Exotac MATCHCAP™

Exotac isn’t quite the result of a collision between Stephen Hawking and Bear Grylls, but it’s pretty close. On the one hand, you’ve got this engineer, and on the other, you’ve got this keen outdoorsman. Ok, so it’s the same guy. But what might seem an odd mix to some is a huge benefit to anyone that values intelligent design and quality construction.If you’re looking to round out your camping or emergency kit with some useful gear that ranks high on the cool-factor scale, you’ll want to become acquainted with them.

An excellent example of this is their MATCHCAP™.  This pocket-sized (80mm long) 6061 aluminum “safe” is going to protect your matches from water in extreme conditions.  With square-cut threads and an o-ring seal, it’s waterproof to around five meters. (If you’re in deeper water than that, you have other concerns) While it can easily hold up to 20 kitchen matches, or 16 NATO/Lifeboat matches, do yourself a favor and get some real matches. REI and Industrial Revolution both offer the UCO Stormproof Matches, (shown) which will light even when wet, and burn for up to 15 seconds. While you could squeeze a dozen of them in there, ten is a more practical number.

Exotac MATCHCAP™

In the photo above, you can see the internal striker strip, and the deep knurling, which not only makes it easy to grip, but can be used as a striker surface for “blue tip” style matches. What’s not visible in the photo is the striker on the bottom of the unit, and the paracord loop in the cap. Clever touches. And Exotac has you covered – the package also contains two spare round strikers, as well as two o-rings. This leads me to believe that they only want to hear praise for their design, not someone asking for spares, so they thought ahead and included extra consumables. With three striking surfaces, that o-ring, and the extra durability of the square-cut threads, you only need to stock it with matches and take it with you, Exotac will take care of the rest.

Retailing at $24.95, it’s cheap insurance that you’ll be able to start a fire when you need to. Throw one in your backpack or 72-hour kit, or give one as a gift that will surely be appreciated by the recipient. If we had a “cool gadget/MacGyver scale” it would easily rate five out of five stars.

You can find them and other cool gear for starting fires and keeping important stuff dry at Exotac.com.

– Brian

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