In a previous article I covered the basics of building a fire and described the importance of having good tinder to get the fire going. While many natural substances are available, they may be hard to come by when you need them. In addition, natural tinder can be rendered useless if it's wet.
That's where WetFire from Ultimate Survival comes in. This is a synthetic substance that takes next to no effort to get burning. It comes in a white cube and can be easily broken into small pieces. It's a little tough to get shavings out of it though because it is brittle. My tests with the product reveal that a couple of sparks is all it takes to get a flame.
Ultimate Survival also claims that WetFire burns when wet. While I found this to be mostly true, I was unable to get it burning in one of my tests where I had it in a soaking paper towel. I think in a real-life situation you'd be able to just wipe the tinder with your hand or sleeve to get it dry enough to burn. There was no aroma while the tinder was burning, but it did release fiber-like ashes into the air. Not a problem outdoors, of course, but I did notice them indoors where I was doing my testing.
So overall I give the WetFire tinder two thumbs-up. Pack a couple of these in your pack and you've covered one of the three stages of fire. I'm not sure that you'll get past airport security with this though so put it in your checked baggage to save yourself the trouble.