Whether you’re deep in the woods, reconnecting with Mother Nature on a once-in-a-lifetime backpacking adventure, or simply starting a fire in your backyard fire pit, no-fail fire starters are a must-have tool for the adventurer at heart.
While rubbing sticks together can help you channel the survivalist within, desperate times may call for desperate measures. When you’re in a pinch, relying on resourcefulness (and your bare hands) could spark disaster in an emergency.
How, you might ask?
When venturing out into the Great Outdoors, a fire will keep you warm, act as a light source, and stand at the center of your campfire kitchen. Not to mention, a fire will scare away wild animals lurking in the night. With these high-stakes in mind, only the latest and greatest in fire-starting technology will do. So, stop fumbling with primitive fire-starting methods.
Instead, try these six no-fail fire starters that are the perfect addition to any survival supplies kit or bug-out bag.
Six no-fail fire starters
These fire starters will light up any campsite. Not to mention, these tools below are conveniently sized to lighten your backpack load.
A Ferro rod
A ferrocerium or Ferro rod like this, a striker, cotton balls, and a little petroleum jelly is a can’t-fail fire starter combo that’s inexpensive, small, and easy to find. Aside from the convenience and affordability factor, Ferro rods aren’t rendered useless by the elements quite like matches and lighters.
About the size of a keychain, a Ferro rod and striker will cost campers around $20. After purchase, this fire-starter tool won’t deteriorate over time like matches and should thrive in most weather conditions.
Flint and steel
When struck together, flint and steel can create sparks. With this method, you’ll need to include a char cloth and tinder so that the sparks can catch fire.
Matches are easy to use and lightweight, but their disadvantages can add fuel to any campfire. For example, one match can start one fire. However, when you run out of matches, the warm glow of your campsite will dim, leaving your fellow campers hungry and bitterly cold. Additionally, this firestarter option can also be unreliable and will deteriorate with time.
With these drawbacks in mind, campers will fare better by opting for an alternative.
Disposable cigarette lighters
Cigarette lighters are inexpensive, easy to carry, and work well in most conditions. When temperatures fall below freezing, their fire-starting properties will extinguish, which can spell disaster for campers navigating wintry weather.
Magnesium fire starter
The idea behind a magnesium fire block is to shave pieces of magnesium off the block and ignite them with flint. The disadvantage with this method is that shaving the magnesium can be time-consuming. Not to mention, an unexpected breeze can scatter the pieces.
A fire piston, or compression fire starter, works by forcing air through a cylinder with a piston to generate heat. That way, dry tinder will catch fire. This method requires some strength and stamina to produce enough heat for a spark, and in an emergency, you may not have the time to use this method.
The bottom line
While you could start a fire with anything from a magnifying glass to a disposable cigarette lighter, you won’t always access the direct sunlight needed to generate heat with a magnifying glass, nor can you guarantee temperatures above freezing for a cigarette lighter.
From rain to rough terrain, there are challenges aplenty in the Great Outdoors. Because these harsh conditions of the vast unknown can put any camper on edge, you’ll need to stock up your survivalist kit with the best of the best. Unfortunately, some fire-starting materials won’t work well in these cold or wet conditions, and others are less reliable.
For instant and consistent results, turn to the Ferro rod, known for its reliability and easy portability. Otherwise, your survivalist camping trip may end up in flames.