Are you an avid outdoorsman or just someone looking for the peace of mind that comes with carrying the essential items for survival? Then this blog post is for you! There is no better feeling than being prepared for whatever nature throws your way, and being aware of the essential items of a fire kit can make all the difference. In this blog post, we will give you the details of 7 fire kit survival essentials that should always be part of your kit.
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A Bic lighter is a reliable and cost-effective choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to add a dependable fire source to their survival kit. It requires no maintenance, rarely leaks and can light up to 3,000 times – making it a great addition to any survival fire starter kit.
Often given a bad rap is the Bic lighter, but it is disinformation. To offset its failure during cold weather, merely carry it in an inside pocket to keep it warm. Also said that if waterlogged, it will fail. While this is true, it is a simple fix by blowing on it vigorously for a minute or two.
For those who prefer refillable lighters, be aware that they can be inconvenient for long-term storage and may require specific fuel types. The Maratac Anodized Peanut XL is ideal for any fire go bag. Constructed of aerospace-grade aluminum, it comes with readily replaceable flints and o-rings.
Finally, electronic cigarette lighters (EDC) may not be the best choice for a survival fire kit, but they are convenient. As with any battery-operated device, the charge level can drop over time. Such is the case with any technology; less is often better when dealing with survival gear. Less technology means fewer things to go wrong.
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There are a ton of matches on the market, but not all are suitable for your survival fire kit. For example, take your standard everyday matchstick. Not only are they short and burn quickly, but they also do not withstand the elements. Look for longer matches, enabling you to dive deeper into your tinder pile.
Our best-recommended fire starter match would be the UCO Stormproof Match Kit. Not only are they longer-lasting than the average match, but they are also incredibly weatherproof. Heavy winds, rain, and snow will not stop these matches from igniting. Even if they get submerged in water, they will relight with ease. For only a few dollars more, the UCO Stormproof Match Kit includes a waterproof case to keep your matches safe and dry. These matches eliminate the frustration of a simple match, leaving you to utilize your fire quicker, a definite must-have for any survival fire starter kit.
3. Fire Strikers
There are plenty of fire-starting options for outdoor enthusiasts to add to their survival fire starter kits. The lighter and the match are two of the most common source of ignition, which we covered above. However, adding one additional fire striker, such as flint and steel, ferro rod, or magnesium block, increases your odds of success. Let us break each one down for you.
Flint and Steel
Flint and steel is a piece of flint that needs to be struck against a steel striker. In turn, it produces a little, dull spark, consequently necessitating using more flammable tinder such as char cloth or cattails. True flint and steel can take a fair amount of technique to use well and is more of an ancient fire-starting method.
Ferro rods are space-age and produce very hot sparks in the thousands of degrees. However, these rods are not an instant flame product. The metals they are constructed from determine how easily these rods can scrape. Some ferro rods may be soft or hard – with a softer rod, more of the material gets scraped, which leads to a substantial spark – at the expense of the rod wearing faster. However, ferro rods typically provide thousands of strikes regardless of their construction.
Since dealing with sparks versus flame, you should use a genuinely dry and finely processed tinder. Make sure you practice How to Use a Ferro Rod, as it does require some skill!
Magnesium blocks, aka mag bars, require the use of a striker. You could also use the spine of your knife if it has a 90-degree edge, such as the Morakniv Garberg, to scrape off the magnesium. These shavings burn violently and are extremely hot! Place the shavings on top of or in your tinder bundle.
Do not forget that a separate ignition source is required to ignite the magnesium shavings. In this case, you can use your Ferro rod, or often you will find a mini Ferro rod built into your mag bar for this very purpose. A perfect example of that is the Fire Fast Trekker. In case you are wondering, why not use a Ferro rod instead? A magnesium bar is much easier to learn and will significantly aid in getting a tinder bundle into flames.
When building your fire kit, there are many options of fire strikers to choose for yourself, with some requiring more prep or skill than others. In my survival fire kit, you will find that I rely on a Ferro rod for reliable sparking.
4. Magnifying Glass
Another item that should be part of your fire starter kit is a magnifying glass. An outdoor enthusiast’s dream! With impressive durability and scratch resistance, they never need to be plugged in and never run out of fuel or strike. Plus, they can be utilized anytime the sun is out – an indispensable tool for lighting campfires, reading small print, and even clarifying distant objects. And if you ever find yourself without prescription glasses, this is a great backup option. A definite must for every fire kit! Be sure to test it first, as not all lenses are designed equal!
Tinder is a critical component of outdoor fires: it is a material that is easily combustible and burns hot quickly. All you need is a spark or source of flame to get the fire going, and your tinder will act as the ignition for the next phase, kindling.
Next time you are camping, hunting, exploring the wild, or in a survival situation, remember that tinder is your first step to a good fire. Common examples include:
- Cattail fluff
- Birch bark
- Dried animal poo (not recommended for your kit)
- Dry grass
- Dandelion head (clock)
- Dry pine needles
- Tinder fungus
- Punk wood
- Poplar cotton
- Vaseline laden cotton ball
- Duct tape*
- Char cloth
*Note: Everyone should carry a lighter wrapped in duct tape. It is an excellent source to start a fire in a pinch, not to mention aiding in other tasks, such as patching and emergency medical needs. You will be thankful you have it!
As you walk the woods, it is wise to always be on the lookout for the natural tinder items on this list. As you come across these materials, keep some in a dry sac as part of your survival fire kit. There is also the option of purchasing commercially available products such as Flamers Firelighters. Couple this with vaseline-soaked cotton balls, and you have a powerful source for tinder.
6. Emergency Candles
Candles are essential for your survival fire kit. They stay lit for extended periods, conserving fuel and resources. The candle acts as a flame extender and is incredibly useful for igniting subpar or partially wet tinder. A good example and what we use is the UCO 9-plus hour candle.
Candles also have other valuable uses in an emergency. Place a candle in a tight makeshift shelter or emergency blanket, and the candle will considerably assist in you warming up. It is also a source of light. Candles may be small, but they provide countless benefits – making them an ideal addition to any fire kit bag.
7. Stainless Steel Straw
Often overlooked is the usefulness of a stainless steel straw in a survival fire kit. Not only can it be used as a versatile tool, but it also doubles as a bellow, supplying oxygen and aiding in the ignition of a fire. An invaluable addition to any adventure-goers or survivalists’ kit!
7 Fire Kit Survival Essentials
Your ability and need to survive seriously depend on having the correct items in your fire starter kit. With these 7 fire kit survival essentials and the proper techniques, you can feel confident that you can start a fire in any situation. Whether it is to heat food or get a signal fire going adding these items to your survival fire kit can be a lifesaver.
So do not wait until an emergency occurs! Start today by gathering all your fire kit survival essentials! Put one in your pack, your home and your car!
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