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Fire Starters Buying Guide

A bad hail storm or pouring rain and your fire starter stab you in the back. This puts you out of the frying pan but into the fire. Not able to start a kindling in the hour of need is the worst situation any hiker or travel enthusiast can dream of.

Fire starters act as a helping hand in providing the most crucial thing of survival that is the fire. Making a small fire in harsh cold weather conditions or challenging environments can keep you safe and secure from the fatal threats posed by them.

Importance of reading a buying guide before selecting a fire starter

With different types of starters at your disposal, it can be challenging to select the best product and include it in your survival kit. Getting all the information about various characteristics at one-stop can aid you in choosing the best product for yourself.

In this exclusive buying guide, we have explained all the elements of the fire starters in detail. Go ahead and take a look into this guide and select the one which caters to all your needs.

What are Fire Starters? Why should you choose them?

Fire starters or a firelighter is a tool to ignite the fire. It is a small piece of flammable material that can burn quickly and easily and is generally used to light the fire on wood or coal.

Now you may think what is so good or different about fire starters to buy them. Well, not only are they super easy to burn, but they can also survive under any circumstances such as rain, thunderstorm, and other harsh weather conditions. It is one reason why you must choose it.

Other reasons are its capability to keep you warm even in excessively high temperatures, send signals for communication, help a rescuer find you through its light under dangerous circumstances, cook food, and keep insects and animals/predators away, and so on.

Fire starters are, therefore, critical, especially when you decide to go on backpacking. However, before purchasing a fire starter, you must know about its types and which one is the best for you. Keep scrolling down to know these details.

Different Types of Fire Starters

There are different types of fire starters available, and all of them have their uniqueness and qualities. These types are further described in the points given below :

  1. Flint

Flint is a unique type of rock and can be used to create a spark very quickly, even with metal. Flint fire starters are usually made up of carbon steel, and the lightning sparks are created from the edge.

However, the sparks created by flint are of exceptionally high intensity, so many manufacturers have started to replace it with ferrocerium.

  1. Ferrocerium

The sparks created from ferrocerium fire starters are very hot and can rise to a temperature of 3000°C (5,430°F). This material consists of iron, cerium, and many other useful metals essential for burning.

The ferrocerium fire starters are also very durable and are perfect for any harsh conditions and circumstances.

  1. Magnesium

Magnesium fire starters are another important type that can create reliable sparks to start a fire. However, there is one demerit of this type of fire starter. It comes along with a separate flint to light up flames. The flames created from this fire starter are approximately 2982°C (5400°F).

These were the basic types of fire starters available. Besides considering these points, there are many more points given below in the article that you must look at before making a purchase.

Things to deem about while selecting the best Fire Starters

Things to deem about while selecting the best Fire Starters

  1. Combustion Period

The combustion period is the period for which the fire or flame from the fire starters lasts. Fire starters with more extended combustion periods are the best choices as one does not have to go through the troubles of creating sparks again and again.

One way to increase the combustion period is by using fuel with the flint. However, this method may cost a little more than the regular fire starters.

  1. Size

Size is one of the essential components that you must look after before sealing the deal with fire starters. The size of a fire starter must allow its simple portability as you definitely do not want to carry a large, heavyweight with you.

It is better to buy fire starters from 3 to 6 inches in size and light-weighted, and they can be kept inside a pocket and are very convenient. And even though they are small in size, they are beneficial and easy to use, which is why you must look into the size before deciding on what fire starter you will buy.

  1. Weight

Just like size, weight is essential, and these two components walk together side by side. The more light-weighted a fire starter is, the more convenience it will provide.

People always try to pack with the lightest possible weight, especially when they are going on high energy activities to save energy and complete their adventure successfully. With loads of pressure on your shoulders, things will be more difficult and stressful, and the weight will absorb your strength much faster.

Light-weighted fire starters are necessary as they can be kept anywhere, even in your pocket, and you will not feel any additional weight.

  1. Weather Conditions

Before purchasing a fire starter, keep in mind what kind of environmental conditions you will be in and buy accordingly.

