Friday, January 15, 2016

Best emergency fire starter reviews and how to use fire starter guide

Fire starters are are rarely over looked in a anyone outdoor kit, as we all understand the need to start a fire is critical to your survival when things don't go to plan. But most people who go outdoor don't take the right type of fire starter for their needs and environment, to help you through the selection of the right fire starter for you we have created a complete guide to 5 of the best fire starters on the market, a how to use the most common survival fire starters and we we have listed the 8 most common emergency fire starters. I also have a water filter guide for selecting and best water filter for your needs that will go well with your fire starter.

Top 5 best fire starter and emergency fire starter

Bear Grylls Fire Starter

The Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter it is a beautiful thing about this device is that it's compact, sturdy, watertight and most of all keeps your hands safe and comfortable when trying to get a fire started.

Everything else--from the printed SOS/Air rescue instructions printed on the outside to the tight little space for tinder in the cap and the added whistle is just icing on the cake.

Feature and Summary

Compact fire starter with ferrocerium rod and metal striker
Lanyard to keep product secure and together Emergency whistle, integrated into lanyard cord Waterproof storage compartment for tinder Land to air rescue and SOS instructions also priorities of survival pocket guide.

Zippo Emergency Fire Starter

There is no bigger name lighters that zippo, and they have taken these years of lighter knowledge into a survival outdoor fire starter. Using an age old method of creating a flint stone and steel they have re-engineered into a compact design that we are all familiar with using. 
They have also taken away the lighter fluid which traditionally caused problems for people not comfortable with a steel and flint style fire starter and storing lighters in their bug out bag.
Awarded the Seal of Approval by the North American Hunting Club, with no need for matches, lighters or other emergency fire starters this is perfect for the regular outdoors person or those who just know they need to be prepared.

How to use Zippo Emergency Fire Starter
Just like most fire starter this emergency fore starter creates a spark by putting pressure on the flint wheel and turning, you then use this spark to ignite the frayed waxed tinder provided, or your own tinder/cotton.


Lightweight plastic case; 
water resistant O-ring seal (keeps contents dry)
Includes 4 water-resistant waxed tinder sticks
Zippo's reliable flint wheel ignition

Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Emergency Fire Starter Blocks (3 Pack)
The magnesium fire starter is made on the fundamentals of fire starter technology and should be an essential piece of any survival/outdoor kit being waterproof, durable, easy to use and compact it is survival fire starter that should be kept in all sorts of survival locations.

Being a three piece kits with three 3" x 1" Solid Magnesium Alloy and Flint Blocks, three Serrated Metal Striker Saws and three 17.5" Chains you can buy one kit and keep one set in your bug-out bag, one at home and one in your car.


1. Use the flat edge of the striker, shave the block to create a small pile of magnesium alloy.
2. Prepare your tinder next to the magnesium alloy pile.
3. Hold the flat edge of the striker against the top of the flint at a 45° angle. Slide firmly down the flint to create sparks. Allow sparks to fall onto magnesium alloy pile.
4. Use magnesium alloy to ignite tinder. 
5. Place burning tinder into fire. 
Remember: Don't suffocate the fire - build fire slowly using small pieces of wood.

Magnesium Fire Starter - Military Quality with Flint Striker Rod & Mini Saw Tool - Lifetime Guarantee

This is not just another magnesium fore starter with flint and striker all built into one, this is a military grade fire starter with solid magnesium core. Built to deliver and create fire every time for a long time. Once you get this in your hand you will know that this is a series survival fire starter and something you can rely on.

As with all products from a military back ground it is slightly bigger than most magnesium fire starters you will see but it is still compact and lightweight, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Perfect fire starter for:-

Preppers - Because you never know when you might need it.
Campers - Start a fire anywhere at anytime.
Survival Situations - When you must have a fire for warmth and light.
Hikers - When your hike doesn't end back at camp.
Magnesium Fire Starter by SE
This is one of the more basic magnesium fire starters on the market and designed for the emergency situations you hope you never need to face. We recommend this for people who know they need to be prepared and do everything possible so they never end up in a situation where there family is in trouble.

For under $5 you cant go wrong with this emergency fire starter, weighing only 0.6 ounces and under 3" in length you wont even know you have it in your pack every day, even if you only buy it for practicing your technique you wont be disappointed.

