Popular Firestarters

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Learning about how to build a fire and knowing various firestarter
methods is essential in survival and will ensure a happily ever
after. The happiest preppers have at least two methods for
firestarting as part of their everyday carry.

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Popular Firestarters
Best firestarters for survival

Firestarters are top on the list of survival stockpile items.
Have you fully considered your firestarting options? We've
gathered a list of firestarters ~ the best of the best ~ to help
ensure you know your options for this important everyday carry.

Whether you’re a hard-core prepper, backpacker, hunter, backyard
barbecuer or scout master, you'll need a quality firestarter to get
started building a campfire or cooking outdoors. Below is a review
of firestarting options with preppers and survivalists in mind...

List of Popular Firestarters
As a prepper , homesteader or survivalist you should know a few
ways to light a fire, and have plenty of options ready for an
emergency. Here's a list to build on your awareness of
firestarting options and which ones are best for you.

#1: BIC lighter.
Without question, the best fire starter tool is the classic and
dependable BIC lighter. It's not just the happy preppers, but
other survival experts agree, including Mykel Hawke, author of
Hawkes Special Forces Survival Handbook.

According to Hawke, former Captain, U.S Army Special Forces and
star of
Man, Woman, Wild on the Discovery Channel, "Always
carry a lighter" as it's the easiest way to start a fire.

We agree that a lighter is best and everyone knows the top
selling firestarter is BIC.

  • Why is a BIC lighter the best firestarter option? An
    anonymous survivor of the civil war in Bosnia says "A
    generator is good, but 1000 BIC lighters are better. A
    generator will attract attention if there's any trouble, but
    1000 lighters are compact, cheap and can always be
    traded."  The BIC lighter gets 4.6 of 5 stars.
Survival Spark
Survival Spark ~ best selling firestarter
Gerber bear Grylls firestarter
BIC lighter sleeve
Zippo lighter fluid
The best firestarters
#2: Gerber Bear Grylls (ferrocerium rod).
The compact fire starter with ferrocerium rod and metal striker is
the collaborative effort of Gerber and survival expert Bear Grylls.
Ferrocerium, also sometimes called a firesteel, is a man-made
metallic material ~ it's made in combination of cerium and iron.
What makes it unique is that it has a waterproof storage
compartment to keep tinder dry.

Gerber Bear Grylls fire starter fits neatly into your gear bag.
This popular tool comes with land to air rescue instructions and
Bear Grylls' informative "Priorities of Survival" pocket guide,
loaded with survival basics designed to help keep you alive until
you can be rescued or rescue yourself.

  • Why is the Gerber Bear Grylls ferro rod one of the best
    firestarters? This firestarter produces very long, hot sparks
    to get dry tinder to burning quickly and easily. Not only is
    Gerber a name you can trust, but this firestarter gets 4.5 of
    5 stars from nearly 3000 reviewers, making it one of the
    best firestarters you can own!

#3: Exotac nanoSTRIKER (ferrocerium rod).
The Exotac nanoSTRIKER is a superior ferrocerium rod and at a
higher price-point than other similar firestarters. Ferrocerium fire
starters work best with tinder materials that have large surface
areas: dry grasses, wood shavings, cotton balls, dry leaves, or
lint, for example. Using a
tinder material, create a loose tinder
bundle to catch the sparks from the ferro rod. Wrap the included
lanyard around a few fingers to secure the striker handle. Holding
the striking tool at an angle, use moderate pressure to quickly
scrape the rod. The striker should be carving material off the
ferrocerium rod.

The nanoSTRIKER XL is a high quality, ultra-small and completely
self-contained waterproof firestarter. Sacrificing neither form nor
function, its unique all-in-one design puts all the tools you need
to start a fire into one tiny package. To top it off, the rods are
replaceable and the striker is ultra-sharp tungsten carbide.

This firestarter is made in the U.S.A. and capable of up to 3000
fire-starting strikes! It gets 4.4 of 5 stars.

  • What makes nanoStriker one of the best firestarters?
    Ultra-portable, the nanoSTRIKER affixes easily to a key ring
    or a necklace! It fits easily into your pocket. Best of all, the
    rods are replaceable.

