Awesome concept – not so awesome product
When I first pledged for the FiWhistle on KickStarter, I was disappointed when they did not meet their initial funding goal. I liked the idea of a firestarter whistle combo, but I think the initial color scheme and high funding goal was their ultimate crux. Soon thereafter, they relaunched with better colors and a lower funding goal, allowing the FiWhistle to be quickly funded the second time around.
My reason for liking the concept of the FIWhistle is easy…I like my gear to have multiple purposes and uses. By carrying gear with more than one purpose, I am able to keep my hiking pack lighter and less cluttered.
So how does the FiWhistle hold up? Well, not so good. It simply does not work as advertised. I took the FiWhistle with me on an overnight hike this past weekend and cannot recommend this product. The whistle is disappointedly low in volume having a high pitch that does not travel far at all. In fact, it almost sounds like a dog whistle and is hard to hear. At one point I needed to get my finance’s attention on the trail, and the FiWhistle totally failed in helping me communicate with her. She couldnt have been more than 150 feet away on the trail and was unable to hear me blow the whistle. Full disclosure, there were lots of trees and brush between us, but she was close enough to where she should have heard. Given that this is marketed as a survival whistle, I cant see how this would help me get noticed or communicate with anyone unless they were extremely close to my location. I ended up having to use the whistle on my paracord bracelet, which was plenty loud to get her attention.
The firestarter was better than the whistle, but not by much. The ferrocerium rod is short and small, and the striker is even smaller. When using the built-in striker, it is possible to get a spark, but not easily and not a big one. Also, given that the striker is so small, the angle and pressure needed to create a spark was awkward and annoying. I ended up using my survival knife on the fero rod to create the spark to start my fire. While I did get the fire started, it was not with the FiWhistle’s striker, which was disappointing.
So what’s my conclusion? I reached out to EDCgearshop.com to request a replacement, but have yet to hear back. I’ll stick with my regular big fero rod and paracord bracelet whistle. Both are cheaper and much better at their individual purposes.
Weight: 0.5 oz
Flint Length: 30mm
Material: Aircraft Aluminum