What are Fire Starters?
As you can work out a fire starter is tool to create fire, but what you might not know is that a fire starter is designed to be stored for long periods of time such as years, can get wet and even fully submerged in water and still create a fire on demand. Unlike matches or lighters which are easily destroyed after getting wet, can beak or run out of fuel. 

Fire starters are versatile and robust tools because they are made for simple sold elements with no moving parts such as Flint and steel fire starters, or magnesium fire starters.

Flint and Steel fire starters

A flint and steel fire starters are the most basic and common type of fires starter in most peoples packs, this style is so trusted and popular because it predates the invention and mass production of matches. 

Th use the flint and steel fire starting method you need to understand what each piece does in this kit and what it includes, the kit includes a large piece of Flint, with a good edge, that is easily held in one hand. The steel part of a piece of steel such as an steel file, rod or even your knife. The flint and steel fire starter starts a fire when the two pieces are struck together causing tiny flakes of steel to break off at high temperatures, that they are sparks that are capable of lighting tinder.

As you can tell both elements equally as important the steel because it creates the spark and the flint because it is a hard stone that can easily break a piece of steel into a spark. 

It is important to understand that the flints job is a very hard stone so it can be interchanged with other stones like chert or jasper as they are also hard stones.
The magnesium fire starter is a more modern fire starting system that has been developed on the same basic principle but with magnesium. With a magnesium fire starter kit the magnesium creates the spark and you use your knife to scrape off the magnesium. 

The major difference with the magnesium is that it burns much hotter and longer than steel making it much easier to start a fire than with steel.

Piston Fire Starters
The piston fire starter is another common and widely used fire starter for long many years. ancient and modern versions of fire pistons have been made from wood, animal horns, antlers, bamboo, or lead and other metals have also been used in modern versions. Which are easily accessed.

A fire piston is a hollow cylinder ranging in length between 7.5 cm to 15 cm (3 to 6 inches), with a bore of 6–7 mm (about 0.25 inch) in diameter, sealed at one end and open at the other and has an airtight circular seal is fitted into the cylinder. The piston has a handle on the end to allow a firm grip to be applied to it as with all fire started it requires some force to create the spark.Unlike other fire starters a piston fire starter has a notch or recess on or in its face, into which a piece of tinder is placed, which is important to good and easy use.

How to use a fire piston starter - to create fire the piston is quickly rammed into the cylinder, the compression of the air when the piston is quickly rammed causes the interior temperature to rise sharply to 260°C (500°F). Which is hot enough to ignite the tinder, you then need to quickly remove the smoldering tinder and place it within your nest of tinder to create a larger firer.

Fire Starter Usage and Setup 
With either flint and steel or a magnesium starter, a park alone isn't enough you will also need very flammable tinder to catch the sparks and begin the actual fire. There are many different types of tender depending on your environment or situation common used tender are char cloth, bits of cotton, or dry grass.

It is important to remember that the tinder is designed to catch the spark and create a small fire, which is then quickly topped with small sticks and twigged, and then larger sticks until you have a sustainable fire for heat or cooking.

Step by step how to use a magnesium fire starter
Several companies make magnesium blocks as fire starters with a variety of different designs, sizes and slightly different features, but basically they are all the same.  The fire starter we used for this example is the military fire starter above. The magnesium blocks consist of two parts.

1. The magnesium which we scrape for tinder.

2. A small flint rod glued to the side of the block.
* The rod will create a hot spark when scraped against a sharp edge.

Before the test
So that we could tested and provide you with a real world step by step guide we took the magnesium block into the woods after a day of rain, the Ambient temperature: 35 degrees Fahrenheit. We believe this represents the most common environment where you need your fire starter to work.

Step 1
Use the backside of the knife to scrape the magnesium block in order to protect the edge. 
Using the ground as support scrape a small pile of the magnesium shavings. 
We recommend practicing this technique under different circumstances, such as when the wind is blowing, it is raining, or dark. And be prepared to create a protected area where the magnesium shavings are safe.

How to scrape magnesium shavings
There are several techniques you can use to scrape the flint rod on the block.
One method is to hold the knife stationary against the ground and pull the block carefully across the edge of the blade.
Another method is to scrape the blade down the flint rod. Be careful not to hack at the rod. Not only is this dangerous but it will damage the flint rod.

Step 2
We scrape the blade of the knife down the rod side to get a spark, if your knife allows you to use the back edge of the knife, you should do this to protect your blade. But in difficult situations the blade of the knife will create a better and larger spark, which always increases your chance of starting your fire.

