The ability to start a fire in emergency and survival situations can be lifesaving. Emergency fire can be used for warmth, cooking, light, protection and psychological benefits. Having a reliable, long lasting fire starter handy is so important.
We're fans of carrying multiple types of fire starters. Our go-bags contain easy-to-use lighters and longer-lasting ferro rods.
Lesson Learned: Bow Drill
Years ago, our Scout troop decided to give bush craft fire starting a try. As a leader who likes to go into a situation prepared I wanted to make sure I could use a bow drill to start a fire. I watched YouTube videos and asked around. I set up in a perfectly dry garage, followed the directions perfectly and couldn't get the fire going. I generated a TON of smoke and charcoal but the tinder powder never turned into an ember or created flame.
Not wanting to be beat, I connected the drill spindle to an electric drill. I proceeded to apply it to the tinder in high speed and STILL no luck. LOTS of smoke but no flame.
I became immediately aware of the importance of a reliable fire starter.
We've experimented with dozens of fire starter devices, matches, bush craft methods, etc. and found there is a huge variance in ease of use and longevity of each method.
The top emergency fire starters are reliable, easy-to-use and durable.
Since the dawn of man, we have depended on fire to survive. Even now, we heat our homes, cook our food, and make many of the products we use with some sort of heat or fire.
In an emergency we often need fire to survive. Fortunately, we don't have to start fire today with sticks or natural flint.
This list of fire starters are the most common.
So, which one is the best fire starter option?
The goal is to have a fire starter handy that is easy to use and lasts long enough to get you our of your emergency.
There are many uses for fire. In an emergency the uses become very basic.
Texas Power Outage
In 2021 Texas has a massive cold spell that brought down the grid. Electricity went out for millions of people. Stories filled the internet with people trying to survive the cold without conventional home-heating methods.
Some resorted to building fires just to stay warm. Many were using outdoor grills to cook food. It was very primative.
When normal services become unavailable fire is used to:
Day-to-day it's hard to beat matches or a lighter for ease of use. However, in survival or many emergency situations a ferro rod is the better choice. The right ferro rod can be a life saver. In fact, they are preferred by many survivalists - ever see what the winners of the TV show Alone use to start fire? It's a thick, long ferro rod. They are very durable, work when wet, can be used to start hundreds of fires and are easy to use. Not all ferro rods are the same. We recommend and sell the Hot Strike Ferro Rod - a premium fire starter.
The Hot Strike Ferro Rod is pretty easy to use. Go here for the basic steps to start a fire. To use a ferro rod do the following:
We've tested as many fire starters as we can get our hands on. Here's what we've found:
We recommend having at least 2 types of fire starters in your emergency supplies. Go bags, bug out bags, and 72 hour kits are best with a lighter and ferro rod.
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3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.