Best Fire Starter?
While it is true that starting fires and more specifically the latest prepper fire starter is an over-exaggerated aspect of survival, it is time for me to share some brilliant, humble and down-to-earth thoughts. What circumstance might you find yourself in that would require you to start a fire? Will you have your 72-hour pack with you, and is there a chance that your go bag won’t be handy? In this article, let’s chat about gadgets, and not so much about about methods or skills.
In my survival pack, I have a Light My Fire Swiss Army Fire Steel ($22) that, coupled with my Vaseline impregnated cotton, is great for starting a fire. I also carry another fire starter that I will mention at the end of this article.
I tested several cheapo versions, the ones that have a 10mm “ferro” rod glued onto what looks like a wet stone. Had you looked in my street-side trash can the afternoon after testing, they could have been yours for FREE!!! A skilled “fire starter” pro could definitely make them work, and they are better than finding a rock and a rusty nail, but they were pretty tough to use.
“If a ferro rod costs less than $10, it is worth less than 1¢.” -Shepard Humphries
How about those awesome pieces of old steel found along the path of ancient conquistadors coupled with a rock also found laying nearby? This is a great option, and can be done! It takes a lot of practice to be proficient, and I am not! It is not a bad idea to learn this skill.
At Shot Show 2016, I visited the Survivor FireStarters booth, and chatted with Roxanne Lightfoot about their magnesium rods and their newest product, a solar lighter starter called the Flash Tray. I purchased some of each for testing.
I took these out to the Arizona high desert and tested the Flash Tray. It was easy to direct the reflected sun beam onto a piece of dray bark, which began to smoke. I was not able to translate this smoke into an actual fire, but I love the concept. It occurs to me that the toughest part of fire-starting is not getting a temp of 450-500 degrees that causes smoke, but in the next 500 degree increase of getting smoldering fuel to actually flame up and burn.
I next tried their rod, and it cast off nice sparks using dried grass as tinder. When I scraped off some magnesium flakes, I was able to get the fire going. At a price point of $24, I am not sure of the quality/durability of the compass, but it worked for me.
How about the bow style of starting fires? Yes, it can be done, and it is a good option if you do not have gear with you. If you plan to pack some para cord to use though, I suggest packing an actual fire starter with it. If you find yourself without you gear, this method is handy to know.
So, after trying various awesome fire starters, I decided to try one final oft-overlooked option. This one boasts a spark-producing rotary wheel, a fuel source and a lot of heat. Furthermore, it is compact in size and inexpensive! I don’t have the rights to use this photograph, so I will simply invite you to click HERE to see this incredible fire starting invention!!!
Prepper Best Fire Starter options are numerous, some require more skill than others, and some cost more. I encourage readers to do their own testing and to also check out other great articles like this one: How to Start a Fire in the Wilderness, by hunting legend Brian Cox. This is the best single source of info on this topic I have seen out in Internet-land! 🙂