Regardless of the activity or reason that draws you outdoors, it is always a good idea to have a fire starter. Matches may prove unreliable at times, and weather is hardly 100 percent predictable. A dependable fire starter will give you peace of mind knowing you are covered in emergency situations and have the ability to roast those marshmallows you have been craving. Some are small, portable, and more ideal for backpacking whereas others are bigger or packaged in bulk and better suited for base camp or backyard cookouts. This list examines some of the best fire starter devices and systems based on reliability, longevity, ease of use, and throngs of positive reviews.
This fire starter creates big sparks and lots of them. The GobSpark is easy to grip, easy to use, and will light tens of thousands of fires. Hundreds of user reviews back this product up as a top choice. Read Full Review
If user reviews alone are enough to convince you, then by all means peruse the hundreds and hundreds of five-star reviews that praise the GobSpark. If not, here are some notable highlights of this little fire starting gem. For starters, firesteel is an important consideration for emergency preparedness since it works even when it's wet. The handle is huge and very easy to securely grasp while you create your shower of sparks. Adding the Palm Scraper further simplifies the process, and you can even leave your gloves on if conditions are super-cold. Plus, that Palm Scraper clips right onto the GobSpark, keeping your system compact, organized, and protected. The firesteel itself is longer and thicker than many options currently on the market and will help you make tens of thousands of fires (yes, you read that right) in its lifetime. The sparks burn super hot (upwards of 5500F) and are easy to aim. Even with the added weight of the Palm Scraper, this gear weighs just 2.3 ounces (1.7 without the scraper), making this fire starter a viable option for even minimalist adventurists.
This fire starting system is great to have on hand regardless of what you are doing outdoors. It is compact, easy to use, long-lasting, and will give you peace of mind knowing you can start a fire regardless of the mood Mother Nature finds herself in. Read Full Review
StrikeForce Fire Starter is a handy and easy-to-use fire starting system that includes flint, steel, and WetFire tinder. Grinding the steel striker against the flint bar is easy and intuitive, and the resulting sparks burn much hotter than a typical match. If you find yourself in a situation that simply is not conducive to starting a fire, whip out the WetFire tinder and watch that fire grow. The case keeps all the system components together, and even has a dedicated area to store tinder. Just pull the two pieces of the case apart and snap back together for easy access. This system may seem relatively expensive compared to other options, but many consumers feel the price is justified by how long the product lasts and how many strikes you can get out of it (over 4,000, but who's counting).
These wood sticks are great for lighting a fire fast with minimal effort. They are completely natural, contain no added chemicals, and are easy to pack up with the rest of your equipment. Fatwood can be used in a variety of outdoor and indoor situations. Read Full Review
Fatwood is a simple, non-toxic, and refreshingly organic option for ensuring your base camp fires start strong and stay strong. These sticks, which are about the size of thick pencils, are made from aged pine stumps chock full of natural and conveniently flammable resin. In fact, the concentration of the resin is volatile enough that no chemical additives are even necessary, making this fire starter completely natural and free of smelly toxic fumes. The packaging offers added convenience as it allows the wood to be easily stored and dispensed when needed. Of note is the manufacturer's admirable attention to sustainable forestry.
If the curious scientist in you likes the sound of compression fire starting or you just like to have nifty outdoor survival toys, check out the FireLight II Fire Piston. This fire starter offers an ideal blend of convenience, portability, reliability, and good ol' fashioned thermodynamics. Read Full Review
You're obviously not perusing this list to learn more about thermodynamics and adiabatic compression, but hey, it's a bit of brag-worthy knowledge to share with your fellow outdoorsmen while you're starting your fire. When you rapidly shove the piston of this device down the tight hollow tube, it superheats the air in the tube and ignites the tinder at the piston's end. With this fire piston, you don't just start fires - you instigate spontaneous combustion which then helps you start fires. Sounds a lot cooler, no? This little guy is small enough to fit in your pocket, has an additional hidden firesteel in case you need a backup method for starting your flames, and comes with a lifetime warranty. It shouldn't surprise you, but this device is a lot more expensive than the other options on this list.
This fire starter is easy to use and only requires the use of one hand. It is lightweight, sturdy, and will help build you a fire in even the worst of weather conditions. Read Full Review
The Sparkie is an ideal fire starting option for backpackers and those looking to have small and simple emergency options. This firestarter weighs .8 ounces and can be operated using a single hand, which is nice and convenient, but can also be a virtual necessity if your other hand is hurt or otherwise out of commission. If your outdoor adventure involves blizzards, downpours, or other forms of inclement weather, no problem. The Sparkie was specifically designed to withstand unforgiving environments (don't forget to include the WetFire Tinder for ultimate peace of mind in foul weather). Each strike of the retractable flint bar creates a big shower of sparks that burn three times hotter than a typical match. This bad boy will help you start around 100 fires and is an affordable option that wont break the bank.