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fire starting

Fire Starting Kit

Fire starting in the right conditions can be an easy task. But what happens when you go on a hike, ready to set up camp, and then a random storm pops up? You have your tent or tarp ready so naturally, you set that up to protect yourself from the elements. The storm grows more intense so it looks like you’ll be spending the night. You know realize it’s time to gather some firewood.

Firewood has been gathered, shelter is up; now it’s time to build a fire. Your go-to lighter is soaked from the firewood gathering and now it won’t light. It’s the only thing you had, and now you’re out of luck.

Let’s look at six items that make fire starting easier in any situation. These items will be small enough to keep in your EDC bag.

fire starting

Fire Starting: All-Weather Matches

All-weather matches are pretty much what they say they are, to be used in all types of weather. In rain or shine when you strike these matches they burn for about 20 seconds; giving you ample time to light a tinder bundle and gets a fire going. These compared to regular matches are longer and have more material to burn on the matchstick itself to make fire starting easier.

Ferrocerium Rod/ Fire Steel

A good ferrocerium rod or ferro rod for short when struck correctly can ensure a fire in the worst of conditions. Striking a ferro rod will result in hot sparks showering onto your fire bundle and within a few strikes, you should have a flame going. Some of these are sold with a magnesium block attached so that if you shave off some magnesium shavings and then strike the ferro rod – your chances of quick-fire starting increase greatly.

fire starting

Fire Starting: Supporting Agents

For those of us who are looking to get a fire started quickly and in a less primitive way; there are two items on the market today that take a spark quickly and provide a rapid flame. Wetfire tinder blocks are solid fuel-based cubes that when sparks hit them, immediately go up in flames and burn for up to ten minutes. They burn on wet or dry surfaces in rain or snow and provide enough heat and fire to dry out damp wood and allow your fire to get going.

Next, we have the ZIP fire block. Zip blocks are made of compressed wood chips and other flammable materials that will make fire starting a breeze. These also take good to sparks, or if you have a lighter these will burn for ten minutes or more. These have less petroleum-based fuel materials in them compared to the WetFire tinder blocks but both are a must-have in a good fire starting EDC kit.

fire starting

Magnifier Lenses/Fresnel Lens

Another option for a more primitive fire-starting tool is a magnifying lens or fresnel lens. These tools allow you to use overhead sunlight to start fires by focusing the beam of light into a concentrated heat beam that causes items to reach combustion temperature and ignite into flame. This is a more difficult way to start a fire, but once this technique is mastered – your fire kit will not have as many items in it as your skillset will be growing.

Fire Starting: Standard Lighter

I intentionally wanted to list this item last due to its simplicity of access and use. A standard lighter can easily start a fire and bring a campsite to life. Lighters, however, do not come without their own share of complications. For example, if they get wet, the striker wheel won’t shower sparks to catch the fuel inside the lighter on fire. Lighters can also run out of fuel, leaving you stuck if this is your only option of fire starting.

Another technique using the lighter is to shave off some of the plastic from a spent lighter and use your fire steel to shower sparks onto the plastic. This will cause the plastic to burn, effectively giving you flame.


What other methods of fire starting can be added to this collection? Are there better or easier ways to start fires than what is listed? Be sure to drop your comments below. Thanks for reading!

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David Gray

Author David Gray

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