I would put the ability to make fire right behind water, shelter, and food in the list of most important things in a survival situation, and before food and shelter in some cases.
Since being able to start a fire is so important, are you really going to rely on only one or two ways to do it? I think you should have at least 5 fire starters in your Bug Out Bag or in any survival preps for that matter.
Be sure to notice that I am not talking about different types of tinder, like cedar shavings, fire log, paper etc. I am talking about 5 ways to actually make fire, to get that first spark. Without that, the rest really doesn’t matter. Updated Topic: 5 Ideas for Fire Tinder
No surprises here. Check out Stormproof matches, I have tested these things and they are pretty tough to beat. If you go with regular matches there are two important things to remember about your matches.
1.They need to be waterproof. SurvivalTopics.com has a good article on how to waterproof your matches.
2. You need to store matches in multiple places. Even if you have a pile of waterproof matches, if they are all in the same bag or box and you lose them, that’s it. So use a couple of empty film canisters or an element proof Loksak bag and store matches in several places. (But not in the handle of your knife, which I explain here: Survival Knife)
Notice lighters is plural. You need several lighters. It might be a good idea to get one waterproof and windproof lighter and a couple of cheap gas station lighters.
If you are going to buy a nice lighter like that one, you should carry some Butane refill fluid and it will last you 5 times as long as any of the throw away lighters.
3. FireSteel and Scraper
A firesteel and scraper is important to have for a couple of reasons. First, it works even if it’s wet. So if all of your other fire starters got completely soaked or ruined for some reason the firesteel will still work.
Also, it will most likely outlast all of your matches and lighters put together. Many firesteels advertise 3000 strikes, and some as many as 7000.
4. 9v Battery and Steel Wool
This is one of my favorites that I think should be in every survival gear set up. If you take a 9v battery and simply touch both poles to a piece of steel wool it will catch fire. Here’s a quick youtube video showing this: Steel Wool and 9V Batter Fire
I don’t consider this in the fire tender category because it is the steel wool itself combined with the battery that actually makes the fire.
Two things to remember: The finer the steel wool the better. Also, it only takes a tiny bit of steel will for this to work. Just enough to cover both poles of the battery.
5. Rub 2 Sticks Together
The most cliche survival tactic ever, rubbing two sticks together. I am not going to go into all the different ways you can make fire with nothing but wood, that is a whole different article. Just know that you should have at least one other way to make a fire without any tools at all.
Know any other ways to Make Fire?
I am interested to hear if our readers have any other good ways to “make fire” that are easily stored for survival situations?
Keep some water around in case your fire gets out of hand. The best way, when in the bush, is with a Collapsible Bucket: 6 Great Uses for a Backpacking Bucket
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