For example, if you are going on an adventure in a rainy region, then a fire starter with a magnesium bar will be the best as they can catch and cause a fire even under rainy and wet circumstances.

However, if you will be outing in a windy area, then chances of such fire starters not being very effective, and the fire blowing away quickly are higher. So, it is crucial to buy a fire starter according to the weather conditions.

  1. Resistance to weather

One of the worst things that can come up while you are on an adventure activity such as hiking or camping is stormy and rainy cold weather conditions.

Such conditions increase the risk of danger, but they can also create problems with lighting fire. This is why fire starters with strong sparks and capabilities to resist such weather under unpredictable circumstances are essential. They can create a fire flame under any circumstances and burn for a longer duration, even with stormy and rainy weather.

It also helps in keeping you warm and saving your energy. Moreover, if you are in trouble, you can also send signals with the fire starter and help a rescuer find you.

  1. Portability

Portability is another critical feature that must be present when buying a fire starter and is one of the crucial components that define how good the fire starter is.

After all, what is the point of buying a fire starter that cannot be moved? The higher its portability will be, the more convenient it will turn out to be. If the fire starter is bulky and heavy, you will face issues with it even if you can move it.

During adventure activities such as hiking or camping, a person already has a lot of essential things to carry. Backpacking is usually a task in itself, and taking additional weight with less portability is one demerit you do not want.

So, to save yourself from the troubles, better carry fire starters with higher portability, and increase the chances of a successful trip.

  1. Ease of Use

Fire starters with the most simplicity and ease of use are on the top rankings of recommendation. When you plan an activity and go for the same, then even though you are aware of the weather conditions, you may have to face difficulties as the weather can turn unpredictable.

You may prepare yourself for windy weather, but instead of wind, it might start raining. Survival under such circumstances becomes difficult if you do not have a fire starter, which is easy to use and can work under any conditions.

Furthermore, a person has already limited energy on such adventure trips because of all the high energy activities. In such a scenario, lighting a fire with difficulty can consume more energy ruining the trip. However, on the other hand, an easy to use fire starter can make your adventure even better.

  1. Strikes

Buying a different fire starter for every trip can be a waste of money and effort. If you purchase fire starters with fewer strikes, then you will have to make purchases again and again.

So you must buy a fire starter with at least 3,000 strikes. There are fire starters available with 20,000 hits as well, and they are an even better option.

Another reason to buy a fire starter with a higher number of strikes is to ensure safety during the trip. Fire starters with fewer hits have chances of suddenly malfunctioning or not functioning during the journey as they soon reach their limits. Buy one with higher strikes to avoid such a situation.

  1. Spark Making Capacity

Another significant element to consider is the spark making capacity of a fire starter. The stronger sparks a fire starter will produce, the longer the fire will last, and you will not have to go through the process of lighting a fire again and again.

Moreover, it is also helpful in the cost and money front as fewer strikes are used with strong sparks, which saves the number of strikes and saves your needs of repurchasing a fire starter. Also, a fire starter with a stronger spark has more chances of performing better under stormy and rainy weather circumstances.

All of this brings us back to the point of buying a fire starter with stronger spark making capacity to complete the backpacking trip without complexities.

  1. Grip

Grip refers to the capacity to hold the fire starters with ease. You probably are aware of how hard it is to hold on things tightly with a firm grip when you are tired.

Also, forming a tight grip under cold weather conditions is a challenge in itself. Fire starter with a more comfortable grip is beneficial because even if you are tired or under icy weather conditions, you still will be able to handle and hold a grip on the device. So, buy a fire starter that can keep you warm and fits comfortably in your hands.

  1. Durability

Durability is a component that people look for in every product they purchase, including a fire starter. Fire starters with lesser durability levels may leave your side in the middle of crises and throw you in a challenging situation.

Fire starters with lesser durability will stop functioning frequently, leading you to shops to make a purchase again. Moreover, if a fire starter stops working in the middle of the adventure activity, then it can be dangerous and a risk factor.

Many factors can decide the durability of a fire starter, such as the number of strikes, the strength of sparks and its capability of making sparks, the strength of the material it is made of, and so on.

