They say that when you’re in the great outdoors, there is nothing comparable to the feeling of sitting beside a warm campfire under the unpolluted night sky brimming with countless stars. Whether it’s for cooking food, keeping yourself warm, boiling water to make it drinkable, or warding off wild animals at night, having a dependable way to start a fire is essential. Thus, for your camping trips, a reliable fire starter is just as essential a gear as a survival knife and a water bottle. For your convenience, we have listed together some of the best fire starters for camping on the market.
Why a Fire-Starter?
“Why can’t I just bring along a kitchen matchbox or use my cig lighter?” you might ask. The answer is simple. Sure, they will work alright in favorable conditions but in the wild, you should always plan for the unexpected. If there is a heavy downpour, strong winds, or any dire emergency situation, you will need a dependable fire starter that won’t give out when you actually need it the most.
Our Top Pick – Exotac NanoStriker XL
The Exotac NanoStriker XL is a larger variant of the original NanoStriker. What makes it great is its portability and quality. Its design is water-proof, functional, and very durable – all in one tiny package. The fire starter is small enough that you can fix it to a keychain or necklace or just place it in your coin pocket. It has a thicker ferrocerium rod compared to the original, so the chances of it breaking from striking are mitigated. The sparks it gives out are also potent – enough so that you shouldn’t consider testing it in your bedroom.
- Very Portable
- Bombproof likable design
- Potent sparks
- Small Ferro rod despite the” XL” tag
Best 2-in-1 Fire Starter – Swedish FireKnife
A product born out of a collaboration between two Swedish companies, Mora and Light My Fire, the Swedish FireKnife is a fixed blade knife that also functions as a fire starter. Twist the end of the handle and a magnesium alloy rod pops out which you can strike with the spine of the blade to ignite a fire. The knife itself is no gimmick, it is a functional and durable full tang survival knife made by a company with over 120 years in the knife-making business. Our only main criticism in regards to functionality is that the knife blade is a tad bit on the short-end.
- Value for money
- Well-crafted multi-purpose knife
- Good color options
- Short blade
- Plastic handle feels cheap
Best One-Hand Fire Starter – Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch
Most fire starters have this one big issue – they require TWO hands. For the handicap or the injured, it can be difficult to kindle a fire with a conventional fire starter. Fortunately, there are one-handed options available on the market and one of the best of this breed is the Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch. All you need to do is lift the lid off and push the fire starter against a hard surface. The sparks it produces are impressive. However, this very design feature while ‘handy’ for a one-handed situation, can be bothersome when you want to direct the sparks at a particular angle, or can’t find afirm foundation to strike it against.
- Only hand required
- Potent sparks
- Tough and thick rod
- Takes a bit of practice to get used to
- Less versatile compared to two-hand options
Most Reliable Match Kit – UCO Titan Stormproof Matches
“A match kit? Didn’t you just warn against the use of matches earlier?” you might reasonably ask. Yes, but this is no ordinary match kit. In fact, in case of dire emergency situations, this is THE match kit you should be using. As the name applies, once you light the match, you can be guaranteed their flames will remain lit, be it in a heavy downpour or strong windy conditions. In fact, bury it in the ground or submerge it in water briefly and it will relight the moment you take it out. The UCO Titan Stormproof Matches come in a robust waterproof plastic case with internal and external replaceable strikers.
- Reliable, water- submersible matches
- Tough watertight match case
- Pricy for a bunch of match sticks
- Matches last only 15 seconds each
Best Solar Fire Starter – Solo Scientific Tinder Hot Box Solar Fire Starter
Most solar fire starters on the market are a pure gimmick. They take a long while to get a fire going and only seem to work in the most ideal conditions. The Solo Scientific Tinder Hot Box isn’t one of them. Its parabolic reflector is a work of quality craftsmanship and can create a kindle within seconds. It comes in a great watertight seal container that also equals as a nice tinder box. Additionally, with some polishing, the outside can also work as an effective signally mirror!
- No striking parts required
- Versatile watertight container
- Takes a bit longer than conventional fire-starters
- Obviously, can’t be used in dark places
Best Fire Starter on a Budget – Doan Machinery Magnesium Fire Starter
If you want an affordable yet dependable fire starter, then the Doan Machinery Magnesium Fire Starter is one of the best ones on offer. Materials used are high grade and promise a mighty spark on EACH strike. The fire-starter is also very portable. It is the size of a keychain and can be carried as such. For the price the kit grants excellent value for money. One minor criticism we have for this fire starter is that the flint piece is far too small, and gives out way before the magnesium block is used up.
- Excellent value for money
- Impressive sparks
- Very portable
- Small flint
Best Beginner’s Fire Starter – Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Firestarter
Most celebrity-branded tools are a pure marketing ploy, and are not as effective as they are claimed to be. However, Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Firestarter doesn’t follow this trend, and is actually a effective fire starter, even in wet conditions. The two halves of the fire-starter are big enough for you to get a strong grip and you get some decent sparks with little effort even if you are camping newbie. The design itself is quite good presentation-wise and the survival guide it comes along with is informative and worth reading. One valid criticism we can make of it is that the storage compartment is far too small to be of good use for tinder storage.
- Comes with an emergency whistle and a useful survival guide
- Good presentation
- Small storage compartment
- Thick casing make it heavy
A good dependable fire starter will be of immense convenience in any outdoor situation. When going out on your next camping trip, consider taking along one of these amazing fire starters on the list that will best fit your individual needs. You won’t be disappointed with what you acquire- that’s for sure.