A fire starter kit is a very important asset and should be a subset of your other emergency / survival kits. This may include:
– 72-hour kit
– emergency kit in your vehicle
– bugout bag
– get home bag
– day pack for hiking
– pack while hunting / fishing / outdoors
– camping equipment
– E-kit kept in your ATV 4-wheeler
– kit in your snowmobile
– boating emergency kit
– EDC, everyday carry
Get the idea? Pretty much anytime you’re heading out beyond your home base, having a fire starter kit within your other ‘kit’ is excellent preparedness.
(You do have general purpose emergency kit for these occasions, right?)
Fire Starter Kit List
There are lots of options and accessories that you might consider including in your own personalized fire starter kit. I personally tailor my own variants based on where it’s going and how much practical carrying space I have.
That said, here are a few suggestions to consider:
Spark & Flame
The most important items in your fire starter kit are those with the ability to ignite a combustible material. If you can’t make sparks or flame, the rest will be useless.
– Matches (waterproof)
– Fresnel lens
– Magnifying glass
– Ferrocerium (Ferro) Rod
– Magnesium Fire Starter
– Road Flare
– Bow drill
– 9 volt battery & steel wool
I suggest having more than one method of producing sparks or flame in your kit. The more the better.
An ordinary BIC / Zippo lighter is the easiest. May be troublesome in very cold weather or if it gets wet.
Look for ‘strike anywhere’ matches. Waterproof them by dipping in wax.
When acquiring a Firesteel or Ferro Rod, it’s much easier working with one that’s longer than just a few inches. Somewhere around 5″ (and fatter) is much better.
They make wallet size credit card size fresnel lenses which are convenient for everyday carry. Related article:
Fresnel Lens Fire Starter For Your Wallet
Tinder For Fire Starter Kit
Tinder can be found or acquired yourself in the field: Leaves, pine needles, dry twigs, tree bark, dried grass. However it is recommended to include some additional ready-made tinder in your fire starter kit. A few suggestions for tinder include:
– Cotton balls with petroleum jelly
– Tea light candle
– Fine steel wool (0000)
– Char cloth
– Fire Starter Pucks (or equivalent)
Whatever tinder you choose to keep in your fire starter kit, practice with it! Use your spark / flame source and try to start a fire with your tinder. Don’t wait until you need to try it during an emergency situation. Be sure that it works for you.
Fire Starter Kit Container
Okay, now you have your ingredients. But where or how are you going to keep it all together?
I suggest that you keep it waterproof! Or at least very water resistant. Most of my own fire kits are contained in a Ziploc bag. The picture shown above is how I keep my fire kit in my Versipack bags.
You might keep a small kit in a tin of sorts.
I’ve used an old cigar tin (e.g. Macanudo Ascot’s š ).