalion. He has utilized all currently issued U.S. Army Sniper weapons systems including the XM2010, M110 SASS, and M107. In addition to being a qualified Sniper he is a graduate of the Sniper Employment Leaders Course and the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Squad Designated Marksman and Rifle Instructor courses. Outside of the military he has obtained the NRA Pistol and Rifle Instructor certifications and served as a product consultant for several defense and firearms industry companies.

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