Substratum hiking boots incorporate emergency fire-starting kit
By C.C. Weiss
February 12, 2013
Recently launched outdoor line Rocky S2V is more determined than the Discovery Channel to ensure that you're prepared to survive. For backcountry skiers and other winter explorers, it offers a jacket with an integrated survival kit. For hikers, it offers the Substratum boots, which can start a fire as well as pull you out of other jams.
Built into the inside sole of each Substratum boot is a small storage cubby. Owners could theoretically store all kinds of small items inside this pouch, but Rocky S2V designed it specifically for fire-starting equipment. One boot holds an Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie flint firestarter and the other boot holds two UST WetFire tinder cubes.
The Sparkie is a small, one-ounce emergency firestarter with a retractable flint bar. It is designed to be operated with one hand. Simply release the flint bar, press down with a little force and the bar rubs against the innards, creating a barrage of sparks. As its name implies, WetFire tinder is designed to be used in even the dampest conditions.
Like other Rocky S2V gear, the Substratum boots also come with the Survival Grenade (hanging in the background of the picture above). This little survival bundle wraps provisions like a small knife blade, needle and fishing equipment (hooks, swivels and weights) in 10 feet (3 m) of wound 550 paracord. You won't necessarily want to keep this on a boot, but it will fit easily into a pocket or attach to a jacket with the included carabiner.
Outside of their unique emergency-oriented design, the Substratums are just a burly pair of boots that should hold up to all kinds of day and multi-day adventures. They stand atop Vibram trek rubber outsoles, include AEROTHERM zoned insulation and PrimaLoft insulation, use Rocky's Hydro IQ waterproofing, and have waterproof leather and ripstop construction. The laces are 550 paracord.
Pricing for the Substratums starts at US$279.99.
Back in the summer of 2011, a pair of survival boots from Zapps Global, Inc. made a little noise in the media. Purportedly under development at the time, the boots claimed all kinds of survival advantages, including integrated strobe lights and an electronic fire-starting system. They sounded like fanciful vaporware at the time, and there hasn't been much word about them since – Zapp's website doesn't even appear to have been updated since that time. So up until those boots, or something like them, come to fruition, the Substratums appear to be the best option for starting fire with your feet.
Source: Rocky S2V