Survival Kit: Fire Starting Tools

Editor’s Review:

This informative and helpful video explains how to use a variety of basic to more complex home made and man made fire starting tools used to start a fire in a fire pit, campfire and/or other fire units in the middle of nowhere. He discusses the importance of having two options to start a fire and waterproofing and storage of the tools. Matches, lighters,flint steel,swedish fire steel, magnifying glass, magnesium,tinders,fuels are some types of starters that are reviewed.
Ryan demonstrates clearly the advantages and disadvantages of using these fire starting tools. You can decide which methods would suit your outdoor needs best. Your camping survival kit should not be without these.

Video Transcript

Hey guys!

As most of you probably already know fire is one of the most important tools you will ever have when going into the outdoors.

This video will be about the various tools and options you can use to ignite your fire.

Fire provides warmth. It allows you to boil water, cook your food, make tools, frighten predators.

It’s also good for morale, such as the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.

And your fire can be used for signalling to your rescuers.

Also I recommend that everyone have at least two ways of starting a fire in their survival kit, if not more. It’s also very helpful to have homemade or manmade fuel or tinder to help you start that fire in case it’s wet.

Matches have to be the most common tool used to light fires, probably all around the world. Here are some various examples of different kinds of matches and waterproof containers you can hold the matches in.

This is a common matchbook, everybody has seen these. They’re small and compact. That’s why they’re good to put in your survival kit.

Also you can split one match into two giving you two chances to light a fire with just one match and I’ll demonstrate that right now with the smaller piece.

The next kind of match you have are waterproof matches made by different companies. Also you can waterproof your own matches by putting wax on the heads – paraffin wax preferably.

These matches are strike-anywhere matches that have been cut in half. They’re easier to put in your kit that way. It saves space.

Another type of match are store matches. These are really long matches and they burn for a while.

And back to the waterproofing your own matches, all you have to do is take a knife and scrape the wax off and you’re ready to go.

These are strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof container. I highly recommend strike-anywhere matches for the reason that you can strike them anywhere.

If you do use regular matches in one of these containers put a striker pad – cut it off and put it in the container so you have something to strike on.

Also, with the strike-anywhere matches, for example on this one, there’s sandpaper on the top so you can easily light the match.

And there are various different containers for storing your matches. They’re all pretty much waterproof.

This is a nice aluminum one with a compass on it. It also has a whole for a lanyard. It’s made by Silva and they also make very good compasses.

This is a cheaper five-function whistle match holder. This one had a flint on it, right there, but it fell off. It has a compass, a mirror for signalling, it’ll hold your strike-anywhere matches and it has a whistle.

This is a brass container which is good for strike-anywhere matches because it has the threading on the side that you can strike it on.

And that’s basically it on matches. A very good thing to have in your survival kit. Except for that they don’t last forever and I’ll show you something that will last a very long time.

Your next fire-starting option is probably one of the best of them all just because they last so freakin’ long. It’s a flint, or also known as a Swedish firesteel.

The firesteels can light thousands of fires reliably, even when wet. The shower of sparks it emits is between 3000 and 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What you do – I’m not going to do it inside – is take your striker. It comes with a different one, I added this saw one because I believe it works better, and you scrape it like so. I’ll do it a little bit. And it emits a very hot shower of sparks and it will ignite your tinder very easily.

The only thing I don’t like about the firesteel is, if you use your knife blade I worry that it might dull it, but I would have to say that everyone should have a firesteel in their survival kit.

It’s a little pricey, between 10 and 20 dollars – probably about 10 or 12 for the small one and 20 for the large. But believe me it’s well worth it.

Another tool for igniting your fire is a lighter, obviously. And it’s a very good option. As you can see there’s many different kinds of lighters.

In your survival kit I would definitely go with the disposable ones. Not the refillable ones like these three. Just because the refillable ones run out a lot faster.

It’s good to get a clear one or a white one like this because you can see how much is left in it. I personally prefer the bics over the disposables because the bics seem to last a lot, lot longer. Also they make tiny ones that you could fit into a very small survival kit.

So once again a lighter is a very good option, it’s a quick and easy way of starting a fire.

Another option for lighting fires is a magnifying glass. It’s not your best option. You can only do it in the daytime if there is bright sunlight. But it does work and it could get you a fire going.

What you do, for those who don’t know, is you make the smallest dot possible with the sunlight and put that on your tinder and it should start smoldering and you can blow it into a fire.

What you’re looking at right now is a magnesium fire starter. This is another long-lasting fire starter, similar to a Swedish firesteel. This is obviously going to last a lot longer than matches.

First I’ll explain. This bar is made of magnesium and on top of it is a mesh metal flint which, when you scrape, sparks.

What you do is take your knife. It does not come with this little saw. I added that. They recommend you use your knife.

You take your knife and on one of the edges, like right there you can see it, you scrape off little shavings like this.

About a quarter-sized pile just like that and what you do is take the mesh metal flint and strike it right on that. And just like the Swedish firesteel it burns between 3000 and 5000 degrees even when wet. Once again I worry about it dulling my knife, that’s why I added this onto it.

One of the bad things about a magnesium fire-starter is the shavings can blow away when it’s windy out. Also it takes a while to scrape that when, with a firesteel you can just scrape it once and you pretty much have your fire going. So this takes a while but it does last, maybe a thousand times.

Here are some various homemade and manmade tinders that everyone should bring at least one of these in their survival kit in case it’s a rainy day or you can’t find tinder.

On the left are military style trioxane compressed fuel bars. These are used for water and ration heating. They can also be used as a fire starter. It’s this bluish material right here, you just break off a chunk and it stays lit for a very long time.

The next one is my favourite.

It’s petroleum jelly saturated cotton balls. And these are homemade, cheap, easy to make and they burn for a very long time. Check out my video on that.

Another one that people commonly use is dryer lint. Obviously it’s free and it works really good.

And this is probably a petroleum-based fire paste made by Coghlan’s. There’s probably different kinds of products like this out there but this also works very good.

These are my personal favorite options for fire-starting.
* The Swedish firesteel that lasts forever.
* Strike anywhere matches dipped in wax.
* See-through disposable bic lighter.

And I think everyone should have at least two options of starting a fire in their survival kit in case one fails.

And like I said in the beginning, fire is one of the most valuable tools you’ll every have out in the wilderness and it could save your life someday.

Thank you for watching.