Do you have at least five ways to start a fire in your bug out bag? You should always have at least five options for fire starting in your bug out bag. Today we're going to cover the most common ways to get a fire going. In addition to these tools you should also have some knowledge of primitive fire starting tools such as a fire plow and plenty of tinder.
Bic Lighter or Jet lighter
This is usually the first thing people add to their bug out bag. Why? Because they are cheap and they work. These lighters don't like extreme cold but in most cases they are ok. If your Bic dies you can still use it for the spark just remove the flame shield. Jet lighters are
good because they are windproof and unaffected by rain. I usually stash a few bics throughout my bug out bag.
Matches are awesome because you can put them anywhere you want and have hundreds on hand at all times. Matches should be waterproof and in a sealed container. Don't forget to put some extra stikers in your bag. You can never have to many matches, I keep two big boxes in my pack's main pocket and numerous waterproof cases in the external pockets.
Magnesium blocks are waterproof , windproof, and dont require fuel. You will usually use the flint up long before the magnesium is actually gone. Keep the block because magnesium shaving are highly flammable and will ignite with the smallest spark.
Zippo's are great because they are fairly windproof, are unaffected by the cold, and reuseable indefinately. This is a part of my EDC gear and I keep extra flints and fluid in my pack. Without extra fluid a zippo will only last a few days so be sure to keep a bottle of fuel in your pack.
A magnifying glass is another tool to start a fire. The down side to this is you need sun to start a fire with it. Most compasses have a magnifying glass integrated into them.
Same principal here as with the magnesium block except you need dry tinder. A ferro rod will throw a spark of over 5000 degrees and is reusable many times, some are up to 12,000 strikes. Nothing will affect the ability to generate a spark with this tool, it even makes sparks when wet.You should have one on your EDC keychain and at least one in your bug out bag.
Reuseable steel match
I will not get into these to much because they do not belong in your pack. Little more than a novelty that should be left at home.
A fire piston works off the principles of compression much like an internal combustion engine. You insert a piece of tinder and compress it. The problem with these is the clearances have to be so precise and they do not respond well to abuse of dirt. They do work but there are much easier ways to get a fire going. Once you get your piece of tinder smoldering you still have to transfer it from the piston to the tinder. I would keep one of these if you have room but in general it is not very practical.
Battery and steel wool
Surprisingly effective. The battery sends a current through the fine strands of the steel wool and overheats it which in turn starts an extremely hot fire. It is a good idea to keep a 9 volt battery and steel wool in your pack. If you have a cell phone you can use it's battery in place of the 9 volt.
Self Igniting Fire Starter
You can make a self igniting firestarter that will burn for 5-7 minutes by folding a square of toilet paper in half and wrapping it tightly around a strike anywhere match. Dip the whole thing in wax and its ready to use. To use just pull the wax off the match head, strike, let it burn for a minute to get the flame hot then place it on whatever you want to burn.
Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie Fire Starter
Kind of a cool little gadget I picked up at Wal Mart for $5. Its a flint and steel that you only need one
hand to use. Simply place the end on the ground and push the body down and you get a nice spark. This little tool only weighs an ounce and is about the size of a key fob. This tool works great as long as you have some dryer lint or tp. Also the flint is supposed to lock in place but gets stuck inside of the body sometimes so you have to tap it on something hard and it will release. Cool little gadget but this is not as good as its big brother the Blast Match. Also practice makes perfect so learn to use it before you need it.
Tea Light Candles (per dokumentmarble suggestion)
Tea light candles are cheap disposable candles that work great for starting a fire. Light one and place it under your tinder and you will have a fire in no time at all. This works for damp tinder that doesn't want to take a spark.
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