#4: Light my fire ~ Firesteel (ferrocerium rod).
The Light My Fire Firesteel is a compact Swedish fire starter that
can light fires in any condition. With just a few strikes onto your
tinder of wood shavings or dry grass you can have a fire with this
excellent ferrocerium rod.

Made in Sweden, the Light My Fire Ferrocerium rod firesteel is a
tiny and dependable little bugout item trusted by more than
1,500 reviewers. Pictured in orange, right, so you can find it
easily, other color choices are available.

It works in cold and rainy weather as long as you have something
dry to burn. It's a great backup option for your BIC lighter when it
runs out of fuel. Add it to your bugout bag. This tiny firestarter
includes built-in emergency whistle.

  • Why is the Light My Firesteel a great fire starting option:
    The Light My Fire firesteel popular for many reasons, but
    dependability is tops. You'll have a spark in any weather,
    any altitude and it will last for 12,000 strikes. The spark is
    so bright it can be used as an emergency signal! It gets 4.6
    of 5 stars.

#5: Survival Spark (made of magnesium).
Magnesium generally requires a bit of training to use, but the
Survival Spark is a firestarter like no other! You'll feel
like a pro in no time.

This firestarter combines three pieces of essential survival gear
into one compact tool. You get a magnesium fire starter rod, a
large striker, a high quality compass, and a 150 DB emergency
whistle. Built to last,this fire starter lights up to 15,000 times.

  • Why is Survival Spark an excellent fire starting option:
    Survival Spark is one of the best selling firestarters because
    it's at a great price point and comes with the extra features.
    It gets 4.4 of 5 star review.

#6: Government Issue Magnesium Firestarter.
The genuine G.I. Aviation Fire Starter has a magnesium edge and
sparking insert. You can make a spark in just about any weather
conditions. A magnesium bar works in any climate. The
magnesium and flint striker, right, is a tried and true method for
starting fires even in damp conditions. In a sense, it's the
easiest way to ensure you always have waterproof matches (and
it's a natural choice)!

To use, you strike the flint to send sparks into the magnesium
bar shavings which ignites your tinder. Pictured right is a U.S.
Government issues magnesium fire starter, available from surplus.

Unlike a ferrocerium rod, which is a man-made substance, you
should note that magnesium is

When it comes to using a magnesium firestarter, it's important to
mention that effective use requires practice. That's why the
magnesium firestarter is lower on the list of best firestarters.

#7: Zippo.
One of the best made-in-America preps you can own, the Zippo
lighter is windproof. It truly is the most dependable lighter you
can buy. Want proof? The company’s famous lifetime guarantee is
very clear: "It works, or we fix it free." Learn to
refill your Zippo.

  • Why is a Zippo lighter an excellent fire starting tool? It's
    made in USA! Zippo lighters are windproof and have a
    lifetime guarantee. Zippo lighters get a 4.7 of 5 rating
    (that's better than the BIC firestarter).

#8: Hurricane Matches (Stormproof matches).
Hurricane matches are sometimes also called stormproof
matches,. They're not quite the same as waterproof matches.  
They are much better. Hurricane matches are both windproof and
waterproof, and as a bonus, some will even light and hold the
light under water!

Think of Stormproof matches as personal assurance that you'll be
able to light a fire under any condition. UCO Titan Stormproof
matches burn under water! It seems impossible, but the fire
continues to ignite even under water, which is what make this
survival match so unique.

  • UCO Stormproof match kit: The stormproof match kit,
    pictured in olive green, is a waterproof case that includes 25
    matches and 3 strikers. UCO Stormproof Matches are easy to
    light, and will stay lit for up to 15 seconds, even after being
    submerged in water! For refills, get the stormproof match
    box below.

  • UCO Titan Stormproof matches, pictured right are windproof
    and burn up to 25 seconds in duration even in gale force
    winds. Titan matches are waterproof and will light after
    getting wet. What's even more amazing is that Titan
    matches stay lit under water!

#9: Mirror, magnifying lens or reflective surface.
A signaling mirror has the dual purpose of helping rescuers locate
you and help you make a fire. If you don't have a mirror, you can
improvise with a plastic bottle, a reading glass, or even a condom
if you're a clever prepper. Of course it helps to have a magnifying
glass or a
Fresnel lens.

With a mirror, the incoming parallel rays of the sun are reflected
to a very precise point. A magnifying lens will hold the same
source energy precision. Creativity holds no bounds! Here are
some illuminating ideas on the matter.