Guide to 8 different ways and tool to start a fire?
We all understand that the ability to make a fire is a fundamental survival skill, that most people take for granted. Because it is so important we have put together a list of all the ways you can start a fire from the obvious to the not so obvious, because when trouble come and you need to start a fire having multiple options will increase your survival chances dramatically.

Be sure to notice that we are not creating a list about different types of tinder, like cedar shavings, fire log, paper etc, or the different types of weather conditions and how you can keep your firing burning, we are taking about creating that initial spark that all survival comes from. It is important to understand that not every fire starting option on this list is right for you besure to consider where you might need to start a fire.

1. Matches

No surprises here. Check out Stormproof matches, I have tested these things and they are pretty tough to beat.  If you go with regular matches there are two important things to remember about your matches.
They need to be waterproof or you need to make them waterproof matches. Also you need to store matches in multiple places. Even if you have a pile of waterproof matches, if they are all in the same bag or box and you lose them, that’s it. So use a couple of empty film canisters or an element proof Loksak bag and store matches in several places.

2. Lighter

The first thing to remember if you are going to rely on a lighter, is that you need several lighters. We recommend reviewing the different types of survival lighters and having a mixed collection of waterproof, wind proof lighters and traditional lighters. Also consider refillable lighters, and carrying lighter fluid. 

3. FireSteel and Scraper (fire starter)

With so many names and variations, such as magnesium fire starter, flint fire starter, fire steel and scraper you will be familiar with the style and design. If you haven't used it yourself you will have seen someone start a fire with a spark, or at least seen it on video.

As we have already explained on this page, starting a fire with these types of fire starters requires a little more skill but is quickly mastered with some practice. The important feature about these fire starters is that they can be stored for extremely long periods of time in all types of weather conditions.

Fire steel and scraper fire starters:

4. 9v Battery and Steel Wool
This is often forgotten and over looked in urban survival situations, but is an excellent way to start a fire with limited skills or experience. The major limits with this method of starting a fire is that the battery can go flat after long period of storage, and you typically only know it is flat when you need it. Also the steel wool is consumed, so you need to have a good supply of steel wool, if you need to start multiple fires.

5. Rub 2 Sticks Together

This is the most cliche survival fire starter, rubbing two sticks together, but it is so widely known because it does work and was a source of fire before all the previous methods were found. This is a real survival skill, and not something that you can expect to master in a couple of minutes, if this is something that you want to master, we recommend practicing, and here are some videos that explain and show the technic is good detail.

6. Fire storage
While this isn't technically a fire starter, a fire storer predates all of the above. Basically it is the art of keeping your fire burning and keeping your fire burning when you move camp. In ancient villages the person who was responsible for this job was called the fire carrier, and was a very important and trusted member of the village.

Creating fire with a magnifying glass is as simply as holding the lens at such an angle as to focus the sun's light into as small an area as possible. Place some tinder under this spot and it will soon start to smoke and hopefully catch fire. Obviously the major restriction of this type of fire starter is that the sun needs to be shining.

Almost any sort of magnifying lens may be used to start a fire on a sunny day, such as a regular magnifying lens, special magnifier lens, binoculars, glass bottle bottoms, eyeglasses (far-sighted prescriptions), and so on. A unful tip when starting a fire with a magnifying glass is to place a drop of water on the glass as it can intensify the sun light even further.

When looking for the best magnifine glass for your kit to use as a fire starter a pocket magnifier is recommended it is about one and a half inches in diameter, usually with the plastic case that swing away for use, is very handy. Any avid tracker/naturalist will usually want to carry one around to examine minute plant details for identification to identify which plants are safe, examine micro-details of tracks, start a fire, read fine print, or even hold it in front of your flashlight to disburse the beam in a wider area.

One of the less know and used fire starters is the chemical reaction of Potassium permanganate and glycerine. The fact is, Potassium Permanganate and Glycerin will make a great fire. But the weather condition needed to start a fire with Potassium permanganate and glycerine, are rarely advised. So you are aware the chemical reaction to start fire will only happen when the ambient temperature is around room temperature (70 degrees) or higher. And you also need to remember that you will still need dry tinder and everything else normally necessary to make a fire.

As your getting ready to be outdoors you need to consider upgrading your tent see our camping tent guide.


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