  1. Water Resistance

The weather conditions are not always going to be favorable for you. You may not be prepared for the condition which mother nature is going to display.

Chances of raining are present even when the weather forecast shows that it will be a sunny bright day. Therefore, it is better to have a fire starter with water resistance to be safe under such a situation.

A fire starter with stronger water resistance can burn even under a rainy day, and can successfully keep you warm and the predators out of sight and perform all other functions that fire does. So, it is always a better choice to have fire starters with stronger water resistance.

  1. Environment Friendly

Environment-friendly fire starters are not only good for the environment but also function efficiently. Such fire starters are made up of non-toxic wax, wood waste (sawdust or shavings), recycled paper, or waste textile fibers.

These kinds of materials are more comfortable to burn and are also usually cheap on the budget. So, by purchasing an environmentally friendly fire starter, you will not only buy a better product and save money but also help protect the environment.

How To Use a Fire Starter

Now that we have discussed what a fire starter is and its types and best components, it is time to provide a little insight into all the necessary steps to use a fire starter. These steps are :

  • ● Find the perfect location

The first most important thing is to find the perfect location. This location should be in a place where you can easily start a fire without causing any danger. Ensure that there are no trees right next to the site you are starting a fire as that can lead to disastrous results.

  • Scrap the bar

Once you have found the perfect location and have assembled all the necessary items, scrap the fire starter's bar. If you are using a knife, you may do it with the backside to avoid extra cuts. It is essential to scrap in the perfect amount, neither too much nor too little.

  • Strike to create a spark

Once you are done with the scrapping, you are ready to start the spark. Strike the fire starter to create the spark, and once you do it, the fire will ignite successfully, and then all you have to do is maintain it.

Remember that the quantity of the spark depends on the force that you apply. Therefore do not strike with too much or too little force.

  • Start and maintain the flame

Once you have done all the above steps, you are ready to maintain the fire you created. To maintain the flame, you can blow a little on it slowly to spread it and expand the fire flames. You can use woods and larger branches for the fire to spread and grow, and once you are done with this, you are ready to enjoy the benefits and warmth of the fire.


1. What makes a perfect fire starter?

A good fire starter is loaded with all the fantastic features in the best way. It is completely water-resistant and has a higher combustion time. Along with this, an ideal fire starter should be highly durable, too, which means it can be used hundreds and thousands of times without getting depleted. Also, the fire starter should be made of high-quality material so that there is an instant fire spark generation.

2. What are some beginner tips to take follow while using a fire starter?

Using a fire starter can be quite dangerous, especially when you are near numerous combustible materials like dry leaves etc. Therefore, there are a few tips that you must keep in mind while using a fire starter:

1. Always go for magnesium or ferrous rod. They can supplement you with a significant number of sparks, even in wet conditions.

2. When the fire sparks form, it is crucial to stay away from the sparks as much as possible. You may even point the sparks in a different direction so that you don't have any danger with you or anyone else.

3. Make sure that you have an excellent collection of dry tinder. It is crucial to collect all the different shaped objects so that you can get a spark quickly.

3. What are the best fire starter materials to use?

Magnesium and ferrocerium rods are considered the best among the excellent fire starter materials. Owing to their metal structure, they produce sparks instantly and are thus, responsible for a quick-fire generation. Moreover, you will find these materials highly durable.

4. How can light up fire during rainy weather?

There are certain materials such as magnesium as well as Ferro rods that have a strong withstanding power that makes them highly waterproof. Thus, even if you are at a high altitude or going through a rainy day, you can easily get sparks from these metal rods. Their performance in the rainy season is truly exemplary.

Final Verdict

If you have a money burning hole in your pocket, then you should invest it in a good fire starter. Good- quality fire starters can be the only thing to make a difference between a life and death situation.

The guide here provides you detailed information about all the characteristics of the product. Evaluate all of them and select the best fire lighting companion for yourself to save your day in adverse conditions. Stay safe, and enjoy your adventurous expedition. / - © Copyright 2020