Best Emergency Fire Starter

In emergency situations it's surprising how often starting a fire can be a life saver. Depending on the emergency type you may need a fire for warmth, cooking, light, or protection. Have a reliable fire starter handy is so important.

We're fans of carrying multiple types of fire starters depending on the activity. Some work better than others and some last longer than others.

The Top Emergency Fire Starters

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 duration.

Rechargeable Fire Starter

20 11 06 07 25 15 original 600x600 arc plasma waterproof lighter

Arc Plasma Waterproof Lighter

Ideal enhanced option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon

Easiest to Use Fire Starter

20 10 26 10 48 54 original 600x600 lighter

Lighter

Ideal primary option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon

Best Ferro Rod

20 10 26 10 51 18 original 600x600 ferro rod with striker

Ferro Rod with Striker

Great secondary option for fire starting, especially when wet

Buy on Amazon

Best Fire Extinguisher

20 11 22 14 41 50 original 600x600 fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

ABC dry chemical class ABC fire extinguisher

Buy on Amazon
Emergency Fire Starter

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Table of Contents

Learn About Survival Fire Starters

Since the beginning of history, man has depended on fire to survive. Even now, we heat our homes, cook our food, and make most products we use with some sort of fire.

In an emergency we often need fire to survive. Fortunately, we don't have to start fire today with sticks or flint. 

Fire Starter Types

  1. Gas lighter - think BIC lighter
    1. pros
      1. instant flame
      2. long-lasting (relatively)
    2. cons
      1. not super durable
      2. not waterproof
  2. Electric lighter - newer electric arc technology is rechargeable and very effective
    1. pros
      1. instant heat
      2. rechargeable
      3. often come with other electric functions
      4. often waterproof
    2. cons
      1. not super long lasting - requires outlet
  3. Matches - Whether standard or waterproof, having a dry stick to help you get started comes in handy
    1. pros
      1. instant flame
      2. instant tinder
    2. cons
      1. water can be an issue, even with waterproof matches
  4. Ferrocerium rod - special metal rod used to shave sparks into a tinder bundle
    1. pros
      1. long lasting
      2. waterproof
    2. cons
      1. requires some knowledge
      2. requires some effort and time
  5. Bush craft methods - use natural resources to build fire (bow drill, etc.)
    1. pros
      1. can find materials anywhere
    2. cons
      1. require knowledge and experience

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.

 Emergency Uses for Fire Starters

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:

  • stay warm - from camping out to surviving power outages, fire is used to keep us warm
  • cooking - whether we're camping or surviving, cooking food often requires fire
  • lighting your environment - when the lights go out, we can use fire to light the night sky
  • protection - fire can protect us from animals, insects, and even people

A rechargeable Arc Lighter with Flashlight and Whistle

While we like BIC lighters for their simplicity, reliability, and price, we chose new rechargeable arc lighters are our preferred fire starting method.

An arc plasma lighter uses a battery and a couple of nodes to create dual electric arcs. Some claim they "work on the same principle as lightning". The arcs produce intense heat, in some cases as much as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's enough heat to light nearly any tinder on fire. 

We've tested them. We were able to instantly start dry kindling, paper, grass, and more on fire. Simply touch the plasma arc to the tinder source and it lights up.

Many arc lighters now come with flashlights that run on the same battery power so you always have flame and light with you.

Our Top Fire Starter Picks

*Top-Rated Products Only

20 11 06 07 25 15 original 600x600 arc plasma waterproof lighter

Arc Plasma Waterproof Lighter

Ideal enhanced option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 48 54 original 600x600 lighter

Lighter

Ideal primary option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 51 18 original 600x600 ferro rod with striker

Ferro Rod with Striker

Great secondary option for fire starting, especially when wet

Buy on Amazon
20 11 22 14 41 50 original 600x600 fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

ABC dry chemical class ABC fire extinguisher

Buy on Amazon

The Best Survival Multi-Tool

There are many options for fire starters. The best options are arc lighters or BIC butane lighters.

20 11 06 07 25 15 original 600x600 arc plasma waterproof lighter

Arc Plasma Waterproof Lighter

Ideal enhanced option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 48 54 original 600x600 lighter

Lighter

Ideal primary option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon

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1This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
2 As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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.

 

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