  • Aluminum Can + Chocolate bar (improvised mirror). Make
    a mirror on the bottom of your soda or beer can by rubbing
    chocolate with cloth. The chocolate acts as a sort of polish.
    Once you have created a mirror, aim it so the sun heats up
    the tinder and wait. Learn how to start a fire with a can and
    chocolate and totally amaze your friends.

  • Pee + Saran wrap (improvised lens). Improvise Saran
    wrap into a reflective firestarter! Using Saran wrap and urine
    you can make a magnifying glass to catch and direct the
    sunlight. In addition to your urine, you'll need a dark piece
    of paper and saran wrap. Here's how to light a fire with your
    pee. Of course, if you have water and a condom that will
    also work. See the next entry.

    Bonus uses of condoms in your survival kit:

#10: Rubbing sticks to start a fire.
Back to basics, perhaps the least popular of firestarting methods
is by rubbing sticks together. This bushcrafting essential should
not be overlooked. Certainly it's the classic survivalist way to
start a fire without matches.
Zippo lighter made in America
How to make charcoal and char cloth
Gather around the campfire and learn to make your charcoal. All
you need is some wood and cookie tin. Grab a small tin and an
old cotton T-shirt and learn the art of
making char cloth!

How to make waterproof matches
Preppers who want to learn how to make their own waterproof
matches, can do so in two ways:

    1. Magnesium flint "matches": The easiest method to make
    your own waterproof matches is to strike magnesium with
    flint. Of course this method requires that you find both
    magnesium and flint, but you can save yourself the hunt,
    and simply buy a set, pictured above. As a reminder, a
    ferrocerium rod striker or firesteel (pictured in orange at the
    top of the page), is a commercially-made metal and can also
    act as a waterproof match.

    2. Nail Polish Waterproof Matches: Clear nail polish
    effectively will transform ordinary matches into waterproof

    3. Turpentine soaked wood matches: Turpentine will
    transform ordinary matches into waterproof ones. Did you
    know turpentine comes from pine?

  • Here is how to make waterproof matches at home.
    Want a good place to store your home made waterproof
    matches? Store them in a mason jar with a sandpaper
    circle atop the canning lid. This will keep your matches
    water tight and ready when you need them.

Firestarting resources...
A firestarter is everyday carry if you're a prepper! Firestarting is
essential skill in emergency preparedness. It's important to
know several fire building methods as you might not have
resources available and you may need to improvise. Become an
expert fire starter and impress your friends camping by learning a
few weird methods. It isn't so difficult. In fact, it's fun!

  • Need quick tinder? Bring a pencil sharpener to shave twigs
    into tinder! A pencil sharpener is an unusual survival tool,
    but one you should not be without. Bear Grylls improved on
    this classic survival idea, with his sharpener tinderbox.

Watch the video below from
Sensible Prepper, who highlights
some cool fire starting tricks!

  • Fire Plow Method. Rubbing sticks together is hard work,
    which is why among the least popular fire starting methods is
    the fire plow method. It;s least preferable method because it
    requires much skill in making strokes long and fast and using
    strong pressure. The inexperienced will also find the proper
    selection of wood a problem. As an example of the difficulty
    and skill level, Mykel Hawke loathes this method and brings a
    lighter with him at all times, specifically to avoid the rubbing
    sticks method!

    To use the fire plow method, you'll need both hard wood and
    soft wood. The method, pictured left, produces its own
    tinder. First you must cut a groove into the softwood. Now
    the work begins, because you must work up and down this
    groove. Not an easy task.

  • Bow Drill and Spindle Method. To make a bow drill (also
    called a hand drill), you'll need cordage, sticks and a fire
    board to create enough friction to spark an ember. It's a
    difficult method that works best in dry climates.

  • Two-Man Friction Drill Method. A variation fo the bow drill,
    two men (or women) can work in tandem to get the friction
    to spark embers.

  • Flash-lamp reflector. Did you know a flash light could help
    you in a survival situation to start a fire? By placing tinder in
    the flashlight's center cone where you'll find the bulb, you
    can improvise a magnifying glass or fresnel lens. (Cigarette
    makes excellent tinder for this method.) If you have a
    magnifying glass and some sun you have an eternal fire

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